The Statute of Limitations for a Breach of Contract in Florida
Sign here. And here. And initial here, here and here. Before you know it, the contract is pulled away from you before you got a chance to read it. Or even if you read the contract in its entirety oftentimes the language is intentionally vague or misleading.
You are entitled to guaranteed delivery of the goods or services you paid for. You are entitled to the complete fulfillment of the contract that you and the other party signed.
What happens when the contract is broken or left unfulfilled?
Jacobs Legal can fight for you when a bank, business or other party is not playing fair. In cases of a breached contract, there are a few principles that you should be aware of. First, what constitutes a breach of contract. Second, how contract interpretation will factor into your claim, and lastly, how the statute of limitations determines the timeliness of a lawsuit.
What is a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract is the failure of one party to perform one or more of the terms in a contract. An unfinished job, delayed or missing payments, failure to deliver the promised goods or services, all can be reasons for filling a suit for breach of contract. Whether the contract was verbal or written, you are guaranteed the fulfillment of all stipulations, no exceptions, unless otherwise noted in the contract.
The main issue that arises with breach of contract lawsuits is that proving the alleged breach is often not as simple as just reading the terms and applying them. For this reason, contract interpretation factors into the lawsuit.
In many cases (and we have been present to more than a few) disputing the contract comes down to interpreting the meaning and implications of a contract. Legalese is not a foreign language, but often times it reads like it might as well be.
In court, the outcome of a case is often centered on the literal and implied interpretation of a contract. This is why it is crucial for you to have a team on your side that knows how to interpret the contract and use the stipulations in your favor. Too many banks and big businesses manipulate contract interpretation to get out of their responsibilities.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed. If you miss that deadline, the lawsuit will most likely be dismissed. You can think of the statute of limitations as a clock that starts counting down from the time a contract is breached.
In Florida, the statute of limitations is five years for most breach of contract lawsuits. However, it’s important to note that for an oral contract it is four years, and for a specific performance breach, it is one year.
Here is a list of the timelines for different statutes of limitations in various civil cases:
- Breach of contract – five years for a written contract, four years for an oral contract, and one year for specific performance
- Libel or slander – two years
- Injury to person – four years
- Injury to personal property – four years
- Fraud – four years
- Professional negligence or malpractice – two years
- Collection of debt on an account – none
If you feel a contract has been breached, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately. The timeline of a lawsuit can be one of the greatest factors in its success.
At Jacobs Legal, we’re here to guard you from the Goliaths of this state. We act as protectors and advocates for our clients and make sure that your receive the fulfillment of your contract. If you have fallen victim to a breach of contract, contact us to schedule a consultation.