What if you or your business entered a contract and the other party did not live up to its end of the bargain? You may consider filing a lawsuit for a breach of contract. While there are several questions to consider (did a valid contract exist, did the contract need to be in writing, did the other party breach the contract’s terms?), you may want to know what damages you can expect to receive if you and your attorney successfully prove your case in court. Here is a summary of the types of damages available in North Carolina in a breach of contract case.
The injured party (the plaintiff) in a breach of contract case is awarded damages which attempt to place the party in the position he or she would have been in if the contract had been performed. The idea here is that the plaintiff should receive “the benefit of the bargain.”
The plaintiff may recover the damages which were foreseeable, at the time the contract was made, as a probable result of the breach of contract. To recover consequential damages, the plaintiff must prove that these damages were in fact caused by the breach of contract, that the amount of the damages can be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty, and that the damages were within the “contemplation of the parties” at the time they formed the contract.
Damages in breach of contract cases may include loss of future profits where the loss is the natural and proximate result of the breach. To recover lost profits, the plaintiff must prove such losses with “reasonable certainty.”
Liquidated damages are a stipulated amount which the parties agreed to in their contract will serve as damages upon a breach of the contract.
Damages for mental anguish are generally not recoverable because the typical contract is commercial in nature.