The Importance Of Written Contracts

“Get it in writing.”  You have probably heard that expression about contracts before, and for good reason.  Contracts form a basic part of everyone’s life because they impact so much of it:  your car loan; your mortgage; your cable or satellite subscription; the company that takes care of your lawn, your business or partnership, your employment or employees, etc.  The list could go on forever.

You might have noticed that you have entered into a written contract for many such services.  That is because if any issues ever come up it is much easier to prove a written contract than a contract that is only verbal or oral, i.e., a “handshake deal,” which should be avoided whenever possible.  Shake hands when the verbal agreement is reached, and then get it on paper.  Can you imagine a car dealer shaking hands with you on your new car and then letting it go without a written purchase agreement?

The problem with handshake deals is that, if any questions ever arise about what the terms of the agreement were or whether there was even any agreement at all, a judge or a jury will have difficulty trying to determine which version of the agreement is correct if the parties dispute who said what and what was agreed to.  It can turn into a classic “your word against theirs” situation.  If you are the one who is trying to prove that there was a verbal contract or that the verbal contract was breached in some manner, and the other party disputes what you have to say, you may lose because the judge or jury will not be able to decide who is correct and who is wrong.

All such problems can be avoided if you have a written contract.  No one should have an issue with putting an agreement in writing because it is for everyone’s protection and ensures that there will never be any confusion or dispute over everyone’s obligations under the agreement.  If anyone ever refuses to put an agreement in writing and insist on just doing a verbal, handshake-type deal, get away from them because they are likely just trying to leave themselves room to later change the deal or completely get out of it and they know that it will be much harder to do that with a written contract.

As an example, those of you who have watched the movie “Jerry Maguire” saw Jerry the sports agent lose his best client because the client’s father refused to do a written contract and then signed his son with another sports agent.  That would not have happened with a written contract in place, which Jerry should have insisted on.  So should you.  Those of you who do not get a written contract may be surprised someday at how difficult it is to prove a verbal agreement.

Erbe Law Firm can help with your business practices or contract law claim.  If you need a Des Moines business practices or contract law attorney, contact Erbe Law Firm today.


Ford Motor Company Airbag Recall

Ford Motor Company has announced the recall of thousands of F-150 pickup trucks for safety issues related to defective airbags.  The company announced on Wednesday a recall of 144,000 Ford F-150 pickup trucks sold in the US and Canada.  According to Ford, the recall was triggered after complaints from consumers that airbags in these tracks suddenly and unexpectedly deployed as soon as the car was started.

Ford has traced the problem to vehicles that were built during the first shift at the Ford plant in Norfolk.  The problem is linked to an improperly installed wire in the steering wheel.  This can cause short-circuiting, ultimately deploying the airbag inadvertently.  This was the second recall for Ford in February.  Earlier this month, the company recalled about 280,000 Ford F-150s to repair defective door handles.  The defect was serious, and could cause the side doors to open in a crash.

There no doubt that airbags have been some of the most effective auto safety aids developed over the past few decades.  Along with seatbelts, airbags have helped save thousands of lives.  Ironically, these are often responsible for serious injuries.  Most airbag injuries involve airbags that deploy too early, deploy too late or do not deploy at all.  Sometimes, airbags deploy inadvertently when they’re not meant to.  When you consider the fact that there are more than 180 million vehicles with airbags on American roads (according to 2006 estimates) you realize the reason why there are frequent numbers of airbag injuries.

Most airbag injuries are a result of design defects.  It’s also important to understand that not all airbags are created alike.  Airbag deployment thresholds may differ dramatically from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Many airbag injuries involve certain common patterns.  For instance, positioning of the seat can dictate how an occupant comes in contact with the airbag.  There may be mechanical failures of airbag systems.  This includes system failures, or malfunctioning sensors.  The sensors are able to detect the speed of the vehicle, the angle of the accident and other factors to determine when to inflate.  However, when things go wrong here, then occupants may be at a serious risk of injuries or even death.

Besides, airbag injuries are also caused when the airbag system does not take into consideration individual factors like an individual’s height or weight.  Other injuries are caused because of the material of the airbag.  Typically, lighter airbag material is considered to be safer.

Erbe Law Firm can help with your personal injury or wrongful death case or products liability claim.  If you need a Des Moines products liability law attorney, contact Erbe Law Firm today.