Nov 28

Why It Is Important To Involve An Attorney Before Signing Any Contract

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Why It Is Important To Involve An Attorney Before Signing Any Contract

To underscore the importance of a Florida injury attorney, here is an important case. A resident of a nursing home slipped and fell a couple of times and this led to her premature death so her daughter sued the nursing home on the allegation that the nursing home failed to implement a safety protocol that will prevent residents from falling.

However, prior to the admission of the resident into the nursing home, one of her daughter had signed a pre-admission contract with an arbitration clause in it. The clause stated that both parties have agreed to resolve any dispute between them through binding arbitration instead f going through the court system.

At the time of signing the contract, the resident had executed a power of attorney document that empowers her daughter over her affairs without any limitation. So, the signature was binding. Probably out of anger for losing her mum due to the nursing home’s perceived negligence, the daughter still went to file a lawsuit against the nursing home in a court of law despite the binding contract.

As expected, the nursing home defended itself with the contract. After all, that is even the main purpose of the contract in the first place. It argued that the plaintiff should not have filed a lawsuit because the contract between them prevents her from going to the court. So, the nursing home asked the court to dismiss the case.

After looking at the power of attorney document and a copy of the contract, the court upheld the defendant’s argument and dismissed the case. The court was also of the opinion that the arbitration agreement is a fair deal on its own and that the enforcement of the agreement would not run into conflict with public policy.

At this juncture, it is important to state that courts in different jurisdictions view contracts from different angles. However, it all boils down to the language in the arbitration contract and how the main clause appears in the contract.

It may not be upheld if the clause appears to be hidden in a large paragraph that covers a whole lot of topic. But in a situation where it stands clearly, most courts will likely enforce it. That being said, this very case could have gone either way. If the suit was handled by an experienced Florida injury attorney, the plaintiff may have been compensated even if it is not up to the amount she was expecting. Looking at it from another angle, her attorney may have advised her not to waste her time and money since she had slim chances of winning her case because the contract she signed.

In conclusion, it is always advisable to involve a legal practitioner before you sign any dotted line. Perhaps she didn’t understand the full implication of the contract.