What Is the Common Law for Breach of Contract? Find Out Here!

The Common Law for Breach of Contract Simplified

What happens when a contractor refuses to pay a subcontractor or a client fails to process an invoice? They are in breach of contract.

If you are the injured party, you should know the specifics of the common law for breach of contract. In this article, DoNotPay will provide information regarding the common law and explain how to create a professional demand letter to ask for compensation.

What Is the Common Law for Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform their contractual obligations, causing damages to the other party.

Under the common law, if a breach of contract occurs, the injured party has the right to terminate the agreement and sue the breaching party for damages.

In most cases, the non-breaching party must prove they fulfilled their part of the deal. This depends on the type of breach, though. The injured party is automatically excused from their legal obligations if the breach is material.

What Is a Material Breach?

A material or total breach is such a severe violation of contractual terms that it renders the agreement irreparably broken. This type of breach is so severe that it permits the aggrieved party to be excused from their part of the obligations.

How Does the Court Decide Whether a Breach of Contract Occurred?

When determining if a breach of contract occurred, the court inspects the following aspects:

  • How badly is the aggrieved party injured and deprived of the benefit that was reasonably expected
  • To what extent was the injured party compensated for the benefit of which they were deprived
  • What losses and damages did the breach of contract cause
  • To what extent the behavior of the breaching party comports with the standards of good faith and fair dealing
  • What the chances are for the breaching party to rectify the breach

To file a claim and win a case in court, you—the aggrieved party—must prove the following breach of contract elements:

Elements of the BreachDetails
Existence of a valid and enforceable contractA contract exists if it contains:
  1. An offer
  2. Acceptance
  3. Consideration
Plaintiff’s good faith to act under the terms of the agreementAs the plaintiff, you must prove that you performed your contractual obligations or have a valid reason for non-performance (the breach made it impossible)
Breaching party’s failure to performYou must demonstrate that the other party’s failure to perform caused the breach
Damages that the injured party sufferedTo have a valid case, you need to demonstrate the losses and damages you suffered due to the breach

If you cannot demonstrate each of the elements, the defendant can use it as their defense in court.

Liability for Breach of Contract

If they fail to perform their obligations under the mutual agreement, the breaching party has to compensate the injured party for all the losses they suffered.

The non-breaching party can demand the breaching party to rectify the situation and perform their duties within a reasonable period. If the breaching party fails to complete demands within the specified period, the other party is entitled to seek damages or any other possible remedy under applicable laws.

The laws differ from one state to another—consult the following table to learn about breach of contract regulations in:

ColoradoNew YorkIllinois
VirginiaNew JerseyOhio
South CarolinaNorth CarolinaFlorida

Should You Try To Resolve the Dispute Out of Court?

If you want to avoid expensive and lengthy litigation, you should try to resolve the matter with a demand letter before filing a lawsuit. A breach of contract demand letter is a good way to leave written proof that you wanted to resolve the issue (if you decide to take legal action).

In the notice, you should indicate the following:

  • Your request that the other party fulfills their end of the deal
  • A new due date by which they should perform the outlined terms
  • Your intention to file a lawsuit should they fail to deliver

You can create a demand letter yourself by consulting online templates, but you should know that they are generic and will not cover all the necessary points of your request. If you are looking for a more simple and reliable solution, you should subscribe to DoNotPay.

How To Create a Professional Demand Letter With DoNotPay

DoNotPay’s Client Breach of Contract product is not only the most affordable option, but it is also the least time-consuming one. We have a vast database of state laws regarding contracts, and we use it to create fully personalized and legally formatted demand letters in mere minutes.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay and open the Client Breach of Contract product
  2. Provide us with information about your case, such as:
    1. Details about the client
    2. Amount you are owed
    3. Date of the last payment request
  3. Specify the new due date
  4. Upload photo proof if you have any

Once you complete the questionnaire, we will generate your demand letter, which you can download as PDF, print out, and send to your client.

If your client ignores your letter or refuses to fulfill outlined demands by the due date, DoNotPay can help you sue them in small claims court!

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