Contracts have long served as a crucial part of business partnerships. Signing a contract with another party protects your interests and ensures that all terms will be followed and carried out.
However, not everyone can always follow through with a contract. There are cases in which agreements are broken and ignored, which leaves the possibility that a business partnership may end due to a breach of contract. This can occur if the partner doing the breaching doesn’t want to fulfill the terms of the agreement.
What is a Breach of Contract?
In simpler terms, a breach of contract is an act of refusal. It is a partner deciding not to carry out the terms of the agreement. When this occurs, the other partner cannot effectively use what they promised to the other party, and there is no way for them to proceed with business as usual.
In most cases, breach of contract is a serious matter that could lead to litigation. However, it’s essential to consider the seriousness of the breach and how it will affect the parties involved. Various steps must be taken before the contract can be considered breached.
Who Can Sue for a Breach of Contract?
Most contracts do not allow for suing anyone other than the person or company named in the original agreement. In most cases, the person who initiates the breach is the person who will be sued. However, in exceptional circumstances and contracts, the person harmed by the breach can sue.
To prevail a breach of contract litigation, you must prove three elements, which are:
The Existence of a Valid Contract
A contract is a formal agreement between two parties to exchange something of value. This includes a reward for the other party’s work fulfilling their end of the contract.
The terms and conditions must be clear and detailed to be considered a contract. The contract must also be signed and agreed upon by all parties involved. It will not be considered a contract if either party fails to agree with the contract or refuses to sign it.
Breach of the Contract’s Terms
The contract should clearly state what each party must do to fulfill their obligation. This includes requirements like payment terms, timelines, service expectations, and any other aspects of the contract.
Material breaches refer to any violation that has material effects on the other party. These include failing to pay the other party for their work and failing to return property after the contract has ended.
Meanwhile, non-material breaches are not material breaches but are still considered serious. For example, failing to give the other party the promised services or meeting their deadline are considered non-material breaches.
Damages Caused by the Breach of Contract
To win a breach of contract case, you must be able to prove that the breach caused you financial harm. It is ideal to have proof for damages like property damage, lost income, or other expenses that could not have been avoided.
In most cases, damages are assessed by looking back at the events leading up to the breach. In other cases, the damages are evaluated based on how the events would have turned out if the contract had not been breached.
A breach of contract can have serious financial and legal consequences. Before you sign any contract, it is crucial to look for loopholes that could lead to future problems.
The above are some of the basics of breach of contract and contract law. If you are ever faced with a breach, it’s best to find an attorney at law who can help you navigate the legal process.
If you’re facing a breach of contract litigation in Birmingham, let our legal team at MHM Firm help you. Our attorneys at law have deep experience in several practice areas but share one vision: achieving successful results for our clients. Reach out to us today to learn more.