How do I make a contract that is legally binding?

UPDATED: Oct 17, 2011

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How do I make a contract that is legally binding?

My friend injured me and I require several thousand dollars of repair as a result of the injury. He said that he would pay for it but I want to make it legally binding.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Personal Injury, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's very easy to draft a legally binding contract, though ideally, you should retain an attorney to do this for you--it would cost you a few hundred dollars, but is probably worth it. If you're determined to do it yourself:

1) Set out all the terms clearly in writing. This might include what will happen if there is a breach of the agreement, and should also include when and how payment will be made, whether  you need to provide proof of the cost of the repairs or multiple quotes or proposals for the work for your friend to review, etc.

2) Make sure each side gets something ("consideration"), which binds the party. Consideration can include a release from any further liability (i.e. that you won't sue him if you get the money).

So, for example, you might show your friend the proposed repair price in advance and get him to agree to the amount he'll pay. The contract might state that in return for releasing him from any additional liability, your friend will pay the agreed-upon repair cost, which he acknowledges in the contract having reviewed, agreed with, and found fair. The contract will state, for example, that he will pay you the money at the time of signing; or possibly that he'll pay you 1/2 on signing and 1/2 in 60 days; or whatever you and he work out. Be specific.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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