In a perfect world, a term such as ‘breach of contract’ wouldn’t exist. People would enter into agreements with each other and would always follow through or emergencies would never come up. Sadly, that isn’t the world we live in. So today, Golo Legal is telling you what you want and need to know about a breach of contract.
What is a Breach of Contract?
When a business contract is created, there are certain obligations that are to be fulfilled by each party that enter into the agreement. When one of the parties fails to fulfill their contractual obligations in one form or another, then they have breached their contract. The breach could be caused by the party not performing on time, not performing at all or not performing in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
What Happens After?
While taking out a lawsuit is always a viable option for settling a breach of contract, there are other ways to go about it. You can try a more informal solution in which the two parties settle the dispute internal and skip the lawyers. However, if you see that you will need some legal help, Golo Legal can be your go-to source for affordable legal representation.
Remedies for a Breach of Contract
If you decide that your best option for dispute resolution is to go to court, there are a three main types of relief that the non-breaching party may be entitled to:
- Specific Performance
- Cancellation and Restitution
The most common relief for a breach of contract is the payment of damages, in one form or another. There are four main types of damages:
- Compensatory Damages – Put the non-breaching party in the position they would be in had the breach not occurred.
- Punitive Damages – Rarely awarded in the business contract setting, these are payments that the breaching party must make that goes beyond full compensation.
- Nominal Damages – Token damages awarded when a breach occurred, but no actual money loss was proven.
- Liquidated Damages – Specific damages that were previously identified in the contract itself and should be a reasonable estimate of actual damages that might come from a breach of contract.
If damages aren’t an adequate relief, then the non-breaching party could seek specific performance, which is the breaching party’s court-ordered performance of duty under the contract. This type of relief may be used if the subject matter of the contract is rare or unique and if damages wouldn’t be sufficient.
Cancellation and Restitution
Finally, the non-breaching party could seek to cancel the contract and sue for restitution if they gave a benefit to the breaching party. Cancelling the contract relieves all parties of any other obligations under the agreement, and restitution puts the non-breaching party back in the position it was in before the breach.
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