In your professional life, you are party to numerous contracts. In some, you are promising some type of performance to another, while in others you are offering compensation for services provided for you. In all cases, there is an expectation that the work agreed to – whether the agreement is written or oral – will be completed by a specific date and to specific criteria. Unfortunately, that does not always happen, and one party is left disappointed, out of the money that they spent, and in some cases suffering economic damages as a result of the non-performance. If that happens to you, you may be eligible to file a breach of contract claim, but it is important that you know exactly how much time the state of Pennsylvania provides for you to do so.
A statute of limitations is a legal principle that defines the amount of time in which a wronged party can file suit. When it comes to breaches of contract in the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is just four years unless both parties have explicitly shortened that time period with their contract.
The clock starts to run on a breach of contract on the date that the contract was breached. This is a very important point, as there can be a considerable difference between when a party fails to deliver on a contract and when the injured party becomes aware of the breach. If you have a contract for work to be completed by a certain date on a property that you own, and you don’t visit that property until six months after that date, your lack of knowledge of the damage that you’ve suffered will not help you — unless the plaintiff is a minor, mentally incompetent, or the defendant has fraudulently and actively concealed the breach, you have lost that six months in terms of the amount of time that you have to file a claim.
The statute of limitations makes it imperative that any party to a contract remains actively engaged in promptly assessing whether the terms of every contract that they’ve signed have been met. If you believe that you have been the victim of a breach of contract, contact our firm today to learn more about your rights and the options available to you.