Contracts are an integral part of many businesses. Contracts allow business owners, service providers, vendors, consumers, and other parties to work together while protecting their own rights and interests. An experienced attorney should specifically tailor each contract to the situation and agreement at hand, and you should review your contracts with an experienced business lawyer before you sign them.
Entering into a contract may seem like second nature to many company owners, and many agreements go smoothly without issue. However, when someone does not hold up their end of the bargain, your business may suffer losses as a result. In such situations, the law gives you the right to file a legal claim for breach of contract, which allows you to seek damages for the losses resulting from the breach.
You cannot simply march into court and point fingers at the other party and expect to receive compensation. Instead, you must sufficiently prove each element of a breach of contract claim. The best way to know whether you have a valid claim and to present adequate evidence to support that claim is to seek representation from a business litigation law firm.
The basic elements of a breach of contract claim include:
- There is a valid contract. To enforce a contract, you must have a valid agreement. A court may find a contract as a whole or a specific term unenforceable for many reasons, including unconscionability, fraud, violations of public policy, duress, and more. If the court finds the contract or the relevant term invalid, you have no grounds for a breach claim.
- The breach involved a material aspect of the agreement. A party’s relatively minor breach—one that leaves little impact on the overall fulfillment of the agreement—allows little basis for a legal claim, since the losses were minimal. Material breaches will significantly affect your rights under the contract and result in substantial losses.
- You suffered damages as a result of the breach. Damages can come in many forms, including monetary losses, lost business or customers, damage to your company’s reputation, extra costs and expenses, and more. If you do not show actual damages, you likely will not have a valid claim.
- The breach happened in the past four years. Texas law sets out a statute of limitations for breach of contract claims—four years from the date of the breach. If you wait too long, you will lose your right to file a lawsuit and recover damages. This time limit applies even if you discovered the breach at a later date.
Contact a Houston Business Lawyer to Discuss Your Situation
If you believe that someone has breached a contract and you would like to discuss your options, please do not delay in calling The Weisblatt Law Firm. Attorney Andrew Weisblatt advises businesspeople of their rights and helps them pursue the compensation they deserve. There are strict deadlines for this type of claim, so please call (713) 352-0847 or contact us online today.