Breach of contract laws are created to ensure that people can make agreements with each other and trust that it will be fulfilled. These laws cover a wide variety of business and social transactions, although they usually vary from state to state.
If you had a legally binding agreement with another person but they failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, you may have a right to sue. You may be entitled to compel them to complete their end of the contract or pay compensation for their failure. This will often depend on the circumstances of your case though. A breach of contract attorney will be instrumental to helping you enforce your right to sue.
A breach of contract is a failure to perform one’s duties under a legally binding agreement. Often, when two or more people make a contract, they specify certain things that are agreed to be done under the contract. Legally, these things agreed to be done are terms of the contract and they are essentially promises.
When someone makes a promise under a contract, they become legally obligated to perform that promise. It doesn’t matter what the promise is. It could be a promise to work for someone else for a specific period, in exchange for an agreed amount of pay. It could be a promise to deliver some goods in exchange for money.
A breach of contract occurs when a person breaks their promise without a lawful excuse. Sometimes, the breach could be in the form of a refusal to do what they are expected to do under the contract. Other times, it could be because they didn’t carry out their part of the bargain in a satisfactory manner.
Regardless of what form the breach of contract takes, the other party’s failure to perform their obligation undermines your rights under the contract. You may be entitled to seek redress in a court of law or any other agreed forum. Breach of contract attorneys are experts in this area of law and usually help parties understand their rights.
A contract breach could be minor, material, fundamental or anticipatory, depending on the circumstances of the case.
A minor breach is the least serious type of breach. Although it results in a partial failure to perform one’s obligation, it does not change the outcome of the contract. A plaintiff can demand damages for the breach.
A material breach is more serious. It is a substantial failure to perform that hinders the contract from being fulfilled. For instance, if you rented an apartment on the basis that you would have access to light and electricity but those are lacking, there is a material breach.
A fundamental breach is considered a severe failure of performance. It means that the other party has woefully failed in their obligations to you. If you agreed to rent an apartment but found out that it does not exist, or someone else lives there, you have a fundamental breach.
An anticipatory breach occurs when the other party indicates that they don’t intend to perform their obligations. For instance, you paid for the apartment but the landlord shows signs of never intending to fulfill their part of the bargain. You can sue before the breach or afterwards.
To get damages for a breach of contract, you have to show that there was a valid contract between you and the other party. You must also show that the actions of the other party caused a breach of the contract and this resulted in loss to you.
Existence of a valid contract: There are legal rules that govern the validity of a contract. Usually, a valid contract must have a legally binding offer, acceptance and consideration.
Existence of a breach by the other party: Regardless of the forum, a plaintiff must show that the contract was breached by the other party. This breach may be in the form of non-performance, part-performance or poor performance.
Proof of loss: Although mere proof that a contract was breached will entitle a plaintiff to damages, there must be proof of loss to recover higher damages. If you have suffered a business disadvantage such as loss of an earning opportunity, that may be enough.
Whether you choose to fight your case in court or through negotiation or mediation, there will be many technical rules involved in proving your case. Breach of contract attorneys even rely on experts such as accountants and medical practitioners to help prove a case.
If you choose to file a lawsuit to enforce your contract in court, you may be able to recover several breach of contract remedies. These usually fall into two categories: monetary damages and equitable remedies.
Monetary damages are simply money amounts that the court may order to be paid by the at fault party. They could be compensatory damages, which are intended to “make the plaintiff whole” by providing monetary relief representing the benefits the plaintiff would have enjoyed had the contract not been breached. They could also be liquidated damages, which are contractual terms that indicate a specific amount of money will be paid by any party that breaches the contract.
Equitable remedies are discretionary reliefs that may also be provided by the court. This means that only the court can decide whether to grant these reliefs or not. An example of equitable remedies is specific performance. The court may order that the party at fault fulfill their obligations under the contract. This is usually granted in cases where monetary damages cannot adequately compensate the plaintiff.
Due to the fact that it is one of the oldest areas of law, breach of contract cases involve many complicated legal rules. Although these rules were created to protect the rights of parties, they can be very difficult to understand.
While you may decide not to consult a breach of contract attorney, the catch is that these rules apply to your case whether you understand them or not. By merely being resident in a state, there are several rules that could apply to your case, having the effect of materially affecting your rights.
A competent breach of contract attorney can help you understand what laws apply to your case and how it affects your rights. This will be very important to protecting those rights and recovering compensation for your contractual loss. A lawyer will help you understand what you need to do and how to proceed.
The cost to hire a breach of contract attorney often depends on several factors. This includes the possible length and difficulty of your case. Due to this, it is often impossible to tell with certainty what an attorney will cost.
Regardless, you would usually have the opportunity to compare attorney fees and settle with one whose services fit within your budget.
BestLegalChoice allows you to do this from the comfort of your home. You can gain access to several eminently qualified breach of contract lawyers and compare their track record and cost without undue stress on your part.
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