I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
While there are certain things that need to be notarized, such as marriage licenses, not all contracts need to be notarized. However, this doesn't mean that they shouldn't be. If you run a business, you probably have a lot invested in it. So, you will want to make sure that you do everything that you can to protect yourself and your business. Notarized signatures may be key in doing this when it comes to potential contract disputes.
To Prove That an Individual Actually Signed the Contract.
One of the most common reasons you end up in court over a contract dispute is when the other party involved claims that he or she never signed the contract. You know that they did, and they know that they did, but the judge doesn't. It is up to you and your lawyer to prove that the other party did in fact sign the contract willingly. Now the question is whether or not you have the proof to back that claim up? More than likely, you don't. All you have is your word, which may not mean much to a judge.
Luckily, if the contract signatures were witnessed by a professional notary, you have the proof necessary. The great thing about notarized signatures is that most federal and state courts declare that a notarized signature is 100 percent authentic and should be seen as such in a court of law. This is as per section 8 of Rule 902 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Essentially, this all boils down to the fact that you do not need to prove any further authentication of the contract signature, which will save you a significant amount of money and time in court.
Your Business May Not End Up Paying in the Event of a Court Loss.
Like all people, notaries can make mistakes, such as failing to actually witness the signing of your business contract or failing to obtain and verify the proper identification of the signer. When this happens and you find yourself in court because the other party says they didn't sign the contract, you will probably lose. However, this doesn't mean that you'll have to pay for the damages that may be incurred as a result of the lawsuit loss. Instead, the insurance company that issued the insurance bond for the notary will possibly end up responsible for paying the damages. This is why most states require that all notaries be bonded.
Notarized signatures are not a foolproof way of avoiding major contract disputes or keeping yourself out of court over a contract. However, they do provide legal and financial benefits to you as a business owner. To protect yourself even further, make sure to consult with a business attorney like one from Strauss Troy when drawing up a contract.