In contract law, a breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform their duties as specified in the contract. A contract may be breached by one or all parties and there may be legal consequences for the breaching party.
The two major types of breach of contract are material and non-material breach. A material breach of contract is a major breach which seriously impairs the contract as a whole and which defeats the purpose of the agreement.
In the case of a material breach (which is also sometimes referred to as a “total breach”), the non-breaching party can just cancel its performance, end the agreement and go to court in order to collect damages from the breaching party.
An example of a material breach is when a used car dealer promises you a yellow car but ends up giving you a blue car instead.
Read More About:
In general, a court will look at certain factors to determine if the breach was material such as:
In a material breach, the non-breaching party can:
It’s important for the non-breaching party to check the contract and see if the contract has any steps they should take in the event of a breach. While, in general, they may end their side of the performance or immediately sue the breaching party, many contracts have specific instructions in the event of a breach.
There are defenses that the breaching party can use if the non-breaching party sues. While there are several options, one of the defenses is that the non-breaching party also made an error like delaying the process so the breaching party was put in a difficult position.
Read More About Defenses to Breach of Contract:
If you entered into a contract and one party breached, it is important to figure out if the breach was material or non-material and if so, what types of damages you can recover.
In this context, it is important to consult with a local business attorney who can help recover damages and represent you in court if necessary.
Last Modified: 06-28-2018 02:36 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.