A contract is a legally binding document. In a contract, each party promises to do or not do something. When there is a valid contract, each party has the legal right to enforce it. If they do not believe that the other party is living up to the terms of the agreement, they can file a breach of contract lawsuit.
Damages in a Breach of Contract Case
You have the right to demand strict compliance with the contract’s exact terms. If the other party has not lived up to their obligation, you may be entitled to damages that include:
- Compensatory damages that pay you back for what you lost because the contract was not performed as you expected.
- Nominal damages, which a party would receive when there was a breach, but the court does not believe they deserve monetary compensation.
- Punitive damages if a party intentionally breached the contract in blatant disregard for your rights.
- Liquidated damages that are spelled out in the contract (that must be reasonable).
- In rare cases, you may even persuade the court to order the other side to perform their end of the deal.
What to Do When a Contract Is Breached?
You must determine how to enforce your contractual rights effectively. You may benefit from trying to resolve the issue with the other party without the need for a lawsuit. When you hire an experienced lawyer, they can communicate with the other party. Your lawyer may help work out a settlement or lay out your position.
Defenses to a Breach of Contract Case
You may have no choice but to take your case to court. The other party may have their defenses that you need to overcome. They may argue the following:
- The language of the contract does not support your position.
- They performed according to the terms of the contract.
- The contract itself was invalid in the first place.
- The terms of the bargain itself were unconscionable.
There are always risks when you file a breach of contract case. The other party may turn around and claim that you were the one who breached the contract, and they may file a counterclaim against you.
How Courts Decide Breach of Contract Cases?
One of the first things the court may do is ascertain what the document says. The breach of contract claim may be a dispute about the contract’s requirements. If there is still no clarity, the court may look to eliminate any ambiguity using principles of contract determination.
The court will look at the facts of the situation and determine whether each party performed in accordance with the terms of the contract. This is a factual analysis based on each side’s proof in court. The judge or jury would quantify the damages if the court finds that one party breached the contract.
How a Commercial Litigation Attorney Can Help You?
An experienced commercial litigation attorney can do the following:
- Review the contract to determine whether there has been a breach.
- Communicate with the other side before litigation.
- Quantify your damages to know how much money to seek.
- Take your case to court for a judge to determine the dispute.
Contact Our New Jersey Commercial Litigation Attorneys at Herold Law, P.A. for Help With a Breach of Contract
Our experienced New Jersey commercial litigation attorneys at Herold Law, P.A. routinely handle high-stakes contract disputes for our clients. Call us at 908-679-5011 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Warren, New Jersey, we serve clients in Somerville, Morristown, and across the state.