Breach of Contract
Most people will likely sign multiple contracts over the course of their lives. Whether in the form of clicking “I Agree” when signing up for a phone app, filling out mountains of paperwork to buy a house, or retaining a vendor for your business or event, contracts are an integral part of life and transactions.
Unfortunately, contracts do not always go as planned, whether intentionally or unintentionally. When this happens, you may find yourself in a difficult position because you or the other party broke the agreement. Or perhaps you fulfilled your side of the contract but are being accused of failure to do so. In either case, failure to fulfill the obligations of a contract is known as a breach of contract.
The experienced Illinois contract attorneys at Parikh Law Group, LLC understand the stress and challenges broken contracts can cause. We will evaluate your case and determine the best legal strategy for moving forward, so that you can move on with your life. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.
When is a Contract Breached in Illinois?
Some cases of a broken or breached contract are obvious — a wedding photographer not delivering photos, or a manufacturer providing defective products, for example. Other times, the breach may not be obvious until damage to the other party occurs. Regardless of when the breach actually happens, it is important to act quickly, as the sooner you act, the more likely you will be to recover compensation for any damages suffered.
Existence of a Contract
The first requirement for a strong breach of contract case is, put simply, the existence of an enforceable contract. While this may seem a bit basic, not all contracts are enforceable.
To be a legitimate contract, the terms must also be in plain, clear language, and the obligations of all involved parties should be clearly outlined. Those obligations should, of course, be legal. A contract is not enforceable if the terms were over an otherwise illegal act, such as the sale of drugs.
The third trait of a lawful contract is that the obligations must be mutual. This means that all parties must be entering into a mutual exchange of something or some benefit for valuable consideration. In short, it means both parties must be bringing something to the table. These obligations do not necessarily have to be equal, but there must be something of value offered by and to all parties.
Performance of Obligations
The party claiming harm from the breach of contract must show that they performed their obligations as outlined in the contract. Simply put, the person claiming that the contract has been breached must not be in breach of the contract themselves. The non- breaching party must be able to show that they have, in fact, fulfilled their obligations, despite the other party not doing so.
This final requirement for proving a breach of contract is more easily explained – in short, the breach must have done actual harm to the non-breaching party. Often, there are minor breaches of contract that do not cause any true, lasting harm. For example, if you hired a vendor to provide food at an event, and they served blue cupcakes instead of the agreed-upon red cupcakes, this would not necessarily be a material breach.
If the vendor did not show up at all, however, and you were forced to either cancel the event or find a pricey, last-minute substitution, then the harm would be considered material and the situation would meet the minimum requirements to bring a breach of contract lawsuit.
Defending Against a Breach of Contract in Chicago
Due to the worldwide increase in the number of transactions that take place and contracts entered into, you may find yourself the subject of a breach of contract lawsuit at some point even if you believe you performed the obligations of a contract as written. There are, thankfully, a variety of defenses available to defendants named in breach of contract lawsuits, and the skilled Chicago contract lawyers at Parikh Law Group, LLC are well-versed in employing them to protect you from such claims. Common defenses in breach of contract cases include:
- Breaches by both parties
- An illegal or unenforceable contract
- Lack of mutual consideration
- Lack of capacity
- Mutual mistake
This list does not include all possible defenses but does cover some of the more common arguments utilized to protect clients against a breach of contract lawsuit. If you have been sued for breach of contract, our knowledgeable contract attorneys will review your agreement and identify any potential defenses available to you.
Get Help with Breach of Contract Matters Today
A contract breach can result in lost time and money and contribute to significant stress. Consulting with a Chicago breach of contract attorney can help you plan your next steps, work towards protecting your rights and assets, and help you move forward. Call Parikh Law Group, LLC today for a confidential consultation about your case.