Insurance & other Contract Disputes
People enter into contracts all the time, frequently obligating themselves to pay thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, without reading the contract or having an attorney review it for them. They assume they know the contents or they have had it explained to them by the other party. Such contracts include, among other things, insurance of all types (homeowners, automobile, medical, disability, etc.),automobile leases, apartment or house leases, employment contracts, real estate purchase contracts and realtors agreements. Some are “adhesion” contracts, which means the other party will not change the terms for any reason. Normally those are prepared and offered by large corporations and examples are cell phone contracts, insurance contracts, and leases for business equipment or automobiles. However, you need to know what the contract says and what the downside is for you before signing. Other contracts, even those that appear to be a form, are negotiable.
The first point to remember before signing a contract is that the party preparing it probably drafted it to be favorable to them. The second point to consider is that you may not fully comprehend the legal implications of the agreement without the proper education or experience with such agreements. You may well need the advice of attorney before signing.
Assuming you are like most people reading this, and you are already bound by an agreement with a dispute brewing, it is time to find out what you are and are not obligated to do. A “contract” is like private law between you and the other party. It will control your rights and responsibilities in large part but state and federal law may also have application that is important to the construction or interpretation of the contract. Sometimes contracts are vague in their terms or they may have contradictory terms. There may be something you can do to avoid the contract or have the dispute resolved favorably to you but you will need the advice of an attorney to find out. He or she will need to review the contract and have all of the facts to help.