Contracts are a critical part of any business. But what happens if another party doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain?
A breach of contract can be devastating for your business, but you do have options for relief under Florida law. Keep reading to learn more about what remedies for breach of contract may be available to you and how to pursue them.
Was There A Breach of Contract?
Before we get into remedies for breach of contract in Florida, the first step is to understand how Florida law handles breach of contract claims. In order to seek remedies for breach of contract, you must first prove that a breach of contract occurred. There are several elements that have to be proven to determine whether there is a legitimate breach of contract claim.
The first step is proving that the contract in place was valid and legally binding between the parties. Then, you must prove that you incurred damages from the breach of contract.
A judge or jury will decide whether a breach of contract occurred before awarding damages. If you successfully prove you incurred damages as a result of the breach of contract, you can seek legal remedies with the help of your business attorney.
Damages are one of the most commonly awarded remedies for breach of contract in Florida. There are several different types of damages that can be awarded in breach of contract cases.
If win your breach of contract lawsuit, you may be awarded general or compensatory damages or special damages.
General damages, also called compensatory damages are intended to compensate an injured party by putting them into the same position they would have been in if the contract had not been breached. Common examples of general damages include the cost of lost goods, services, or payments that would have been received if the contract was fulfilled.
Sometimes, injured parties suffer indirect losses from a breach of contract. While these cases are rare, the injured party may be awarded special damages if this occurs. Examples of special damages include loss of profit and the increased cost of replacement goods.
Injured parties may also be awarded liquidated damages. These are damages that have been specified in the contract to be paid if a breach does occur. When damages are awarded in breach of contract cases, the injured party must do everything they can to mitigate their damages.
In cases involving fraud or egregious conduct, the court may award punitive damages. These are intended to punish the breaching party and discourage others from taking similar actions.
Sometimes, the best legal remedy for breach of contract is for the breaching party to be required to perform its obligations per the contract. This is called specific performance.
Specific performance is considered an equitable remedy. It’s often difficult to win in court. But, when a court orders specific performance of a contract, both parties will be required to uphold the agreement.
Specific performance is different than awarding compensatory damages. In cases where specific performance is ordered, awarding compensatory damages would not be sufficient to compensate the party that was injured.
When you pursue a claim for breach of contract, it’s important to think strategically. Sometimes, a refund is not enough. You should take into consideration the value of the executed contract and why it was not fulfilled in the first place.
In some cases, the breaching party may not be physically capable of fulfilling the contract, so specific performance would not be a practical legal remedy. This is why it’s so important to be represented by an attorney who knows business law in Florida and can help you create the best legal strategy.
Contract rescission is an equitable remedy for breach of contract that allows a party to cancel the legal contract. Under Florida law, rescission may be ordered by the court in cases where there are no other available legal remedies. The contract can be canceled by one of both parties.
In some cases, the parties will agree to rescind the contact. In other cases, the party that incurs the material breach of contract will unilaterally cancel the legal agreement.
When the court orders a contract recission, both parties are relieved from all contractual obligations. A recession is often ordered in cases of breach of contract that involve fraud. Courts can also order the rescission of a contract if it’s in the best interest of the public.
Put simply, restitution is when an injured party is refunded following a breach of contract. Restitution is usually ordered by the courts in cases where contracts are either impracticable or unenforceable.
It’s important to note that compensation and restitution are not the same things.
Generally, compensation is calculated based on the injured party’s losses from the breach of contract. With restitution, damages are calculated based on how much the breaching party gained from the breach of contract.
Are You Seeking Remedies for Breach of Contract?
If you’re involved in a contract gone wrong, you may be entitled to one of these remedies for breach of contract.
To pursue a breach of contract claim in court under Florida law, you need an expert business litigation attorney on your side. Our business attorneys have the skills and knowledge needed to get you the compensation you deserve.
Click here to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to learn more about what legal remedies you may qualify for.