The 3 Basic Elements of a Contract

In order for a contract to be considered legally binding, there are a few elements that must be established. A contract would involve the sale of goods and/or services. These three basic elements are the offer, the acceptance, and the consideration. In this article, we will break these elements down.

The Offer

First, one of the parties will submit an offer. This individual is referred to as the offeror, and in order for a contract to eventually become formed the offeror will need to make his or her proposal which will involve certain terms. The individual receiving the proposal, or offer, is called the offeree. Once the offer has been made, the burden shifts to this individual. Once the burden is on the offeree, he or she can either accept the offer or issue a counteroffer.

The Acceptance

The acceptance of an offer (or the acceptance of the offeree’s counteroffer) is the second element of what makes a contract legally binding. If the parties are not able to come to an agreement, or if in the instance of the offer being rejected outright, a contract is impossible. If the offer is accepted right away, or, after some negotiating, both parties are happy with what is being discussed and reach an agreement, a binding contract is nearly complete.

An offer can be accepted verbally or in writing. In some instances, how the offer is accepted is part of the contract. For example, the offeror may require the offeree to issue a written acceptance in order for them to feel comfortable moving forward with the deal. The Uniform Commercial Code (which has been adopted by the majority of the states in the USA) states that the acceptance of an offer is able to take place in any manner that is reasonable.

The Consideration

Once the proposal has been issued and accepted, there must be what is known as a “consideration” in order for the contract to be binding. This is legal jargon for the exchange of items of value. In other words, whatever was negotiated will take place. This can involve exchanging goods, exchanging services, or exchanging money for a service or a good. Whatever form the consideration ends up taking, it is imperative that it is agreed upon by both parties to the contract. The consideration must also occur for a court to enforce the terms of the contract. In other words, without consideration, there is not a contract.

Why You Should Consult A Lawyer After A Car Accident

Many car accidents occur on a daily basis worldwide. Some of these accidents are fatal. They may result in serious injuries or even deaths. You can never be too prepared when it comes to dealing with accidents. You may need to consult a lawyer during a car accident in the following circumstances:

  1. Serious Injuries Or Death
    You need to call a lawyer when you are involved in a car accident that results in loss of lives or fatal injuries. Such accidents may involve complicated lawsuits. Having an experienced lawyer by your side will help you throughout the process. If you are injured, a lawyer will be able to seek justice on your behalf.
  2. Incapable Of Work
    Accidents may at times involve long healing processes. They can permanently damage your body. This may render you incapable of performing day to day tasks. A lawyer can be vital in helping you seek full compensation due to the damages caused. This compensation would also include the cost of medical treatment.
  3. Accident Involving Multiple Parties
    A lawyer needs to be consulted when more than two parties are involved in an accident. Multiple lawsuits can emanate from such a scenario. This is caused by a difficult and complicated negotiation process. Insurance settlements can pose many challenges. These parties may include pedestrians and property owners.
  4. An Uninsured Motorist
    Insurance companies take care of the claims made against their clients. They may cover the cost of damages and treatments. When you realize that you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it may be wise for you to seek the help of a lawyer. He or she will be able to evaluate your options and advice on whether or not you should sue the uninsured motorist.
  5. Evidence Collection
    A lawyer can be able to collect evidence pertaining to your accident. He or she can then analyze it to establish who was at fault. This evidence can also help to determine the worth of your injuries. Information such as how fast one was going can be established during this process. The black box contained in modern cars can inform on whether or not the driver was wearing a seatbelt. This data can be very useful during court proceedings.

Lawyers are very useful when it comes to providing legal advice in the event of an accident. They can represent you in court and help in settlement talks. They can provide concrete evidence that lets you off the hook. You need to talk to a lawyer after you are involved in a fatal car accident.

How Do Contingency Lawyer Fees Work?

Legal fees are expensive and not everyone can afford the cost of a lawyer to represent them. This is why some lawyers offer their services on a contingency basis. But what is contingency and how does it work?

What is Contingency?

When a lawyer works on contingency, you will not be required to pay any lawyer’s fees upfront (retainer) or be billed for their services. If the lawyer loses the case and you are not awarded any monetary settlement, your lawyer will not be paid anything for their services. If they win, they will take a percentage of the settlement amount to cover their legal fees.

What Percentage Of The Settlement Will Your Lawyer Take?

Generally, lawyers will take 2/3rds of the settlement amount or 33.3%. However, they can take anywhere between 25% and 40% depending on the contract that you sign with them. It is important to ensure that your settlement will provide for additional expenses as well as the actual costs that you are claiming for when hiring a lawyer on contingency so that you aren’t out of pocket when the case is settled.

Does Contingency Mean You Pay Nothing If You Lose?

Not necessarily. You may still have to pay for any expenses over and above the lawyers’ fees. These costs could include court fees, printing and mailing fees, fees for expert witnesses, fees for investigating the case, etc. It is important to read the fine print on your contract carefully to be aware of the fees that you will be responsible for paying whether you win or lose.

What Are The Benefits Of Contingency?

The most obvious benefit is that it gives those who do not have the money to hire a lawyer access to expert legal services at no upfront cost. Another benefit is that the lawyer will assess each case carefully before taking it on to determine the likelihood of success. The more likely your claim is to be successful, the more likely it will be that a contingency lawyer will represent you. After all, it is in their best interests to only take cases that will succeed as their payment is contingent on winning the case.

It is very important to understand that contingency does not mean that you are getting a lawyer for free. Payment of lawyers fees is dependent on winning the case and you will still have to pay for any additional costs related to the case.