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What Are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract?

No matter what kind of contract breach you've experienced, you need to be aware of what types of remedies are available to you. In many cases, you might just seek money to make up for what was lost from the broken contract. Common monetary remedies and damages in breach of contract cases might include:

  • Compensatory damages pay money to reimburse costs and compensate for losses.

  • Consequential and incidental damages are generally awarded if everyone involved was aware of potential losses in case of a breach when the contract was signed or accepted.

  • Liquidated damages are agreed damages specified in the contract.

  • Punitive damages, or money given as retribution, are for offensive behavior or actions from the defendant (rare in breach of contract cases).

  • Attorney's fees are recoverable as damages in contract cases when expressly included in the contract or authorized by statute.

 

Sometimes there's more than money involved in breaches of contract. These cases also have common remedies, which include:

  • Specific performance, a court order for each person or business to follow through with the initial agreement, these are rarely, if ever, used with service contracts.

  • Rescission, which is when the contract is canceled, any money returned, and the matter dropped as if it never happened.

  • Reformation, achieved when the contract is re-written to better suit the actual intention of the contract--essentially a do-over.

 

The options for remedies are often included in the contract itself. Before considering legal action in a breach of contract case, it might be wise to carefully review the initial contractual agreement and look for any limitations or requirements to avoid unintentionally waiving contract remedies.

 

Breach of contract disputes are likely among the most common legal suits in today's courts because they can potentially impact any aspect of any small business. No matter whether you're dealing with contract fraud, nonpayment claims or even failure to comply with a non-disclosure agreement, it doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Knowing your rights, options and legal remedies can make dealing with breaches of contracts a little less painful. And remember: it's hard to get what you deserve if you don't create a quality business contract in the first place.