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4 essential elements of a breach of contract

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Business Litigation |

Perhaps you are a business owner considering a claim of breach of contract against another entity that failed to deliver on an agreement. Or maybe your company is facing a breach of contract claim.

No matter which side of a breach of contract dispute you fall on, there are four main elements in every claim for breach of contract.

1. The existence of a valid contract

The first step in a breach of contract claim is to prove that valid a contract to do or not do a specific thing exists between two parties or entities. The contract must be voluntary and lawful. Unless statutes dictate that they be in writing, contracts may be oral agreements.

2. The performance of the plaintiff

The next element in a breach of contract claim falls to the plaintiff. The person or entity making the breach of contract claim must have held up their end of the agreement and met all obligations the contract required of them. If someone or something prevented the plaintiff from performing, they must explain their reason for non-performance in their claim.

3. A breach of contract by the defendant

The third element concerns the actions of the defendant. A breach occurs when the defendant fails to perform the obligations of a contract. The breach may happen due to failure to act, negligent performance or intentional acts.

4. Damages suffered by the plaintiff

The final element required to claim breach of contract is for damages to occur. The defendant’s actions or inaction must have caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries or damages. If the defendant is at fault, the plaintiff may recover compensatory damages.

If you or your company is facing a breach of contract claim, there are defenses available to pursue under California law.


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