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Elements to Establish a Breach of Contract Claim

When a contractual party breaches a contract, the other party must present evidence to prove several elements before a claim can be established. The elements of a claim are different facts that must be shown before a party can be held to be liable to pay damages. When a material breach occurs, a claim might help the non-breaching party recover damages for the losses incurred as a result. Other options to resolve a breach might also be available.

What Is a Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract refers to circumstances under which a contracting party fails to perform its duties under a contract. A breach can be minor or major. A minor breach of contract can frequently be resolved between the parties outside of the litigation process with help from a breach of contract attorney so both parties can continue performing under the contract. However, a major or material breach of contract is one that is so severe that it is impossible for the parties to perform under the contract. When a material contract breach occurs, the non-breaching party may want to file a lawsuit to recover damages.

What Are the Elements for a Breach of Contract Cause of Action?

In Nevada, several elements must be established before a party can prevail on a breach of contract claim. Evidence must be shown to prove all of the following elements:

  • The existence of an enforceable contract (offer, acceptance, and consideration);
  • Plaintiff’s performance under the contract; 
  • Defendant’s unjustified or unexcused failure to perform under the contract (breach of the contract); and 
  • Damages resulting from the breach

A plaintiff is generally required to show that he or she fully performed his or her contractual duties in order to recover damages. However, there are certain situations when a plaintiff’s performance will be excused, including when the performance was contingent on something happening that did not.

If a plaintiff cannot prove one of the elements, damages will not be recoverable under a breach of contract cause of action.  It will be either a judge or jury that will determine whether the elements have been met and how much in damages should be awarded. 

Many causes of action for breach of contract will seek monetary damages.  However, there are instances where the non-breaching party wants specific performance under the contract and therefore, will ask a Court for equitable relief.  In a Court of equity, a Judge will decide and a jury will not be involved.  

If you are dealing with a breach of contract dispute, it is wise to retain an attorney because there can be many legal issues involved, including contract interpretation and potential legal defenses.

Interesting legal fact: If a contract term is ambiguous, the Court may construe it against the drafter of the contract.

What Our Clients Say

My family and I are thankful to Maddox, Segerblom and Canepa for their assistance during a three year case regarding construction defects to our home. We are truly appreciative of their knowledge, determination and assistance during this process. They were always courteous, and available to answer any and all of our concerns and questions. Thank you for the wonderful resolution. Many thanks to you and your staff.

Frances Castelli

We used Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa to represent us in a legal suit re problems in construction on new properties that we purchased from a developer.

We were very pleased with the representation provided by this law firm. They were fully communicative, responsive to our questions and were very knowledgeable about the issues that required resolution. Even after we reached a resolution, they have been responsive in making sure to point us in the right direction for help with repairs that are required.

We would recommend them to others with similar issues that require legal help.

Atam & Margo Lalchandani

Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa did a FANTASTIC job in our construction defects case. I interacted with several people from their office throughout our 2 year litigation. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always prompt about getting back to you when you have questions/comments/concerns. I especially enjoyed working with Darcy, Ardea, Eva, and Sandra. Being part of a lawsuit is no fun for anyone, but if you have to be a part of one, I can’t say enough positive things about this firm!

Victoria Fox

The law firm of Maddox, Segerblom, and Canepa were amazing to work with. They were thorough and always available for any questions we had. We worked a lot with Sandy who was always professional, friendly, always on time for appointments and just a great person to represent this firm. We have never been involved in a law suit before and they made it comfortable for us. We appreciate the hard work the lawyers and people who work for the firm did and would recommend them.

Becky Loudenburg
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