When one party fails to uphold the terms of a deal, Texas breach of contract laws allow a legal recourse in the form of breach of contract lawyers. In Texas, a breach of contract claim is a legal action. The plaintiff alleging breach of contract must prove all the following factors to win the case: There is a legal oral or written contract. A court may decide that a substantial breach has occurred if a person is denied a specified contract provision. The defendant can argue that the plaintiff actually obtained the contract benefit because of the defendant’s performance, and hence that there was no material breach. He or she also can testify, for example, that no legitimate contract existed or that the contract’s terms were illegal or ambiguous. To determine potential damages, the court will first look at the contract’s provisions. In many cases, a contract will spell out the consequences of breaching the agreement. If the consequence isn’t specified in the contract, the plaintiff may be awarded:
- Specific performance is an order requiring the defendant to fulfill the contract provisions as agreed. This remedy occurs most often in real estate contracts.
- Damages in the amount of money lost because of a contract breach
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs
- Damages specified in the contract often called liquidated damages
- Consequential and incidental damages to compensate for losses that are foreseeable.
- The court cancels the contract, and the parties are no longer obligated to each other, often called recission.
- Restitution is a legal concept in which the parties restore whatever profits they wrongfully made from the contract.
In order for a court to make an award, the plaintiff must establish that a genuine contract existed, that the plaintiff made a good faith effort to execute their agreement, that the defendant breached the contract, and that damages resulted. A skilled contract attorney can represent you whether you have been harmed by a breach of contract or have been accused of one.
Common Defenses for an Alleged Breach of Contract
There are several different defenses to a claimed breach of contract, including:
- No contract existed
- No breach occurred
- The contract was procured by material misrepresentation–someone was persuaded to sign a contract based on false or misleading information. Something important was purposefully hidden, misrepresented, or omitted, causing the contract to be void.
- The contract was signed under duress, such as by blackmail or threat, or where severe pressure or force was used to acquire a signature.
- It is impossible to perform the contract due to uncontrollable conditions. The death of a vital service provider, the loss or destruction of necessary property, or the passage of a law making some contract provisions illegal are all examples.
Generally, if the contract does not provide a limited time to make a breach of contract claims, then those claims must be filed within four years of the breach. Usually, claims filed after the deadline cannot be pursued.
Breach of Contract Lawyers Houston, TX
If you believe that the other party to your contract has broken the contract, you can take some very specific steps to safeguard your interests. Begin by reviewing the contract and its provisions. First, is there a requirement that one party notify the other in the event of a breach? This is a frequent contract clause that states that if no warning is given, the breach may not be considered. Second, should notice be given in writing or orally? Notice provisions are important because a party’s failure to provide sufficient notice to the breaching party can be used as a defense. Is there a cure period, and if so, how long is it? Some contracts provide a period for a party to cure (or “fix”) a breach. If a cure time exists, the breaching party can remedy it before being considered in breach. Do you have a responsibility to mitigate (act to reduce) the damages? Some contracts and laws compel you to make a reasonable effort to mitigate the breach’s damages. In order to protect your rights and yourself you need to ask yourself these questions and may need to speak with a contract attorney.