If there is a breach of contract and you suffer financial loss because of it, you can obviously claim damages. However, if you do not suffer financial loss, you may be able to claim emotional distress. Breach of contract requires three main elements. They are:
- A valid and enforceable contract. A contract has several key elements like:
- An offer
- A breach must occur. A breach means that something very significant regarding the contract did not happen. Something was not performed by one of the parties. For example, if party A contracts with party B to sell wood. Party A wants to sell party B 100 pounds of wood. Party A delivers the wood, but party B fails or refuses to pay party A for the wood. This is a breach of contract.
- The third and final element of a breach of contract claim is damages. As a result of the breach by the breaching party, the other party suffers some sort of damages. Typically these are monetary damages.
Some common defenses to breach of contract include illegal contracts, formation defenses, fraudulent inducement, and statute of frauds.
- A contract that is for an illegal act is void on its face. This means that you cannot enter into an illegal contract and then have an attorney try to win your case for a breach.
- Formation defenses consider how the contract was formed. Was it verbal or written? Is there any proof that a contract existed even if it is through text messages or email? If there is no proof of a contract, this may make it very difficult for you to pursue a breach of contract claim.
- Fraudulent inducement means that you were not told all of the facts about the contract or you were told false facts of the contract. This can be proven if the contract is in writing, or your opposing party admits to giving false information.
- The statute of frauds requires certain contracts to be in writing. If they are not, then they are going to be unenforceable. These contracts include estate plan contracts, contracts that exceed 5 years, and contracts that exceed $100,000.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have incurred what you consider to be a breach of contract and your breach meets all of the qualifications listed above, you should reach out to an attorney today. Oftentimes the initial consultation is free and the attorney will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay him or her if you lose your case. On the contrary, if you have been sued for breach of contract or are being threatened to be sued for breach of contract, it is also very important that you contact an attorney. Discuss what is going on with your specific situation, and make sure that you have a knowledgeable business contracts lawyer Sacramento, CA trusts looking out for you. They will do their very best to win your case and bring you the justice you deserve.
Thank you to our friend and contributors at Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into contracts.