October 15, 2018
When you have a lot of friends in their early 20s and 30s, you may notice that every other weekend involves some kind of wedding, bridal shower, or bachelorette party. Some may attend as many as a dozen weddings in a year, which adds up to a lot of free steak dinners.
However, these celebrations may not always be fun for everyone. In some cases, guests are seriously injured either during or after the party and have to receive medical attention for their injuries.
The problem is, victims may feel guilty about filing a premises liability claim, thinking the bride and groom will be affected by someone else’s negligence — and no one wants to put that kind of pressure on the newlywed couple.
Depending on the case, people injured at parties can seek legal action against the venue, rental agencies, or even the wedding planner, all of which may face liability before the bride and groom.
Accidents at Wedding Receptions
There are two serious risks associated with typical American weddings: slip and fall injuries and car accidents. Both lead to different types of claims, neither of which necessarily indemnify the happy couple, but rather the party responsible for overseeing the hazard in question.
Slip and Falls at Weddings
When the toasts have finished and the bridesmaids hit the dance floor, the party kicks off in earnest. Often, dim lighting and strobe effects make it difficult to see potential trip or fall hazards, and guests focused too intensely on the music surely wouldn’t also be worried about loose fastenings in the dance floor or surrounding fixtures.
If a wedding guest is injured due to equipment failure or some kind of negligence on behalf of the venue, they may be able to seek a premises liability claim for medical costs associated with their injury.
Driving Under the Influence
Another tragic cause of wedding after-party injuries are drunk drivers. When guests have too much to drink and then get behind the wheel, any property damage or physical injury they cause may fall back on the facility providing the alcoholic drinks.
Typically, premises like hotels and wedding venues require all vendors participating in the wedding to show proof of liability insurance before they are allowed to participate in the event. This means it’s possible to pursue a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company; in the case of drunk driving accidents, perhaps the vendor in charge of selling or distributing alcohol.
Comparative Fault in Wedding Accidents
Sometimes, people just make poor decisions that end up hurting themselves. Lawyers and government officials know this, which is why Indiana has comparative fault laws in place to protect venues and property owners from situations that are only partially their fault.
Comparative fault assigns a percentage to both the victim and the defendant for how much each party is to blame for the injury or accident. For example, if a wedding guest decides to jump on a table for a few laughs, the rental company in charge of setting up tables may only be partially to blame for his injuries, if at all.
Ask a Personal Injury Attorney for Specific Options
The best way to find out whether you have a viable wedding accident lawsuit on your hands is by calling a qualified personal injury attorney. Weddings are often complicated events, involving many layers of responsibility and many overlapping insurance policies, and a lawyer will help you navigate and identify who is responsible, if anyone.
The personal injury lawyers at Hensley Legal Group are ready to take your call. They can help you determine if you have a potential claim and get you started on the process. Because we work on contingency, we won’t be paid until you are. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim.