A contract is vital for any kind of business dealing in North Carolina and across the country. Contracts outline the expectations of each side and set a tone of understanding and agreement from the start of a project or other transaction. When both sides fulfill the terms of the contract, the contract ends. However, if one side fails to live up to the obligations the two sides agreed upon, that party may be in breach of contract. If the matter goes to court, the contract will be evidence of that agreement.
Once a breach of contract claim goes to court, the contract will be a critical piece of evidence. The party filing the claim, the plaintiff, will have to provide evidence that the contract was valid, that it was breached by the other party and that the breach resulted in measurable damages. The other side may claim the contract contained false or misleading statements or errors, or that the plaintiff applied undue pressure or influence to execute the contract, among other defenses.
The outcome of a breach of contract claim
The North Carolina court may have several options if the plaintiff successfully proves breach of contract. The court may order the other party to honor the terms of the contract. The plaintiff may seek damages, for example the amount of money the plaintiff may have lost in business transactions because of the contract breach. In some cases of egregious or intentional contract breaches, the court may award punitive damages as a form of punishment.
Contracts are complex instruments. A breach of contract can be equally complex. Since there are numerous possibilities for defending against a claim of breach of contract, preparation for trial means anticipating these defenses.