When you're at a party, you expect to have a good time, and the last thing you expect is to get injured because the host was reckless. Depending on your state and the host's actions, you might be entitled to a settlement for the injuries you experienced at the party under social host liability.
How Social Host Liability Works
Social host liability is a legal theory that allows an injured person to sue a party host for their injuries if the host acted negligently or recklessly in serving or allowing the consumption of substances. Social host liability laws vary by state but aim to prevent underage drinking, drunk driving, and other alcohol-related harms.
Liability Under Social Host Laws
Social host liability laws can apply to anyone who provides alcohol or intoxicating substances to guests or visitors, whether they are homeowners, renters, or anyone else who hosts a party or gathering. However, some states limit social host liability to situations where the host provided alcohol or intoxicants to minors. In contrast, others extend it to cases where the host over-served or encouraged excessive drinking by anyone, regardless of age.
Winning a Social Host Liability Case
To win a social host liability case, you have to prove that:
- The host provided alcohol or intoxicating substances to you or another guest who caused your injury
- The host knew the guest was intoxicated or would become intoxicated
- The host acted negligently or recklessly in serving or allowing the consumption of such substances
- The guest's intoxication caused your injury and was foreseeable by the host
If an intoxicated guest injured you at a party where the host served them alcohol despite knowing they were already tipsy, you might have a social host liability case against the host.
How to Take Legal Action
To hold a host liable for your injuries, you should:
- Get good medical documentation of your injuries
- Provide proof of the host's liability, such as police reports, admissions of guilt, photos of your injuries, or witness statements
- Contact a lawyer who can inform you of your legal options and give you legal representation in court if necessary
Social host liability cases can be complex and challenging to prove, so bring a lawyer with you to assist with various tasks, such as gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, and beginning settlement negotiations. Then, you'll be able to reach a settlement to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact a local personal injury attorney to learn more.