Most hairstylists are very good at what they do, capable of creating masterpieces using a pair of scissors and some hair dye. Unfortunately, everything can't go well all the time, and sometimes clients will leave salons looking worse than when they arrived. If a stylist mangled your mane, you may be wondering if you can sue for damages. You can, but you may run into a few challenges. Here's what you need to know.
You May Not Collect Much Cash
Possibly the top issue you'll run into with this type of case is you may not be awarded enough money to make the lawsuit worthwhile. The majority of the time, the most the plaintiff can hope for is a refund of the money paid for the service. There are only a few times when you may be awarded more.
If the stylist did significant damage to your hair or scalp, you may be awarded money to fix the problem. This may mean cash for medical treatment to restore your scalp and or wigs/extensions to cover your hair while it grows back. You may be awarded some money for emotional distress if your hair causes you significant embarrassment.
Another way you may be awarded more than a refund is if you lose opportunities because of your appearance. This applies mostly to people whose appearance is critical to their jobs or businesses. For instance, if a bad haircut caused you to be passed over for an employment opportunity, you could sue for the value of that loss. However, you would need to prove that it was the hairstyle and not anything else that resulted in the adverse outcome.
Otherwise, you may end up paying a lot of money in legal fees for little return. Therefore, it's important to carefully consider whether suing would be worthwhile.
It May Be Hard to Find an Attorney
Even if you feel the case is worth pursuing, another challenge you may face is finding an attorney to represent you. Depending on the circumstances, a lawyer may consider the case too frivolous to pursue and decline to represent you, even if you agree to pay their hourly rate. Lawyers can actually get in trouble with the court for filing frivolous cases, and so may decline to take yours because he or she doesn't want to inadvertently hurt their careers.
You can get around this by filing your case in small claims court and representing yourself. Since the legal costs involved are typically lower, this may be a good option if you are expecting a small award.
For more information about this issue or to get advice on how to handle your case, contact an attorney, like Greg S. Memovich.