Common remedies for a breach of contract

Contracts are the backbone of business transactions, governing agreements between parties and ensuring that obligations are fulfilled. However, when one party fails to uphold their end of the bargain, it constitutes a breach of contract. In such cases, the non-breaching party may seek remedies to enforce the contract and recover damages for the breach.

Understanding the available remedies for a breach of contract is essential for protecting your rights and interests in contractual agreements. A Georgia business litigation lawyer from Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC can help you explore how to pursue common remedies for a breach of contract under Georgia law.

What constitutes a breach of contract in Georgia?

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill a material obligation, violating the terms of the agreement. Key elements of a breach of contract claim in Georgia include:

  • Valid contract: A legally enforceable contract must exist, meaning it outlines the essential terms, has an offer and acceptance, and demonstrates that both parties have the legal capacity to enter the agreement.
  • Material breach: The breach must be significant enough to warrant legal action.
  • Damages: The breach must have caused you actual harm, such as financial loss or missed opportunities.

What are common contract law breach of contract remedies?

Common contract law remedies for breach of contract include the following.


Damages are the most common remedy sought for breach of contract. Damages aim to compensate the non-breaching party for the losses suffered from the breach. Several types of damages may be available.

Compensatory damages

Compensatory damages are intended to put the non-breaching party in the position they would’ve been in had the contract been fulfilled. These damages may include reimbursement for financial losses, such as lost profits, costs incurred, or other economic damages directly resulting from the breach.

Consequential damages

Consequential damages, also known as special or indirect damages, are losses that arise from the consequences of the breach but aren’t directly related to the contract itself. These damages may include lost opportunities, reputational harm, or other foreseeable damages resulting from the breach.

Punitive damages

In some instances, a court may award punitive damages to punish a party to litigation and deter similar misconduct in the future. However, punitive damages generally are not allowed in breach of contract cases unless the breach involves a separate intentional tort such as fraud.

Specific performance

In cases where monetary damages are inadequate to remedy the breach, the non-breaching party may seek specific performance. Specific performance is a remedy that requires the breaching party to fulfill their obligations under the contract as agreed. This remedy is typically sought in cases involving unique or irreplaceable goods or services where monetary compensation wouldn’t adequately remedy the harm caused by the breach.


Rescission is a remedy that allows the non-breaching party to cancel or terminate their contract and return to the status quo ante as if the contract had never existed. Rescission may be appropriate in cases where the contract is voidable due to material misrepresentation, mistake, duress, or other grounds that invalidate the agreement. Rescission effectively unwinds the contract and restores the parties to their pre-contractual positions.


Reformation is a remedy that allows the court to rewrite or modify a contract’s terms to reflect the parties’ true intentions. Reformation may be appropriate in cases where the contract contains errors, ambiguities, or omissions that don’t accurately reflect the parties’ agreement. The court may reform the contract to correct these deficiencies and enforce the revised terms.

Liquidated damages

Some contracts include provisions for liquidated damages, which are predetermined damages agreed upon by the parties in case of a breach. Liquidated damages clauses are intended to provide certainty and predictability in the event of a breach. They may be enforceable if they’re reasonable and proportionate to the anticipated harm caused by the breach. However, courts may scrutinize liquidated damages clauses to ensure they aren’t punitive or disproportionate.

How do you choose the right breach of contract remedy?

The most suitable remedy for your breach of contract case depends on the circumstances. Key factors to consider include:

  • The nature of the breach: Was it a material breach that renders the contract’s purpose impossible or a minor breach that can be compensated for financially?
  • The severity of your damages: How much financial loss or other harm have you suffered due to the breach?
  • The practicality of specific performance: Is it still feasible for the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations?
  • The terms of the contract: Does the contract specify any remedies for breach?

Get help from Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC to remedy your breach of contract

Under Georgia law, several common remedies are available for a breach of contract. When faced with a breach, contact our Atlanta office at (404) 891-9150 or the Savannah office at (912) 867-9140 to schedule a consultation with an experienced business litigation attorney. We can assess your rights and options and guide you through seeking an appropriate remedy to protect your interests and enforce your contractual agreements.