Contracts and Contract Disputes
Much of our modern society revolves around contracts. When you buy a car, home or other major purchase, you are entering into a contract with a seller. When you hire a painter or handyman for projects around your house, you are also creating a contract. When you accept a new job and sign an employment agreement, this is also a form of contract. With so much hinging on legal contracts, it's easy to see how a contract dispute could arise and how a qualified Florida attorney could be invaluable in helping to resolve your contract dispute.
It may come as a surprise, but not all contracts need to be in writing in order to be enforceable. In many cases a “handshake deal” where the parties discuss the terms and come to an agreement may be sufficient to create a binding legal contract. Under Florida law, certain types of contracts must be in writing in order to be enforceable. The most common contract required to be written in order to be considered legally binding is a real estate purchase contract or agreement.
Breach of Contract
When one party to a contract does not perform per the agreed upon terms, this is considered a breach of contract. In some cases, it may be clear cut that a contract has been breached, such as when a product that you ordered was not delivered. In other cases, it can be more nuanced, such as when something is not delivered in the time agreed upon, but did eventually arrive. Whether or not a contract was breached can depend on whether one or more of the terms were not satisfied and to what degree.
While it may not seem intuitive, just because one of the parties to a contract has breached, or not fulfilled their end of the agreement, it doesn't mean that the other side will be able to recover any damages. Whether any damages can be recovered can depend on many things such as: actual harm that was suffered by the non-breaching party, whether the party that was harmed mitigated (attempted to lessen or prevent) any damages, and whether the harm that was caused by the breach was substantial or minimal. Additionally, there may be terms within the contract itself that call for a set amount of damages.
Statute of Limitations
An additional consideration in any Florida contract dispute is the statute of limitations. Under Florida law, depending on the type and subject matter of your contract, there may be a time limit in which you are required to submit a claim, notify the contract counterparty or otherwise take action on any claimed breach.
As you can see, the laws regarding contract and contract disputes in Florida can be complex. If you have questions on contract interpretation, or you would like to know whether you have a claim for breach of contract where you may be able to recover damages the Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. may be able to answer your questions. Contact us for a free consultation on your contract dispute issue today.