Did you know that you could be sued if you host a party where alcohol is served and one of your guests gets drunk and kills a pedestrian? Sounds scary right? Well, it’s part of the personal injury law code in most states. If you ever find yourself in this less than ideal situation, hire a personal injury lawyer. Then discuss the information discussed in this article with him or her in detail.
You should know that most American states follow social liability laws. These laws are similar to dram shop laws. However, social liability laws go much further in holding alcohol providers accountable than dram shop laws. Dram shop laws only punish those people who sell liquor. Social liability laws hold anyone who provides alcohol in a public or private place accountable for the actions of his or her intoxicated or ‘buzzed’ guests. This is especially true if these guests end up hurting or killing someone else. Rest assured that not all-American states have social liability laws.
Who is liable under social host liability laws?
Well, this is a very good question to ask your personal injury lawyer in Hesperia. He or she will tell you that anyone who owns, rents, or leases public or private residential property can be held accountable if he or she serves alcohol on these premises and the drunk guests end up hurting or killing other innocent people. If you do find yourself sued in this instance, you should know about the two types of social host liability laws:
● First party cases
● Third-party cases
First party cases
Personal injury lawyers know that you are held accountable in first-party social host liability cases when you served alcohol to a person and he or she was injured, either during the social function or afterward. The only times when these types of cases are entertained in most states is when you serve alcohol to a minor. Note that this is illegal.
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that these cases exist when you serve alcohol to a guest and that person kills or injures another person. A good example would be killing another person in a hit and run drunk driving car accident. Since this is illegal and involves manslaughter or criminal negligence, either the third party or his or her family could file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against you.
How to prove liability in a social host liability case?
If you ask your personal injury lawyer about this, you may be shocked to learn that liability in these cases is not always based on negligence or negligent behavior. While liability in some of these cases is attributed to negligence, it is associated with recklessness or intentional conduct in others. The basis of guilt depends on the laws of the state that you live in.
A person acts in a reckless manner when he or she knowingly acts in a way to allow something unsafe to occur. A good example of this is getting into a bad car accident because of drunk driving. In the context of social liability laws, you would act recklessly if you knowingly allowed one of your guests to get very drunk by serving him or her alcohol.
Your personal injury lawyer knows that some states require you (the host) to intentionally act in a reckless manner before you can be held legally liable and accountable. If you are the host, you are never ‘off of the hook’. Indeed, the information discussed in this article proves that you are never ‘off of the hook’ if you host a party where alcohol is served.