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What are the Remedies Available for a Contract Breach in Georgia?

When we enter into an agreement, we expect the terms to be completed. However, this is not always the case, leaving contracts unresolved and individuals facing financial difficulties.

Fortunately, several remedies could be available in your case to make things right. Knowing which remedy is right for your situation, though, often requires the experienced guidance of a legal team well-versed in contract disputes. In most cases, we can help you get financial damages to help make you whole, even if the contract is not completed. In other cases, it might be better to have the other party complete the terms of the contract. In fact, it might be best to have the contract undone completely in court. Whichever option you decide, our team will be by your side every step of the way.

For an assessment of your claim with our Georgia breach of contract attorneys, contact Howe & Associates by calling (678) 680-6983.

Can I Get Damages as a Remedy for Breach of Contract in Georgia?

Damages are the most common remedy sought in breach of contract cases. In Georgia, the goal of ordering damages paid is to put the injured party in the position they would have been in had the breach not occurred. Our Georgia breach of contract attorneys can help you determine which types of damages might be available in your case, as several could be claimed. The following are the damages commonly awarded for contract breaches in Georgia:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are the most fundamental form of remedy in breach-of-contract cases. According to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-2, they are intended to cover the direct and immediate costs associated with the breach.

These damages compensate the non-breaching party for the loss directly resulting from the other party’s failure to fulfill their contractual obligations. This could include reimbursement for goods or services that were paid for but not received, costs incurred in finding a replacement for the goods or services that were part of the breached contract, and other direct financial impacts.

Consequential Damages

Consequential damages, also known as incidental damages, extend beyond the immediate impact of the breach to cover losses that were foreseeable at the time the contract was made. These damages account for the ripple effects of the breach, such as lost profits or opportunities that were dependent on the fulfillment of the contract.

The key aspect of consequential damages is their foreseeability, which is the actual damages inflicted as a direct consequence of the breach and must have been within the contemplation of the parties at the time the contract was formed.

Liquidated Damages

The concept of liquidated damages involves a predetermined amount that the parties agree upon at the time of contract formation, which will serve as compensation in the event of a breach. This is particularly useful in situations where it would be difficult to calculate the exact amount of damages after a breach occurs.

However, for a liquidated damages clause to be enforceable, it must represent a fair estimate of the potential loss and cannot serve as a penalty for the breaching party. This ensures that the liquidated damages are a genuine attempt to quantify the foreseeable loss at the time the contract is made.

Attorneys’ Fees and Court Costs

In many breach of contract cases, the prevailing party might seek to recover attorneys’ fees and court costs incurred in litigating the dispute. Once a contract is rescinded because of a breach, the injured party can pursue all damages allowed under the law, including the expenses of litigation. However, the ability to recover these costs often depends on the specific terms of the contract and the laws applicable to the case.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are less common in breach of contract cases because their primary objective is not to compensate the injured party but to punish the breaching party for particularly reprehensible behavior and deter similar conduct in the future.

These damages are considered extraordinary and are reserved for exceptional cases where the breaching party’s conduct goes beyond mere failure to perform contractual obligations. However, punitive damages might be awarded in contract cases where the breach involves actions that are fraudulent, malicious, willfully oppressive, or grossly negligent.

Is Rescission a Remedy for Breach of Contract in Georgia?

Rescission of a contract is fundamentally about undoing or canceling the agreement, thereby releasing all parties from their obligations. Rescission is not merely an act of walking away from a contract but a formal legal process that seeks to restore the parties to their original status as closely as possible.

According to O.C.G.A. § 13-5-7, when rescission is sought, parties should not merely be left in the state that the rescission finds them. Instead, efforts must be made to restore their original status or provide compensation that satisfies the injured party. Essentially, recission undoes the effects of a contract rather than penalize the breaching party.

Further, O.C.G.A. § 13-4-62 states that a party might rescind a contract without the consent of the opposite party on the ground of nonperformance but only when both parties can be returned to their pre-contractual status. This means that mutual reversibility must be a precondition for rescission so that the remedy does not unfairly disadvantage either party.

The process of rescinding a contract typically involves several steps. Initially, the party seeking rescission must effectively communicate their intention to rescind to the other party, usually through a formal notice. This communication is crucial as it marks the initiation of the rescission process.

Subsequently, the parties must take practical steps to reverse the transactions or exchanges that occurred under the contract. This might involve the return of goods, repayment of money, or other actions necessary to restore the parties to their original positions. However, the complexity of this process can vary significantly depending on the nature of the contract and the extent of the parties’ entanglement.

Can Specific Performance Be Ordered as a Remedy for Contract Breach in Georgia?

Specific performance is an equitable remedy that obligates a breaching party to execute their contractual duties as originally agreed upon. As per O.C.G.A. § 23-2-130, the specific performance of a contract will generally be decreed whenever damages recoverable at law would not be an adequate compensation.

The application of specific performance hinges on the principle that certain obligations are so unique that financial compensation alone cannot remedy the breach. Real estate transactions often fall into this category because of the unique nature of the property. As such, specific performance can be particularly relevant in real estate contracts where the benefit of the bargain cannot be fully compensated through monetary damages alone.

Our Georgia Breach of Contract Attorneys Can Help You Get the Remedy You Need

Call Howe & Associates at (678) 680-6983 to get your case reviewed by our Georgia breach of contract lawyers.