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Know contract terms so you are aware of how breaches are handled

Breach of contract is a serious legal matter because contracts are meant to be followed. When one party doesn't follow it, the other party can suffer damages. The goal of the legal action after the breach is to help the party recover what they lost because of the issue.

One of the first things to do is to check the contract to see what actions are possible. Sometimes, you are limited to alternative dispute methods to resolve the matter. This means that you might have to use mediation or arbitration to handle it.

When you are taking action for breach of contract, you must determine what types of damages to seek. This varies greatly according to the situation and how the matter affected you. Each consideration can result in a different type of damage, so be sure to consider the entire situation.

There are four primary types of damages that you can seek — nominal, punitive, compensatory, and liquidated. Each serves a different purpose and is meant to help the filer recover their losses.

Breach of contract occurs in various industries. In construction, it might mean that a contractor didn't complete a job as agreed. It can be due to a financial advisor not complying with their agreed-upon duties. Businesses and individuals who signed non-competes and nondisclosures can also face this situation.

It is best to understand what you are expected to do, what you can expect from the other party and what happens if the contract is violated. Never sign until you have that understanding so that you aren't left wondering what should happen next.

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