Do you have a cause of action for beach of contract? Do you need a contract law attorney or business contracts lawyers?
Andrew Douglas, P.A. is a business contract attorney and contract lawyer handling breach of contract actions and all commercial and construction disputes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Contract Law
What is a Breach of Contract? Do I need business contract attorneys?
Most contract breaches are easily identified and require no definition. Simply put, a breach is when a party to a contract does not perform as required by the terms of the contract. However, sometimes you have a breach of contract that is not worth pursuing. You need to determine whether the breach was material and caused damages. A contract law attorney can explain what contract breaches are and if you have case.
When do I need to bring my lawsuit? Statute of Limitations
Generally, in Florida claims based on an oral contract must be brought within 4 years and claims based on a written contract must be brought within 5 years.
What type of Damages for Breach of Contract are Recoverable?
There are specific damages which may be recoverable in an action for breach of contract.
Florida Contract Law on Specific Performance
Specific performance is usually available when the contract involves some kind of unique goods or other unusual benefit to the other party, and ordinary money damages aren’t sufficient. Real estate is often the subject of specific performance because, in most cases, each piece of property is unique. Specific performance may also be applied in the sales of one-of-a-kind items such as antiques or items of special personal value.
Compensatory Damages Under Florida Contract Law
Compensatory damages help compensate you for the economic loss caused by a broken contract.
For example, Mr. Johnson signs a contract agreeing to buy 10 hours of landscaping services from Smith’s Landscaping for $50 an hour. If Mr. Johnson breaks the contract and doesn’t use any of Smith Landscaping’s services, compensatory damages paid to Smith’s Landscaping would be $500, which is the economic loss they suffered. If Smith Landscaping breaks the contract, and Mr. Smith is forced to hire another service for $60 an hour, compensatory damages paid to Mr. Smith would equal $100 ($10 an hour, the difference in price between the original contract and the new contract).
Consequential Damages Under Florida Contract Law
Consequential damages are those caused indirectly by the broken contract.
For example, a retail store buys customized software to run its cash registers and inventory system. One day the system breaks down completely. As a result, the store must close for the day to repair the system. The store’s loss of business for that day is a consequential damage of the broken contract.
Liquidated Damages Under Florida Contract Law
Liquidated damages are damages specified in the contract itself. They may operate as an incentive not to break the contract, but don’t have to be directly related to the actual loss caused by the breaking of the contract.
For example, you want to have your kitchen remodeling job finished in time for your big party, so you include a provision in the contract that says the contractor must pay you $100 per day for every day after the completion date that the job isn’t completed.
Courts don’t like liquidated damages clauses and won’t enforce them if they have the effect of being a punishment.
Punitive damages are damages that punish the wrongdoer in a breach of contract lawsuit. They aren’t based on actual economic loss like compensatory damages, but are designed to make an example out of the party who broke the contract and punish them for their wrongful conduct. You usually can’t recover punitive damages in a contract lawsuit.
Questions for Your Attorney for Breach of Contract Claims
Questions you may have for me are-
- What are my options?
- How much can I recover, or how much am I likely to pay in damages?
- Can we settle this case instead of going to trial?
Each case is different and the answers to these questions will vary depending on the facts of your case. Contact our contract attorney and contract lawyers for answers to your questions on Florida contract law. At Andrew Douglas, P.A. can help you to understand principles of contract law, business contract law, real estate law and real estate contracts, and to answer contract law questions.