But when assets are at stake, a contract can make or break a company/individual. Contracts exist in almost every facet of life, especially when buying or selling goods or services. In Florida, contracts for a good, such as a boat or a car, may come with obligations not mentioned in the contract. For example, in a contract for the sale of goods, unless the seller makes it clear that the sale is “AS IS,” the seller promises that the goods work as they should and are not broken. When either party to a contract fails to perform his/her obligation, whether express or implied, there may be a legal claim for breach.
Each type of contract has its own unique requirements for claiming breach of contract. Also, there is more to a legal claim of breach of contract than the actual breach of the contract. For example, a breach of contract claim in Florida legally arises when three things occur. First, a contract must exist. Second, a breach of contract must occur. Finally, there must be damages as a result of the breach. Note, the second element, the actual breach by one party, is only one part of the legal claim for breach.
Proving a breach occurred
Each of the three elements mentioned above comes with its own set of sub-elements that must be shown. Under the first element, for example, the contract in question must also be deemed valid by a court. This could depend on the particular set of circumstances around which it was entered. A seemingly valid written contract may be deemed invalid if a court finds there was a lack of consideration—a requirement that has nothing to do with the written document itself.
Under the second element, while it may be clear to you that the contract was breached, it may be unclear to a court as to who breached the contract. For instance, the buyer may accuse a seller of breaching a contract and thus refuse to pay the negotiated price under the contract. In fact, if a court finds that under the circumstances the seller actually did not breach the contract, then the buyer may be the breaching party and owe damages to the seller for his failure to pay.
Under the third element, a court may find that the damages were not the result of the breach itself. For example, suppose a seller fails to deliver goods that the buyer paid for under a contract due to a hurricane. The seller may have the valid excuse that an “Act of God” caused the buyer’s damage.
A business law attorney is best suited to help you understand the contract you’ve entered and whether you or the other party has breached it. Contract law is very complicated. Contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today for an assessment of your contract concerns.