As a Houston, TX business litigation attorney, it’s important for my clients to know the types of damages to which they may be entitled in a business litigation suit before we file the action. Whenever a Texas court hears a contract dispute case or other type of civil action, it must consider how the damages fit into each category. The following is a list of some of the more common types of damages that are awarded by Texas courts and juries.
Basic Benefit of the Bargain Damages – These are the amount of damages that it would take to place the plaintiff in just as good a position as if the defendant had performed on the contract as specified.
Lost Profits – These refer to lost net profits. Expenses must be deducted from revenues. Coming up a precise number is always a challenge, but skilled attorneys and experts can help with this process.
Restitution – These damages are intended to put the plaintiff in just as good of a position as if they had not entered the contract with the defendant. This is different from Basic Benefit Bargaining Damages, which seek to put the plaintiff in as good a position as if they had performed on the contract.
Post-Judgment Interest – One of the two types of interest that are available under TX tort law, a plaintiff’s attorney can file for post-judgment interest after a successful judgment is obtained. The interest is calculated using a rate established by the state. In breach of contract cases, the calculations may depend upon whether or not the contract specified an interest rate for breach.
Pre-Judgment Interest – This is available when the contract specifies that interest will be paid in the event of a breach. If the specific rate is established in the contract, that’s what the courts will award. Otherwise it will defer to the state-established rate for this type of damages.
Loss of Good Will – Naturally this is a difficult amount for attorneys and the courts to quantify. However, the Texas courts calculate goodwill as the amount by which net earnings of a business exceed those of similar businesses.
Loss of Use – Damages that result from the inability to use an item of property for a specific period of time. Damages of this category are not available if the loss is total.
Loss of Credit Reputation – If the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant’s actions resulted in a reduction in credit rating or caused an inability to acquire or maintain credit, they may receive damages in this category.
Attorneys Fees – The State of Texas allows successful litigants to recover their lawyer’s fees from the other party in breach of contract cases and other statutory claims. Attorney’s fees are not awarded in personal injury cases.
Certain types of damages that are found in other areas of the law are not permitted for the litigation of contract breaches in TX. These include mental anguish and punitive damages—even if the defendant’s actions were intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent.
Whether your contract was breached by another party, or you’ve been accused of a breach, you need legal advice. Retain the services of a Texas business litigation attorney to discuss breach of contract and other business tort remedies today.