Understanding The Elements Of a Breach of Contract Claim: What Do You Need To Prove?

How To Effectively File A Breach Of Contract Claim

Defining a breach of contract might seem simple: two parties have an agreement in which one party fails to fulfill their obligations. But in order to prove breach of contract claims in a court of law, you and your Scottsdale business attorney will need to meet several qualifications. You’ll need to prove that there was a legally enforceable contract, that the other person actually broke the contract, and that you suffered damages.

Understanding The Elements Of a Breach of Contract Claim: What Do You Need To Prove?

Who Bears The Burden Of Proof?

Because contract law is determined in civil court, not criminal court, the elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. A criminal court requires proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” while a civil case only requires proof that your claim is more likely to be true than not true. Simply stated, there must be at least a 51% chance that you are correct.

Still, your evidence must be convincing, truthful, and accurate. The amount of evidence does not necessarily matter; the main question is how convincing all your evidence is, taken together.

What Elements Are Involved In a Breach Of Contract Claim?

In order to prove your case in court, you’ll need to prove four distinct elements. Talk with your Phoenix business lawyer about whether your case is solid and if you have enough evidence to prove these elements:

1. Prove The Existence Of a Contract

First, you must prove that you have a contract. A handshake, an oral agreement, and even a signed piece of paper may not be enough to be considered a legally binding contract. You must prove to the court that your contract is valid and contained an offer, that there was an acceptance of the offer, and that something was given in exchange for accepting the offer.

For example, if you offered to provide a service for $200 and the customer agreed to have you do the work, and you both received benefits – you were to receive a payment and they were to have a service performed. That would be considered an existing contract. Your Avondale business attorney can help determine whether a legally binding contract existed and whether Arizona’s adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) might apply to your contract.

2. Prove That Contractual Obligations Were Performed

In the context of a contract, performance means that the substance of the obligations was performed. You will need to prove that some important element of the contract was not performed–that is, a “material breach.”

Once the substance of the contract has been performed, payment is due as laid out in the contract. If the essence or substance of the contract was not performed as agreed, payment may not be required. If the other party can claim that there is some part of the contract you did not perform, then you may need to prove that there was a legitimate reason why those obligations were not performed.

3. Prove That The Other Party Failed To Fulfill Their Contractual Obligations

You will need to work with your Glendale business attorney to provide evidence that the other party failed to fulfill their contractual obligations. This may be straightforward, such as failure to perform services or failure to provide payment; however, the situation can become much more complicated. For example, if the defendant makes it impossible for you to complete services, you would not be at fault. You have met your contractual obligations when you substantially comply with the contract or try to do so but are prevented by the other party.

4. Prove The Other Party’s Failure To Perform Caused Damages

This may seem simple, because you could simply state that you didn’t receive the service, product, or financial compensation that you were promised.  But unfortunately, this can sometimes be difficult to prove in court, especially if your contract was not well written or is ambiguous. Your contracts should always clearly specify exactly what each party promised to fulfill.

In many situations, whether a breach of contract took place will depend on how well the contract was prepared, which is why it’s helpful to ask your Phoenix business attorney to review your contracts before you enter into any agreements with another party. Additionally, if you win a breach of contract case, you can ask the court to award your attorneys’ fees and the costs related to the lawsuit.

Are You Suffering From Breach Of Contract? Ask a Business Lawyer Today!

If you believe you have been a victim of a breach of contract in Arizona, consult immediately with the experienced attorneys at Denton Peterson Dunn. We will take the time to understand the situation and then discuss your legal options. Don’t delay, because Arizona’s statute of limitations limits the time you have to make a claim against the other party. Let us help you regain your losses from another party’s failure to comply with your contract. Reach out to us today!

Brad Denton, Business Lawyer
 – Denton Peterson Dunn

1930 N Arboleda #200
Mesa, AZ 85213

Office: 480-660-3249
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://arizonabusinesslawyeraz.com

7272 E Indian School Rd #540-132
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Phone: 480-690-3283
Email: [email protected]