Understanding the 3 Elements of a Breach of Contract

Understanding the 3 Elements of a Breach of Contract

Posted By Salvador Phillips, PLLC || Oct 18, 2016

Most people, in their adult lives, have signed a contract at least once. Many have heard that it is important to read the fine-print closely. But, have you ever wondered the importance of actually taking the time to do so? This is due to the amount of weight that a contract can carry.

A contract is a promise that can be legally enforced. Generally, contracts are used when a person purchases a service, item, or a job rendered. If a party on either side of the contract fails to hold his or her end of the agreement, the non-abiding party can be sued for breach of contract. However, a plaintiff must prove three elements before he or she can win a breach of contract suit:

  1. The plaintiff must prove a valid contract existed.

Before a person can establish that a breach occurred, the plaintiff must prove that a valid contract existed in the first place. To do so, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following three factors, which work together to form a legal contract:

  • Offer
  • Acceptance
  • Consideration
  1. The plaintiff must prove which terms of the contract the defendant breached.

When a promise that has been listed in the contract is broken, the person who broke the contract may be held legally responsible. However, parties who form and agree to contracts should remember that not every promise addressed and outlined in the contract needs to be taken in the literal sense. Therefore, a suit is only deemed acceptable of the breach detracts value from the plaintiff. These types of breaches are referred to as material breaches. Those breaches of contract, which do not detract value from the agreement, are most often deemed minor and will not likely succeed as suits. When a person breaches a fundamental part of a contract that is such a crucial part the other party can terminate the contract completely, this is known as a fundamental breach. An anticipatory breach happens when one person has reason to believe that the other person involved with the contract will breach the contract, even if the other party has not done so yet, so the person retracts their part of the agreement first.

  1. The plaintiff must prove that damages occurred to due the breach.

Before a plaintiff can recover compensation for a breach of contract, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach somehow harmed the plaintiff. These harmful effects, which occur due to the breach, are called damages. Frequently, the party who breached the contract is liable to pay any expenses that incurred due to the breach. In some cases, the defendant is even required to pay punitive damages, which are punishments for violating a contract. If in the contract text states that supplementary payments must be paid if either party breaches the contract, the terms of the contract may be compensated in addition to what the court awards.

Has Someone Breached Your Contract? Call Salvador Phillips, PLLC Today.

If you have formed a contract with another party and believe that party has breached the contract, we urge you contact our Phoenix contract lawyers at Salvador Phillips, PLLC right away. We can carefully review your contract to determine whether or not the breach has occurred. If so, we can create a notice to present to the at-fault party in an effort to reach resolution. If the notice elicits no compliance or response, we can take further legal action against the other party.

To discuss your case today, call our Phoenix contract attorneys right away! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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