What Is a Breach of Contract Lawsuit?

You’re probably familiar with a contract: two or more parties agree to fulfill certain obligations, in exchange for a benefit. Mortgages and rental agreements are two common contracts. When one party fails to fulfill their end of the deal, they have breached the contract. Breach of contract lawsuits are some of the most common contractual disputes in Austin, TX.

If you’ve suffered from a breach of contract, you can file suit to compel performance or recover damages. Read on for an overview of breach of contract litigation.

Different ways a contract can be breached

There are many ways a contract can be breached. Here are four of the most common ways this might occur:

  • Minor breach: A minor breach occurs when a small part of the contract has not been performed, but the majority of the contract can substantially be performed. This often occurs when small details or typos are wrong, such as dates and other technical errors.
  • Anticipatory breach: An anticipatory breach takes place when one party informs the other that they will not be holding up their end of the deal, essentially repudiating the entire contract. The opposing party can sue to hold them responsible.
  • Major breach: Major breaches occur when it is so substantial that the contract cannot be performed on either side.
  • Fraud or illegality: If the contract was entered into on a fraudulent basis or the terms are illegal or unconscionable, this is considered a breach.

How to sue for breach of contract

If another party has breached your contract, the first thing you’ll need to do is contact an experienced contracts attorney. It is often in your best interest to give the other party a chance to resolve their mistake; if your attorney recommends you do so, notify the other party of the problem and how long you’ll wait for them to remedy it.

Your attorney will also help you review the contract to determine what happens if the contract is breached. For example, many agreements require the parties to engage in mediation or arbitration rather than suing in court. If you are allowed to sue, you’ll need to prove that 1) the contract was valid according to state law, 2) the suing party upheld their end of the bargain while the breaching party did not, 3) the breach amounted to a material violation of the contractual terms and 4) the losses suffered were a direct result of the breach.

If you sue for breach of contract, you may be awarded legal damages or equitable remedies. Legal damages include monetary awards, such as compensatory, nominal or other damages, while equitable remedies include specific performance and other fair ways to solve the contractual issue. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in breach of contract cases—they are designed to punish and deter the defendant.

If you believe you’ve suffered a breach of contract and want to pursue litigation in Austin, TX, Burk Law Firm, P.C. can help. Reach out to us today to arrange a consultation.