Possible Payouts In A Successful Breach Of Contract Claims In California
Contracts are meant to protect you. They're also there to make sure parties fulfill their part in an agreement. So, when it is breached or violated, you can sue and collect damages for them. That said, here's a quick guide to a breach of contract claims, as often handled by our prescreened Burbank Business Lawyers.
What's A Contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties that establishes mutually enforced responsibilities.
A contract is formed, for example, when one person agrees to sell a good to another person, who then agrees to pay for the good. In addition, a contract may require one party to execute an action or offer a service, deliver a good, lease or convey real estate title, or refrain from taking specific acts.
This is why contracts need to be clear about everything—including possible unanticipated circumstances. Additionally, the language and phrasing need to be clear and explicit to avoid later confusion and potential loopholes. That said, contact a Burbank Business Litigation Lawyer in California to help you draft a solid contract.
What Does A "Breach" Mean?
When a contracting party fails to perform their contractual responsibilities, they may be held accountable for a breach of contract damages.
Damages can be calculated in a variety of ways under California law. For example, although a party may seek a court order—often referred to as an injunction—directing a defendant to satisfy the terms of the contract, this remedy usually involves a monetary award to the aggrieved party.
Because most business activities rely on contractual relationships, breach of contract is a common claim in business litigation. For any concerns about a breach of contract claims, contact a prescreened Burbank Business Law Attorney to help you sort things out.
What Can You Get For A Successful Breach Of Contract Claim
The purpose of a breach of contract case is to put a plaintiff in the position they would have been in if the breach had not occurred.
For violation of contract, California recognizes two categories of damages. There are two types of damages for breach of contract claims in California: general and special.
General damages (also known as Direct Damages) are the direct effect of the breach, i.e., they are directly and inevitably from the violation of the contract.
Special damages (also known as "incidental damages") are likewise caused by the violation. Still, they rely on special conditions rather than the natural consequences of any breach of that type.
Expenses incurred by a plaintiff, as well as additional losses sustained after a breach, may be considered special damages. However, special damages can only be recovered if the plaintiff can show that the defendant was aware of the unique circumstances at the time the contract was made.
The payout you'll get for breach of contract claims depends on the evidence you have. So, make sure you work with your Burbank Business Law Attorney on building your case. This is the best way to build a solid claim against another party.
That said, there are other considerations when awarding damages to a plaintiff. Here are other considerations the courts make when deciding your payout:
Liquidated Damages. This is a monetary amount that a party owes to the other in the event of a breach. Unless a party can establish that liquidated damages clauses in contracts are unconscionable, courts will enforce them.
Specific Performance. When monetary damages are insufficient to make a plaintiff whole, a court may impose specific performance. This requires the defendant to fulfill their contractual duties. Because each piece of real estate is regarded as unique, specific performance is a popular remedy in real estate contracts.
Punitive Damages. Unless the breach is connected to an intentional tort, California does not recognize a right to punitive damages for breach of contract.
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