As a general rule, awards are not granted in contract law. When parties enter into a contract, they do so with the understanding that they will be bound by the terms of the contract. However, there are occasions when one party may breach the terms of the contract, which can lead to legal action. In such cases, the aggrieved party may seek damages instead of an award.
In contract law, damages are monetary compensation awarded to the injured party to cover the losses they suffered as a result of the breach of contract. They are designed to put the injured party in the position they would have been in had the contract been fulfilled. Damages can be either liquidated or unliquidated.
Liquidated damages are specified in the contract and are calculated based on a predetermined formula. For example, a construction contract may specify that if the contractor fails to complete the work on time, they will be liable to pay a certain amount per day of delay. In such cases, the damages are predetermined and do not require further proof of the actual loss suffered by the injured party.
On the other hand, unliquidated damages are not specified in the contract and are determined by the court based on the actual loss suffered by the injured party. The injured party will need to prove the extent of their loss to the court, and the court will then determine the appropriate amount of damages.
While damages are the most common form of compensation awarded in contract law, there are some situations where awards can be granted. For example, in cases of specific performance, the court may order the breaching party to perform their contractual obligations as agreed. This is typically only ordered in cases where monetary damages are insufficient to remedy the situation.
Additionally, in some cases, the court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the offending party for their conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
In conclusion, while awards are not the norm in contract law, parties should still enter into contracts with the understanding that they will be held to the terms of the agreement. If a breach does occur, damages are typically the most common form of compensation. However, in some cases, awards such as specific performance or punitive damages may be granted by the court. A skilled attorney can help parties navigate the complexities of contract law and ensure that their rights are protected.