Breach of Contact
Whenever you sign your name or click a box online, you agree that something is true, that you read and understood something, or you agree to pay for, sell, or do something in what may be a legally enforceable contract. There might also be a legal enforceable contract when parties agree to something via email, text message or even orally (though contracts for land generally cannot be oral in Missouri).
When Can You Sue for Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract claim must allege the following four elements:
- There is a legally binding contract between the parties;
- The plaintiff fulfilled its contractual obligations;
- The defendant breached its contractual obligations; and
- The plaintiff suffered losses as a result of the defendant’s breach.
What Type of Damages May You Seek?
When suing for breach of contract, you may ask for compensatory, consequential, incidental, and liquidated damages. Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the breaching party for their behavior, are usually available only for breaches of contract that also involve a tort (a “wrong” personal to that party), such as embezzlement or fraud, unless there is a statute case law indicating otherwise. Here is an explanation of the most common types of damages:
- Compensatory Damages
- Also known as “actual damages,” the purpose of compensatory damages is to compensate the non-breaching party for the direct monetary losses suffered as a result of the breach.
- Consequential Damages
- Also known as “special damages,” consequential damages occur as an indirect but reasonably foreseeable result of the breach (such as loss of profits).
- Incidental Damages
- Incidental damages are expenditures that the non-breaching party incurs when trying to minimize the losses from the breach (such as the cost to buy substitute goods or maintain property).
- Liquidated Damages
- Liquidated damages are agreed-upon amounts that are specified in a contract and often apply when the computation of damages is difficult to calculate.
If you feel that a contract to which you are a party has been breached (whether by you or another individual or company, you should consult with an attorney to determine a proper plan of action. If there is an opportunity to avoid litigation, that is almost always the preferred route, and we understand that litigation can be very costly. We offer a variety of payment plans and help with alternative dispute resolution services in order to help you financially, for those situations where litigation is the best or only option.
Contact us today by clicking here, or by calling us directly at 314.862.2237.