Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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What is an implied contract?

Most Louisiana contracts are carefully negotiated, which means that the parties involved have a detailed understanding of their obligations and expectations. Failing to abide by the terms of a contract, of course, can lead to a breach of contract and significant harm to the wronged party. This most often involved financial losses which can then be recouped through legal action.

Yet, the truth of the matter is that many contracts are not written. Rather, they are implied. An implied contract, by definition, is neither written nor spoken. Instead, the actions of the party dictate that a contractual relationship can be implied. For example, an implied in-fact contract exists in regular retail commerce. There, without spoken word or written agreement, a customer agrees to exchange money for certain goods. If a customer fails to do so, then he or she is in breach of an implied contract.

An implied contract can also be created by law. This area of the law is more complicated, but an implied-in-law contract is created when a party would otherwise receive an unjust benefit at the expense of another party. An example of this type of contract would be if a doctor renders emergency services to an individual in public. Even though the patient would not have expected or intended to enter into a contract, a lack of implied contract would give him or her benefits at the expense of the doctor. Therefore, legal action could be taken in hopes of obtaining compensation for those services rendered.

Implied contracts, while not as common as explicit contracts in the business world, are just as powerful as those that are spoken or written. So, there can be a lot at stake when implied contracts come into play. Proving the existence of an implied contract can be challenging, though, which is why it may be beneficial to have assistance from a skilled legal professional when addressing this issue.

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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