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What Is a Contract Violation?

A contract violation may occur when one of the terms listed in the contract is broken or disregarded.  This is generally termed a “breach of contract”, and can include many different types of violations.  Generally speaking, once a contract is signed, the parties then become under obligation to keep their part of the bargain.  Failure to do so can result in legal consequences. 

A contract violation or breach of contract can occur when one party fails to perform an obligation owed to the other party in accordance to the terms of the contract previously agreed upon. This can be something like failing to perform on time or failing to perform on a promise that they previously agreed upon.

What are Some Examples of Contract Violations?

There can be many, many different ways in which a contract term can be violated.  Some common examples of contract violations include:

  • Failure by the buyer to provide the money for the purchase (i.e., “non-payment”)
  • Failure by the seller to provide the product or services after it was paid for (i.e., non-transfer of the goods/services)
  • Providing less money than was agreed upon in the contract
  • Providing a different product, or a product o inferior quality
  • Entering into a contract with another party, especially if the parties have signed a non-compete clause
  • Illegal termination of the contract relationship
  • Breaching a fundamental term of the contract
  • Failing to pay or failing to deliver on time

There can be many other different contract violations, depending on the nature of the contract and the contract terms involved.  Some violations can happen over a longer period of time (such as when a renewable contract suddenly gets terminated after several years). 

What Remedies are Available for a Contract Violation?

When there is a contract violation or breach, the non-breaching party of the contract can either have the terms of the contract enforced or may try to recover for any financial harm that the violation caused. If the violation was very severe, the other party can recover for damages and also terminate the contract in its entirety. When this occurs, the non-breaching party does not need to perform any obligation promised under the contract and can recover for their losses in damages. There are two basic types of remedies for a contact violation:

  • Damages- this is a monetary amount issued from the breaching party to the non-breaching party, in order to help account for lost profits and other costs
  • Equitable remedies- this is an order from the court requiring the breaching party to take actions, such as rendering payment, delivering a product, or performing a certain contract duty

Usually, a party can only receive either damages or an equitable remedy for a contract violation, not both.  In some instances, the court may allow the parties to re-write or edit the contract so that it reflects changes in the parties’ circumstances.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Dealing With a Contract Violation?

Contract violations can cost a lot in terms of lost profits and other expenses.  You may wish to hire a qualified business lawyer in your area if you need help with contract violation issues.  Your attorney can help you file your claim, and can represent you in court during the lawsuit proceedings. 

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 04-13-2018 12:32 AM PDT

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