Can You Sue For A Ruined Wedding?
Wedding season is coming, which means that wedding-related lawsuits are probably shortly to follow. Weddings are emotional, expensive events, and when something goes wrong and it spoils the day, lawsuits are generally inevitable. If your wedding day is ruined, what does it take to make a successful lawsuit?
Did you sign a contract?
The first question that you have to consider is whether or not your contract gives you the right to do anything about the problem. Does your agreement specifically state what you had expected to happen? Can you use it to illustrate what didn't go according to plan? If you don't have a contract, you may not be totally unable to take the case to court, but you are likely to have a harder time proving the facts.
You're in a far worse situation if the contract nullifies your ability to sue. For example, a woman who sued the popular show "Say Yes To The Dress" for showing her in her bridal gown before her actual wedding day found out that she really had no ability to sue them. Her contract with the show gave them the right to air the show when they pleased.
How much have you lost?
Generally speaking, when a caterer fails to deliver the right food or the photographer doesn't show up, you can sue for the amount of money that you've lost. Depending on the situation, you may be able to sue for some additional money to cover any last minute expenses you incurred to replace the food or get a photographer at the last minute from somewhere else. Unfortunately, you can't sue for pain and suffering in a contract dispute. Despite your distress, you're likely going to be limited to whatever damages you can actually prove.
If the damages are under the amount you can seek in small claims court in your state, you may want to handle the lawsuit yourself. Those types of lawsuits can often be quite successful. For example, a bride whose day was damaged by a broken zipper on her dress was able to recover the cost of her dress (which was destroyed when it was removed), the cost of alterations (which were faulty), plus the money it cost her to pay someone else to sew up the dress at the last minute and the money it cost to keep the minister waiting.
However, if your wedding was a big-ticket affair and there are some unusual ramifications from the failed event, you may be better off seeking the services of a personal injury attorney like Charles Aaron PLC. For example, take the case of the bride whose wedding video was so bad that it actually caused her to experience medical complications. The contract was worth less than $13,000, but the total sum asked in the lawsuit is $122,000.
For more information on how to proceed in a lawsuit over your big day, contact an attorney in your area.