How to Sue a Wedding Photographer

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How to Sue a Wedding Photographer

If you are unsatisfied with your wedding photography experiences or results, then you may have a potential lawsuit against your photographer. Common issues include:

What Can I a Wedding Photographer Sue For?

The best theory to sue your wedding photographer on is a "breach of contract" theory. A breach of contract can occur if your photographer did not perform the terms of the contract that were agreed upon. If you are successful in your claim for breach of contract, you may be able to avoid paying your photographer or you may be able to get your money back.

Other theories you can sue your photographer on may include misrepresentation and fraud.

Potential Exception to Your Claim

For instances of acts of God, you may not have a successful claim against your photographer. An "act of God" is a natural disaster beyond anyone’s control.

For example, if your photographer is snowed in and cannot reasonably travel to your wedding, then you cannot sue him for damages that resulted in not having any pictures of your wedding day. But if a small fire in your photographer’s studio destroyed some of your pictures, then you may be able to recover partial damages.

What Do I Need to Prove?

To be successful, you need to prove 1) that there was a contract (written or oral) between you and your photographer, 2) that the contract was breached by the photographer, and 3) that damages resulted from the breach of contract. If you have the written contract, then the terms of the contract will govern, such as the number of photographs you get and the rights to the negatives.

In general, you want to build up your case with evidence. Any witnesses, original photographs, and communication records (i.e. telephone calls and emails) with your photographer will be useful.

Statute of Limitations

Depending on the state you live in and the type of claims you want to bring, you only have a certain amount of time to file suit. In general, you will have at least one year to bring suit against your photographer.

Consulting an Attorney

A contracts lawyer may be able to help you assess your damages and determine whether you can bring a legal claim against your wedding photographer. If you have a valid claim, an attorney help you determine whether to file in small claims or in civil court.

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Last Modified: 01-29-2014 02:56 PM PST

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