How Do You Prove Breach of Contract in Texas?
In Texas, understanding the specific elements required to demonstrate a breach of contract is important for both plaintiffs and defendants involved in contractual disputes.
When one party in a contract fails to meet its obligations, it often leads to disputes, financial losses, and legal action. Being able to prove a breach of contract is essential for the non-breaching party to enforce the terms of the agreement and seek remedies for the breach. In Texas, understanding the specific elements required to demonstrate a breach of contract is important for both plaintiffs and defendants involved in contractual disputes. Consulting with an experienced Texas contracts attorney can help you build a strong case proving that a breach occurred so you can recover damages for your losses.
What Constitutes a Valid and Enforceable Contract in Texas?
Texas recognizes both written and oral contracts as legally valid unless the agreement falls into a category that requires a writing under the statute of frauds. These include certain types of agreements related to real estate, loans, and long-term employment. In general, a contract is legally enforceable in Texas if it contains:
- An offer made by one party
- Acceptance of that offer by the other party
- Mutual exchange of valid consideration between both parties
- The legal capacity and authority of both parties to enter into the contract
- Clearly defined terms and obligations for both parties
What Qualifies as a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract occurs when one party involved in a valid and enforceable contract fails to properly fulfill their duties and obligations as stipulated within the agreement. This failure to perform can manifest in a few different ways, such as complete non-performance, incomplete or substandard performance, or deviation from the specific terms outlined in the contract. When a party breaches a contract, the non-breaching party may have legal grounds to seek compensation or other remedies for the losses and damages resulting from the contractual breach.
What Must Be Proven to Establish Breach of Contract?
Under Texas law, a valid claim for breach of contract requires establishing four key elements:
- The existence of a valid and enforceable written or oral contract between the plaintiff and defendant
- Proof that the plaintiff properly performed or tendered performance per the contract or has a valid legal excuse for non-performance
- Evidence showing the defendant failed to meet its contractual obligations and breached the terms
- Demonstration that the plaintiff suffered harm or damages as a direct result of the breach
If the contract is unambiguous in its terms, the interpretation of its meaning is considered a question of law. The court will look at the full context of the agreement to determine the objective intentions of the parties at the time it was made.
What Remedies Are Available for Breach of Contract?
There are several potential remedies that may be awarded if a breach of contract claim is successful:
- Recovery of lawyers' fees, court costs, and other associated expenses
- General monetary damages to compensate for losses directly resulting from the breach
- Special monetary damages for indirect losses tied to the breach
- Equitable relief, such as contract revision, cancellation, or injunctions
- Specific performance, requiring the breaching party to fulfill its obligations
How a Texas Contracts Attorney Can Help
Foster Massengill can examine the contract, determine if it’s valid, and help you build a solid case against the party that did you wrong. Contact us today to speak with our experienced attorney by calling (972) 878-9105 or filling out our online contact form.