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Understanding your options after a breach of contract

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2024 | Civil Litigation

Contracts are at the heart of many business and personal relationships. But what happens when one party does not hold up their end of the bargain?

Understanding breach of contract helps you address your concerns if it happens to you.

What constitutes a breach of contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform according to the terms of a binding agreement. Common examples include failure to pay, failure to deliver goods or services or performing negligently or defectively.

How do you prove a breach of contract?

Proving a breach of contract starts with documenting the existence of that contract. You will need a signed copy of the contract as the foundation of your case. Identify the specific provision that the party breached in the contract. Specify the exact terms, duties and promises that the other party failed to fulfill in the contract. When you can quote relevant passages in the contract, it strengthens your case.

You should also gather evidence that documents the other party’s failure to fulfill their obligations. This could include payment receipts, communications about missed deadlines or fulfilling responsibilities and images that support your claim.

Pursuing damages for a breach

After a contract breach, the non-breaching party typically has two options. They can sue for specific performance to make the breaching party fulfill their obligation or sue for monetary damages. Damages aim to put the non-breaching party in the position they would have been in with a fulfilled contract. Compensatory damages cover the direct losses from the breach, such as extra costs incurred or profits lost.

When parties commit to contracts, they have an obligation to uphold their end of the deal. If one side breaches, the other may pursue legal action to recover compensatory damages at a minimum. Understanding breach of contract claims is important for anyone entering into business and personal agreements.