What Can You Sue For? Basic Contract Damages

If you are suing for a breach of contract you are probably wondering what money can you collect.  You could also be wondering if there is any other relief that you can obtain from the court. Listed below are the basics of what you can sue for in a breach of contract case:

  1. Compensatory Damages.
  2. Consequential Damages;
  3. Liquidated Damages;
  4. Injunctions and other Equitable Relief.


If you can prove your breach of contract claim, then the judge usually awards compensatory damages.  The purpose of compensatory damages it make the plaintiff be in the same place as if the contract had been performed.


If you can prove that the other party knew or could have foreseen when the agreement was made, you can recover consequential damages.

One common issue in a breach of contract case regarding consequential damages is whether you can recover for lost profits.  The general rule is that you can only recover for lost profits if this issue was reasonably foreseeable when you signed the contract and the other party knew of your circumstances or if it is expressly written in the contract. For example, if you plan on opening a restaurant, and the party that you contracted with failed to install a stove, you may be able to recover consequential damages.


When damages will be difficult to assess if a contract is breached, you can agree to a liquidated damages clause in your contract. A liquidated damages clause will state the amount of damages that will be paid if there is a breach.


If monetary damages are insufficient, the judge has the power to order an injunction, attachment, specific performance and rescission.

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