A breach of contract occurs when one or more parties do not honor their part of the agreement. If you were involved in some type of contract and that contract was breached, you may have a valid legal claim. The West Virginia contract attorney at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law have helped many residents of these two states settle contract disputes, and we can help you, too.
Contract disputes can get complicated; however, it is important to remember that not all breaches of contract are “contract killers.” Whether a contract breach is “material” or “immaterial” is very important in determining the severity of the breach. The two types of breach are explained below:
- Material breach: This type gives rise to a cause of action in court and is very serious. The injured party can seek monetary damages. An example of a material breach of contract is a singer not showing up for a performance.
- Immaterial breach: This type is more trivial and is not a “contract killer.” An example of this type would be your HVAC guy coming to your house for scheduled maintenance on a day different than what was originally scheduled. No one is financially hurt in this type of breach.
Types of Damages in Contract Disputes
Depending on the specifics of your dispute, you may be entitled to one or more of the following damages:
- Compensatory damages help compensate you for the economic loss caused by the breach of contract.
- Consequential damages are those caused indirectly by the breach of contract. An example of consequential damages would be a store buying a new software system to run its finances. If the system breaks down and the store has to close while it is being repaired, the loss of sales while the new system is being fixed would be consequential damages.
- Liquidated damages are damages that are clearly specified in the contract itself. For instance, a contract may stipulate that for every day a construction job is not finished, a $100.00 fee will be assessed.
- Punitive damages punish the wrongdoer in contract breach case. This type does not apply to all cases.