Contract Breach

What does Contract Breach mean?

A variety of issues can arise which make it impossible for one party to fulfill their contractual obligations they have made to another party. If this occurs, assuming there was a valid contract, it gives rise to the legal concept of breach of contract. 

Breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform some action in accordance with the terms of a written, oral, or implied contract. If a breach of contract occurs under current law the offended party may wish to recover damages or monies lost due to the breach.

How do I recover damages after a breach of contract?

Parties injured from a breach of contract have several remedies. First, they may contact the offending party and negotiate a settlement. Next, they may seek to file an injury claim in court. Small claims may be resolved in small claims court (e.g., landlords may take tenants to court to recover rent in arrears).

If the breach caused a substantial loss a lawsuit for breach of contract can be filed against the offending party. Out of court alternative dispute resolution strategies may also be available, including mediation or arbitration.

Compensation for Breach of Contract

Injured parties who prove their breach of contract case can be compensated through three methods: cancellation and restitution, damages, or specific performance.

Damages can include monetary compensation such as compensatory damages, punitive damages, nominal damages, or liquidated damages. 

Specific performance allows the court to order the offending party to perform the duty that was outlined under the contract. The court generally orders specific performance if they conclude that monetary compensation is insufficient to restore the position of the offended party.

Finally, in some cases, the offending party is allowed to cancel the contract and is given monies to restore them to the position they had prior to the contract

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