We can define the contract as an agreement between two parties. Through this agreement, the two parties establish a commitment between them. The breach of contract is one of those risks that the parties face when they perform this commitment.
On this occasion, we wanted to give our opinion about this issue, especially about 4 elements of contract and certain aspects. For that reason, we need to understand the concept of breach of contract first.
What Is Breach of Contract: How to prove breach of contract?
As the term itself indicates, breaching a contract breaks one or more clauses of an agreement between two parties. For example, it may happen that a company has breached part of the contract it signed with its worker.
But this fact can occur in many cases: the agreement can be verbal or in writing, private, commercial, labour, etc. On many occasions, this non-compliance can lead to a lawsuit. The first step require to hold the oral trial will be the claim of one of the parties.
However, to make a case of breach of contract, the 4 elements of a contract should be present.
- You need to prove that the contract happened. The contract must exist. It can be a piece of paper with writing, an oral agreement, or any evidence. But it must be valid in the eye of the court.
- The second thing that should be present is the performance. The plaintiff needs to have proof that he performed the obligations stated in the contract. Or, if he hasn’t, there must be the reason for that.
- The plaintiff must prove that the other party has failed to fulfill the duties of his part of the contract.
- Lastly, the plaintiff has to ascertain that he has faced loss or damage because of the breach of this contract.
Contract Breach and Its Criteria
We have already explained what breach of the contract consists of. Now we want to dig a little more into the legal interpretation mode in this situation.
There is a series of criteria that make it possible to attribute breach in a material sense of one or more clauses of the contract:
- Delinquency: it is the deliberate breach, without more. You do not have to be intent to cause harm or act in bad faith.
- Guilt or Negligence: it happens when the defaulting party has transgressed their behaviour beyond the assumed behaviours in the contract. But this was without intention to perform a breach.
- Strict Liability: this term indicates that the breach is attributable even if there is no fault, as long as there is a relevant connection between the violation and the party.
How to Sue a Breach of Contract?
If you are the affected party in a breach of contract, don’t worry. First of all, you should know that you have two options:
Small Claim Court
This method tries to resolve the conflict in small claim courts within a time limit and limited jurisdiction. Usually, if the claims range from 1,500 to 15,000$, we recommend going to a small claim court.
You do not need any representative here. You will request that they carry out their part agreed in the contract within a set period in this requirement. In this same document, the other party to the contract will be warned that you will have to go to court if they do not comply with the request.
So, either they compensate you with your requested figure or decide to go to court.
The Judicial Route
We can resort to it from the beginning or when you have exhausted the small claim court’s options. When you file the claim, the court must verify that the requirements are met, admit it for processing, and send a copy to the defendant.
In such cases, you will need an attorney to represent you.
A Common Doubt: Can You Claim the Breach of a Verbal Contract?
Yes, you can, although you will have to bear in mind that proving this fact is much more complicated than in the case of a written contract. You should know that the figure of the verbal agreement is entirely legal. Except in some cases, the law requires it to be done only in writing.
Take this into account, you could find yourself with an unpleasant surprise. Because if you can’t prove that your contract was made, it has no validity whatsoever.
Finally, there are some ways to prove that a verbal contract was concluded:
- Witnesses and acts that show the intention of the parties to make the contract effective,
- Facts that show that the contract was made verbally and
- Documents (invoices, notes, letters, emails, etc.).
If you are a victim of a breach of contract, the first thing you need is an experienced figure. A lawyer or attorney specialized in such cases will help you to navigate in the right direction. However, it is always recommended to contact an attorney even before making a contract. This will save a lot of hassles afterward.