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What is a breach of contract and did I commit one?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2020 | Firm News |

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties. Different jurisdictions set their own rules for what makes a contract binding, but there are some basic components that tend to remain consistent. Note that in some jurisdictions, a contract may also be implied instead of only explicit. 

Bankrate explains that a breach of contract occurs when someone fails to fulfill their end of the agreement. This does not necessarily mean complete failure on either party’s end. Not fulfilling even one agreed-upon term in the contract may constitute a breach. In fact, breaches fall into three main categories. These include anticipatory breach, partial breach and material breach. Here are some contract breach examples: 

  • Failure to pay in time or in full 
  • Providing substandard goods or services 
  • Incomplete work 

Accusations of breached contracts remain one of the most common reasons behind contract disputes. In most jurisdictions, the court tends to uphold that a breach of contract took place if the case meets the following requirements: 

  • The contract’s validity is supported by containing the six indispensable elements, including offer and acceptance. 
  • The defendant must have received notification of the breach. 
  • The defendants must have been shown to breach the contract. 
  • The plaintiff satisfies their requirements in the contract. 

When seeking reparations for a breached contract, one of the most important factors the plaintiff can have on their side is written documentation. This is a lot more difficult for a defendant to dispute than oral or implied contracts. Airtight contracts reviewed by a company’s legal team at the time of drafting them is one way to start off on the right track where this is concerned.