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Damages in a Contract Case

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What Are Contract Damages?

Contract damages awards are legal remedies that are issued in some contract lawsuits. In some contract cases, a non-breaching party may have experienced serious financial or economic loss due to the breach of the other party.

For instance, the parties may have contracted to for the sale and delivery of clothes. If the clothes were sold but never delivered, this could result in losses for the buying party. Damages may be awarded to help the non-breaching party recover their losses. Contract damages are often contrasted with other remedies, such as equitable remedies, which are based more on actions of the parties rather than monetary compensation.

What Are Some Common Damages in a Contract Case?

Damages can be categorized into different categories based on their purpose and function. Some common damages in a contract case include:

  • Compensatory Damages: These are damages that are designed to cover the losses directly caused by a breach.
  • Expectation Damages: These are a specific type of compensatory damages, which cover the amounts that a party originally stood to gain from the written contract.
  • Consequential Damages: These are another type of compensatory damages and cover losses that flow directly from the breach itself.
  • Nominal Damages: This is a type of damages award issued for losses that are difficult to calculate or for injuries where the plaintiff doesn’t actually incur financial loss.

Various other types of damages can be issued in contracts cases. For instance, punitive damages can be issued in cases where the defendant acted intentionally or where fraud was involved. Punitive damages are somewhat rare; instead, the damages award usually focuses more on the compensation aspects.

What Is Need to Prove Damages?

This largely depends on the types of damages being awarded. For compensatory damages, the damages need to be calculated with a reasonable degree of certainty. Also, in some cases, the damages are calculated according to market values at the time of the breach. For other types of damages such as punitive damages, proof of tort liability may also be required.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Help with Contract Damages?

Contract damages can often be complex, and will different from case to case. You may wish to hire a qualified contracts lawyer in your area if you need help with a contracts claim. Your lawyer can help explain which types of contracts remedies are available, and can also advise you on how to present your case. Also, your lawyer will be able to provide you with representation during the actual court meetings.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-07-2018 12:21 AM PDT

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