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What Happens When Someone Breaches a Contract?

Mar 22, 2010

To determine whether your contract has been breached, you have to understand the basics of a contract. Just because you have a verbal agreement with somebody, doesn’t mean there’s an enforceable contract on the table.

Here’s what you need to know about a contract, which can help you determine whether your contract has been breached:

What is a contract? A contract is an agreement between two parties that can be legally enforced. Each party basically makes a promise to the other to perform a certain job or pay a certain amount of money. You can get legal relief if the other party fails to fulfill his or her promise.

What is the difference between an oral and a written contract? Both contracts are generally legally enforceable, although it’s always a wise decision to write down the terms of the agreement to protect you should a dispute between the two parties arise. Also, in many states, the written contract will take precedence over anything agreed to verbally.

When is a contract breached? Simply put, a breach of contract occurs when either party fails to fulfill the other. A contract can also be breached in the following ways: if one party makes it impossible for the other party to fulfill his or her promise or if one party makes it known that he or she doesn’t intend to perform the duties laid out in the contract.

What kind of damages can I collect for a breach of contract case? There are many, including consequential, punitive, liquidated, and nominal damages. To get consequential damages, a judge can order the breaching party to give back the amount of money the nonbreaching party was out to return him or her to the financial position he or she was in before the agreement was made. For punitive damages, a judge can force the breaching party to pay a certain amount as punishment. For liquidated damages, the breaching party only owes an amount the two parties agreed to when they made the contract. Nominal damages, or a small amount of money, can be collected by the non-breaching party if he or she wins the case but did not lose much financially.

Are there other remedies for a breached contract? Yes, you can sue for specific performance, which means the breaching party would have to fulfill his or her promise or you can sue for rescission, which means to pretend as through the contract never existed. Neither party would have to live up to the promises made in the contract.

Should I contact an attorney if I have a breached contract case? It’s a good idea to consult with an attorney because contract law can be complex, especially since every state has different laws. And the attorney will help you draft a lawsuit using the applicable laws, so your breached contract claim can have a better chance in court.

What can I do in the meantime if the breach of contract has harmed me financially? There’s an easy solution to your financial troubles caused by a breach of contract. You can always seek lawsuit funding. There are several lawsuit funding firms that can give you an advance on your settlement even if your lawsuit is pending. Law Capital is a leader in lawsuit funding. The firm works with a network of funders to offer advances between $500 and more than $1million, depending on the strength of your case. For more information onlawsuit funding and how it can help you, visit Law Capital’s Web site at www.LawCapital.com


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