Dan and Carol had planned their Disney vacation for a number of years. Their three children were equally looking forward to getting away for a week and enjoying the warm sunshine. Dan made reservations to leave the local airport very early in the morning so that they could be in Orlando by late morning and hopefully be at the theme park no later than mid-afternoon.
Unfortunately for Dan and his family, fate would intervene and Dan was involved in an auto accident with his family in the car on the way to the airport. The accident was entirely the other driver\’s fault, but delayed Dan\’s arrival at the airport to such an extent that Dan and his family missed their flight. The next flight out that Dan was able to get reservations on was not until late the following day and even that was on stand-by and a far more indirect route.
ISSUE: Besides the damage to Dan\’s vehicle, will the negligent driver also be responsible for the cost of the vacation that Dan and his family had to give up as a result of the accident?
ANSWER: Yes. Dan was able to save some money by cancelling out his hotel reservations. Dan was given a credit towards a future trip as far as his plane reservations were concerned, but once again he lost a considerable amount of money. Dan\’s late cancellation of his rental car also was an expense. Fortunately for Dan, all of these unexpected expenses will be considered compensable damages against the negligent driver which Dan will be able to recover.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.