We enter into a number of contracts each and every day. Contracts are made on a regular basis, and it doesn’t need to be written or signed by both parties in order for it to be considered a legal contract.
For example, if you pay for breakfast at McDonalds, the restaurant is required to cook and give you your food, otherwise they are in breach of the contract that is established when you place an order at their restaurant. Similarly, when you pay your mortgage or your credit card bill, you’re holding up your end of the contract. You’re probably involved in a bunch of contracts at the moment, but what happens when you or the other party fails to hold up their end of the bargain? That’s the focus of today’s blog on the basics of breach of contract laws in Illinois.
Types Of Legal Contracts
We rattled off a couple of examples of contracts you may already be involved in, but there are even more types of contract that are subject to breach of contract laws here in Illinois. Some common contracts that end up going before a judge include:
- Business-Employee Contracts
- Real estate/Property transactions
- Rental or lease agreements
- Business-to-business contracts
- Utilities contracts (phone, Internet, cable, etc.)
- Purchase of goods/services
Contract Formation and Breach of Contract
Under Illinois law, a contract is assumed to have been formed when three conditions are met. Those conditions are:
- An offer by one party
- An acceptance by a second party
- A “consideration” that is exchanged (money for goods or services, etc.)
If these conditions are met, it can be assumed that a legal contract has been formed. The contract does not need to be drafted and then signed by both parties in order to be valid, although it’s much easier to prove the other party did not hold up their end of the bargain if you have a written agreement on the exact exchange of considerations. You should also get a receipt or draw up a contract for serious matters.
A contract is said to be breached if one party fails to provide their consideration. If you believe someone has breached a contract with you, you’ll have to prove three factors exist. You need to prove that all three of these factors exist in order to have a valid claim. They are:
- A legal contract exists
- One party failed to live up to their end of the bargain
- One party suffered damages as a result of breached contract
If you believe you can prove all three aspects, you may have a breach on contract case, and you should speak with an attorney. Same goes for if you’re being charged with breach of contract. You’ll want a lawyer who can pick apart those three factors and prove that one or more of them did not exist, whether it’s challenging that no legal contract existed in the first place, or no harm came out of the breached contract. There are a number of ways to pursue and challenge a breach of contract charge in Illinois, and you can trust Appelman & Lloyd with building your breach of contract case.