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You probably have read the line hundreds of times, and clicked just as often. But how many times have you read the terms of services before giving away your right to data and legal recourse? According to extensive studies, only a quarter of users bother to look at the fine print, and out of them only a tiny amount actually read the legal prints. Whether it’s a click to agree on a contract or a paper document to read and sign, most people hope for the best before they agree. As a result, consumer protection and individual rights can be seriously compromised, leaving with no way out if anything goes wrong – and that includes your right to go to court. While it would be paranoid to assume that the fine prints are working against you, it’s fair to say that ignoring the invisible statements can put your rights, finances and even professional career at risk.
Beware of unscrupulous insurers
Have you read the small prints on your insurance contract? Chances are you probably haven’t, and as a result, might struggle to reach a satisfying settlement amount. Should you challenge your insurance settlement? More often than not, unfortunately, you might find yourself with no recourse. If your car is wrecked in an accident, or completely written off, unless you secured GAP insurance on the vehicle, you will be out of pocket. While an insurance lawyer can help you to receive better compensation, ultimately, if it wasn’t part of your coverage, your insurer will not compensate for the loss. However, if the settlement amount suggested by your insurance is the result of a miscalculation or of accidentally not taking into account certain elements, you can address and correct the issue with your insurer.
Can I afford a lawyer?
You’ve probably come across advertising messages from attorney offices claiming that they don’t get paid unless they win your case. Ultimately, it’s a matter of contingency fees. What is a contingency fee, you ask? A contingency fee doesn’t mean your lawyer will work for free. It means that you won’t have to pay any upfront fee at all. However, there may be case costs as third parties work on your case, such as expert witness, court filing, etc. The contingency fee doesn’t mean that these costs are cancelled. They are either delayed to be deducted from the final settlement, or you can ask to pay them as they incur. If you are struggling to afford a lawyer, you might prefer offices that offer the no-win-no-pay strategy, as they will pay themselves from your settlement money.
No work contract is set in stone
Getting a job offer is exciting, and it’s even more exciting when you receive your contract. As most states allow employers to employ people on an at will basis, getting a contract document is not something every employee has. However, while the contract is an official document, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation. A contract is a written offer. Before signing in, you need to check that you agree with the salary, work policy, job description, benefits, profit sharing and responsibilities.
In conclusion, reading and asking before agreeing can save you a lot of troubles in the long term. From personal and property insurances to managing professional and legal relationships, knowing the fine prints – and even the ones that aren’t explicitly spelled out can be advantageous.