The key purpose of a contract is to act as a tool for structuring the relationship and recording what the parties have agreed to do for and with each other.
However, there are times when a contract is signed without attention to the fine print. The last thing you want to do is sign a contract without reading it carefully, or having an attorney review it prior to signing. This way, you know exactly what your rights and responsibilities are. You also want to know what constitutes a breached contract. If this happens and you suffer a loss, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Birmingham. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few things you need to look for when signing a contract.
Beware of the Fine Print
The reason most people are intimidated by contracts is because of the legal language and fine print. This is actually not a bad way to approach a contract as you do need to understand what your rights and obligations are under the contract. You also want to make sure the contract accurately represents the terms of your agreement with the other party. It is important to consult an attorney who can provide insight into the fine print and legal language within the contract.
Make Sure You Fill in Any Blank Spaces
This may sound a bit obvious, but make sure all blank spaces are filled out. This may require you to sign and date sections of the document. It can give you a quick indication if any of the terms are wrong. For example, if you’re selling a car and have a contract for sale, make sure the price is correct. If you are signing a rental agreement, make sure the start date and monthly rent cost is correct. Otherwise, your entire agreement can be misconstrued.
Look to See that the Terms of the Contract Match Your Agreement
Another item you want to check for is that the terms in the written contract match your agreement. Sometimes, the words in the contract are slightly different from your verbal agreement. Usually, this is not done intentionally. It could be that the person who drafted the contract used an old template and forgot to change the terms. Regardless of the intent, you do need to protect yourself. If anything in the contract needs to be changed, let the other party know before signing.
Check to See if There are Significant Dates Listed on the Contract
A lot of breach of contract lawsuits are initiated because certain deadlines weren’t met. This is why you want to take a second look at any dates listed on your contract. If the dates aren’t correct, and you sign the document without noticing, it can change the terms of the entire agreement. Always look at the month, day, and year. A simple mistake like writing “2020” instead of “2021” can change the meaning of a clause or term.
Read the Sections on Breach, Termination, and Remedies
Contracts are meant to protect the parties equally. You want to read through the sections dealing with breach and termination. This tells you what you need to do if you want to end the contract. It also lets you know what is considered a breach of the contract. Make sure you know what the remedies are as well. If you do end up in breach of a contract, you’re going to want to know what the damages may be and how you can rectify the situation.
Are All the Correct Parties Listed?
Since so many contracts are drafted from a template, always make sure the correct parties are listed. Also, check to make sure the names are spelled correctly. If one of the parties is a business, make sure it is listed properly. For example, if the other party is ABC, Ltd., make sure it does not read, “ABC Corp.”
What are Your Rights and Responsibilities Under the Contract?
In order to know what is required of you under the contract, you need to outline your responsibilities and rights. Make sure you know what terms you must perform. Also, take note of what the other party is required to do. This way, if the other party does breach the contract, you can show your personal injury lawyer in Birmingham which part of the contract they violated.
If You Need to Pursue a Claim for Breach of Contract, Talk to a Seasoned Personal Injury Lawyer in Birmingham
The goal of a well-written contract is to ensure that both parties honor their obligations. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If an individual or an organization is in breach of a contract and you suffered damages, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Birmingham at Hare Wynn Newell & Newton right away.
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