Breach of Contract
Contracts are the cornerstone of business. They define your legal obligations and relationships with the people you do business with. If you find yourself embroiled in a contract dispute, it can quickly compromise your ability to do business. For this reason, it is critical that you consult one of our experienced contract attorneys to resolve any contract disputes as quickly as possible and protect the interests of your business.
Contracts are written or spoken promises between two parties, meant to protect each party's interest in a business deal. In a contract, each party promises to pay a certain amount or perform a certain duty. These agreements are usually binding and legally enforceable. If one side does not keep the agreement, the other party can seek legal recourse.
A breach of contract occurs when one party to the contract does not fulfill its obligation. If one party fails to pay an agreed upon amount or fails to perform within a specified time frame, or at all, the other party is entitled to pursue legal remedies for breach of contract.
There are four specific elements that must be present in order to have a breach of contract claim in Illinois: (1) the existence of a valid, enforceable contract, (2) performance by the plaintiff, (3) failure to perform by the defendant (4) injury to the plaintiff. If all of these elements are present, the damaged party may sue for breach of contract and recover damages. Damages awarded should be consistent with what the non-breaching party would have received had the contract been performed. Types of damages include:
- Compensatory damages: The breaching party (defendant) may be ordered to pay a monetary award to the plaintiff to compensate for money lost as a result of the breach of contract.
- Restitution: A court may order the defendant to pay back the amount the aggrieved party initially paid, in order to make the plaintiff "whole" again.
- Specific performance: The breaching party can be forced by the court to deliver the goods or perform the service that the contract specifies.
- Punitive damages: If a breach of contract seems especially egregious, the court may award punitive damages to punish the breaching party.
If you believe that you have been damaged by a breach of contract, your lawyer should check your contract for any instructions that will dictate how you proceed. For example, there may be a clause in your contract that requires you to follow certain protocol--such as mediation or arbitration-- in the event of a breach of contract. Next, your lawyer will let the other party know that there is a breach to give them an opportunity to remedy the situation.
The experienced attorneys at The Collins Law Firm can help you determine if you have a breach of contract case and what legal remedies are available. We know how to draw up favorable contracts for our clients and aggressively pursue those who breach, or attempt to breach, our clients' contracts. We have extensive experience in analyzing contract disputes and the laws governing contractual agreements. We can help you decide whether to resolve a breach of contract through a business solution or by pursuing litigation. It may be that the only remedy is to litigate. In that event, our experienced contract attorneys know the laws, filing procedures and deadlines that will apply. Either way, we have the competence and experience to find a resolution to your contract dispute, without hindering your ability to do business.