Yes, you may claim a violation of a verbal contract, regardless of whether or not a handshake agreement was made. If one party accepted your services, you formed an enforceable agreement. Verbal contracts are more difficult to verify. A handshake agreement has no legal importance, but presenting witnesses may help your case.
Verbal contracts in Texas are enforceable and legally binding if they fulfill certain standards, such as accuracy. Some transactions, such as property sales, leases, and drilling for oil and gas commissions, must have a written contract. So, answering can I sue for breach of oral contract, might be tricky without knowledge of your case specifics. Legal assistance can help you understand and exercise your rights.
How Are Verbal Contracts Enforced in Texas?
When there is no formal agreement and a breach of contract occurs, the responsibility for proving and presenting evidence is solely on the party who is filing the lawsuit. The offender is not required to prove their innocence; you must prove their undeniable guilt. Are you confused if your case can be considered a breach of contract?
Here is a checklist of requirements you must meet to prove breach of oral contract:
- A legally enforceable contract exists between you and the defendant
- You performed your obligations as mentioned in the contract
- The other entity couldn’t live up to its end of the bargain
- You suffered damages due to the defendant’s breach of contract
How do You Break a Verbal Contract?
A contract can be canceled or ended if even one party fails to do what they committed. To legally end a written contract, you must send the other party written notice of termination. On the other hand, verbal contracts only need a positive statement from one or both parties.
Contracts are usually canceled in whole or part because of things like disproportionate influence, mistake, misrepresentation, or violation (nonperformance).
Was It a Breach of Contract?
You and your neighbor agreed to buy apples for a predefined amount. You fulfilled your part of the agreement by giving money to your neighbor for the apples you bought. Your neighbor refused to sell you apples but accepted the money. It entitles you to monetary compensation.
If a court finds a breach of contract, the party at fault must pay damages to you. If the transaction is invalidated, your neighbor is obligated to compensate you for your loss of money.
Unless the agreement is required to be in writing under Texas’ Statute of Frauds, a verbal agreement is enforceable under Texas law.
What Makes a Contract Invalid in Texas?
A contract is created in Texas when one party makes an offer for anything of value, and the other party accepts the offer. Courts in Texas examine the history of the parties’ conversations and the context in which they took place when deciding whether an oral contract exists. Adequate consideration is considered when:
- A transaction occurred between the parties (after having negotiated for it)
- The transaction had a legal worth
The agreement must bind both entities to agree upon something otherwise not presented under law.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for an Oral Contract in Texas?
Verbal contracts in Texas are subject to the same limitations as written contracts in Texas. There is a four-year statute of limitations on filing a breach of contract action for both written and oral agreements. But, there may be exceptions to this timeline. Discussing your case with a commercial litigation lawyer can give you a clear answer. We can help you gauge your deadline and take the right steps before it’s too late.
The Statute of Frauds decides the deadline for filing a lawsuit for a verbal contract. It specifies that some transactions can only be made in writing to prevent fraud against the general public. The type of contracts required to be in writing at all times under the Texas Business and Commerce Code are:
- Trust or will
- A contract confirming taking up someone else’s duty
- Marriage, other than the one done under common law
- Sale and contract involving real estate
- Contracts that last longer than a year from the agreement
- Sale of goods with capital greater than $500
- Security sale
- A pledge made by an executor to satisfy his testator’s debt from his inheritance
- A promise to answer for another person’s debt or default
- A contract in which marriage or conjugal cohabitаtiоn is considered
- A contract to pay a commission on selling or acquiring an oil or gas royalty, mining lease, or minerals.
- A contract or guarantee of cure made by a health care practitioner
Will Verbal Agreement Hold Up in Court?
A contract is legally binding if it has all the necessary parts. For a contract to be enforceable under Texas law, the parties must each declare their agreement, providing something of value.
A court will only consider a written contract or a handshake agreement if both parties agree to its terms. For an agreement to be valid, both parties must be able to discuss its terms without fear of coercion freely. It’s as easy as proposing.
A lack of adequate consideration might invalidate an agreement in a court of law. The term “consideration” implies a monetary transaction. It refers to the exchange of value between the parties to a transaction.
Contact Us in Case of Breach of the Verbal Contract
Our commercial litigation attorneys have represented several Fortune 500 corporations. The Buzbee Law Firm has handled several business lawsuits. We hold extensive knowledge in commercial litigation, such as cases involving breach of contract, fraud, conversion, and interference with contract.
We know that disagreements in the law aren’t exclusive to the Lone Star State. We have worked on cases nationwide, not only in Texas, for clients who need help with high-profile, high-stakes matters. If you are still unsure whether or not you can sue for a verbal contract, get legal advice from our attorney today.