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What Are the Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim? 

Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C. Oct. 5, 2022

Breach of Contract Papers with Pen and GavelTwo or more parties involved in a business transaction often establish contracts or agreements stating each party's obligations and what is expected. When a party to a legally-binding contract defaults on the contractual terms, the aggrieved party may seek remedy by filing a breach of contract claim. An experienced Pennsylvania business litigation attorney can educate you about the elements of a breach of contract claim. 

At Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C., we're poised and ready to guide and represent individuals and business owners in their breach of contract claims. Our skilled attorney can help review the terms and provisions of the contract, determine whether you have a case, and help pursue your rightful legal remedy. We're proud to serve clients across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and Delaware County. 

What Is Breach of Contract? 

In a perfect business world, the parties or entities to a valid agreement are expected to fulfill their part of the contract. A breach of contract occurs when a party to a legally-binding contract breaks the terms or provisions of the agreement or fails to fulfill their expected contractual obligations. 

Types of Breaches 

Here are the various kinds of breaches of contract in Pennsylvania: 

Material Breach  

A material breach of contract occurs when one party to the agreement deliberately fails to carry out its contractual obligations. Such a failure to act may defeat the aim of the contract or make the agreement irreparably damaged. In a material breach, the affected party will not receive any benefit or a different result than initially anticipated. 

Partial or Minor Breach  

A partial or minor breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill some part of their contractual obligations. In a minor breach, the affected party only receives some contract deliverables. 

Anticipatory Breach  

An anticipatory breach involves a situation whereby one party to the contract has already indicated their intention not to fulfill their contractual obligations. The potential breaching party may be held accountable even when the breach hasn't happened. 

Actual Breach  

An actual breach of contract is a breach that has already happened. In an actual breach, the delinquent party has incorrectly performed, partly executed, or completely refused to carry out their contractual obligations. 

If you're anticipating a breach of contract or if you believe the contract has already been breached, you need to reach out to a reliable business litigation attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can evaluate your case's facts, identify the type of breach, and determine how to proceed with your breach of contract claim. 

Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim 

To prove a breach of contract claim in Pennsylvania, the claimant must show the following elements: 

The Existence of a Contract – There was a valid or legally-binding contract, including the essential terms. 

Performance – You (the plaintiff) performed your expected duties, obligations, or part of the agreement. 

The Defendant's Breach – The defendant breached or failed to perform their expected duties or part of the agreement. 

Damages – You suffered actual damages or harm due to the breach of contract by the defendant. 

An experienced Pennsylvania contract dispute attorney can represent you diligently in your case, help establish that there was a breach of contract, and take proper legal action against the non-compliant party. 

Understanding Anticipatory Repudiation 

Anticipatory repudiation occurs when one party to a valid agreement shows that they have a clear intention to breach the contract. This may be accompanied by the person's refusal to carry out their expected duties and obligations as indicated in the contract. 

Furthermore, the potentially defaulting party may express their refusal through: 

  • A clear statement of refusal 

  • An action or statement which clearly implies refusal 

In case of an anticipatory repudiation, the affected party is within their rights to file a breach of contract claim or lawsuit against the other party. A dependable business litigation attorney can help file your breach of contract claim and attempt to settle the contract dispute or pursue your deserved compensation. 

Reach Out to Skilled Business Advocacy  

Resolving contract disputes in Pennsylvania often involves interacting with the details of the agreement and the parties or entities involved. At Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C., we are dedicated to guiding clients through the complexities of settling breach of contract cases. As your legal counsel, we can evaluate all of the details of your case and review the contractual information and obligations. 

Whether you're trying to file a breach of contract lawsuit or get out of a contract, our trusted attorney can decide the best approach to pursue your case and help you navigate crucial decisions. We will fight diligently to protect your best interests and help you pursue the available legal recourse for any damages suffered due to the breach of contract. 

Contact Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C. today to schedule a simple case assessment with a reliable contract disputes attorney. We can offer you the personalized legal guidance, assistance, and detailed representation you need in your case. Our firm proudly serves clients across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and Delaware County.