Before a contract is signed, all parties must agree to the terms of the agreement. The contents of the contract will vary depending on the subject matter, but the terms may cover:
- Services to be completed.
- Time limits for performance of contract.
- Specifications of goods to be purchased.
- Rights of the parties.
- Liability limitations.
- Dispute resolution.
When one party fails to adhere to the terms of the contract, it is considered a breach of contract. However, not all breaches are the same. There are four main types of contract breaches:
- Material breach: A significant breach that directly impacts the heart of the agreement. To determine whether a breach is material, the court will look at whether the aggrieved party was deprived of a significant part of the agreement, how much work has been done so far by either party, and whether the breach can be remedied. In the event of a material breach, the aggrieved party may have the right to seek damages from the breaching party or terminate the agreement.
- Minor breach: One party breaches part of the contract but meets other contractual obligations. If there is a minor breach, the non-breaching party can recover damages if they can show that the minor breach caused them financial harm.
- Fundamental breach: One party’s breach prevents the other party from being able to fulfill its obligations. In such cases, the non-breaching party may terminate the contract.
- Anticipatory breach: A breach of contract has not yet occurred, but one party has the reasonable belief that the other party will not be able to fulfill its obligations under the contract. In such cases, the non-breaching party can file a claim for breach of contract.
If a party has breached its contract with you, a contract lawyer in the Tampa area can help you decide what steps to take. Your attorney can evaluate the seriousness of the breach and determine your possible remedies.