Legal remedies refer to the monetary remedies available under the common law or statutory law systems. These remedies are provided by courts to compensate the injured party for a breach of contract or any other legal wrong. Here are some common legal remedies:
Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages are awarded to the injured party to compensate them for the actual loss or harm suffered as a result of the breach of contract. The aim is to put the injured party in the position they would have been in if the breach had not occurred. The calculation of compensatory damages depends on the nature of the harm suffered, such as financial loss, expenses incurred, or loss of profit.
Consequential Damages: Consequential damages, also known as special damages, are intended to compensate the injured party for indirect or special losses that arise as a consequence of the breach. These damages go beyond the direct losses and cover the specific damages that were reasonably foreseeable by the breaching party at the time of entering into the contract.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded to punish the breaching party for their wrongful conduct and to deter similar conduct in the future. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not focused on compensating the injured party but rather on punishing and deterring the breaching party.
Incidental Damages: Incidental damages are the costs incurred by the non-breaching party in an effort to prevent further loss or harm caused by the breach. These damages are directly related to the breach and aim to cover the additional expenses or losses incurred in mitigating the effects of the breach.
Nominal Damages: Nominal damages are awarded when the injured party has suffered a breach but has not incurred any actual or substantial loss. It is a symbolic amount awarded to acknowledge that a breach of rights or a legal wrong has occurred.
Liquidated Damages: Liquidated damages are predetermined amounts specified in the contract itself that will be payable in the event of a breach. The parties agree on these damages at the time of contract formation, often to establish a reasonable estimate of the anticipated damages that would arise from a breach. The enforceability of liquidated damages clauses depends on whether they are a genuine pre-estimate of damages or an unenforceable penalty.
Statutory Damages: In certain cases, statutes may provide for specific damages to be awarded. These damages are predetermined by the statute and are not based on the actual harm suffered by the injured party. Statutory damages are typically set amounts established to enforce particular laws and regulations.
These are some of the common legal remedies available for breach of contract or other legal wrongs. The availability and suitability of these remedies may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction.
You can learn more about this topic and relevant case law with our Contract Law and Equity and Trusts notes.