attorney reviewing a contract

Damages in a Breach Of Contract Lawsuit

If your business has been harmed because another party breached a contract, you may be able to recover compensation for losses you sustained. The best way to protect your rights is to consult with an accomplished Chicago business litigation attorney. This blog is a brief overview of damages you may be able to recover in a breach of contract lawsuit.

What is a breach of contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party to a contract fails to fulfill its obligations to the other party. Types of breaches include:

  • Minor breach — One party fails to perform a part of the contract but does not breach the agreement in its entirety and the breach may not entitle the injured party to sue for damages or the damages are so minor that a lawsuit is impractical.
  • Material breach — A serious violation that undermines the contract as a whole.
  • Anticipatory breach — One party indicates through words or actions that it will not fulfill its obligations to the other party.

Regardless of the type of breach you are facing, it takes a skilled trial lawyer to protect your interests in and out of the courtroom. While many contract disputes can be resolved through negotiated settlements, you need an attorney who is prepared to litigate to achieve the best possible outcome. 

Recoverable Damages in a Chicago Breach of Contract Lawsuit

No two breach of contract claims are the same, and the damages you can recover depend on a number of factors. A skilled breach of contract lawyer can help you recover several types of damages, including:

  • Compensatory Damages are intended to compensate you for any monetary losses.
  • Restitution is when the breaching party pays you back to restore you to the position you were in before the breach.
  • Liquidated damages are recoverable if the contract includes a provision with a predetermined amount of damages should either party breach the contract.
  • Nominal damages may be issued by the court when a breach has occurred but there has been no financial loss. 
  • Equitable remedies ordered by the court may require specific performance or injunctive relief when money damages are not available.

Finally, it is worth noting that punitive damages are generally not available in a breach of contract lawsuit. However, such damages may be awarded if there are additional claims (e.g. fraud). Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant’s misconduct and deter future wrongdoing.

Why This Matters

Parties that enter into contracts have a right to expect other participants to live up to their end of the deal. When one party fails to fulfill its obligations to the other, it takes a skilled business litigation attorney to successfully prosecute a breach of contract lawsuit.