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Are You Watching How Your Guests Drink?

Are You Watching How Your Guests Drink?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 10-Jan-2017

Hosting a party is a bigger responsibility than many people realize. While you want your guests to have a good time, it’s important that you make sure they drink responsibly, both for their safety and yours. Hosts can actually be held responsible if their guests are involved in a drunk driving accident, making it important you understand your legal responsibility and how to defend yourself.

Discover the basics of social host liability laws and make sure to get help with your drunk driving case from a San Jose car accident lawyer.

Situations that Can Lead to a Claim

A common misconception when discussing social host liability laws is that they only apply in the case of a party, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Any time that a homeowner or property owner over serves a guest and a drunk driving accident occurs can result in a social host liability case, making it vital that you only serve alcohol in moderation.

It's also important to understand that not every state in the country possesses social host liability laws. In fact, because adults are legally responsible for their actions, most social host liability cases only apply in situations where alcohol was served to a minor.

Who is Eligible to File a Suit?

Like most personal injury suits, social host liability cases are more complicated than you might imagine, making it a good idea to examine them in closer detail. There are two different types of social host liability cases you should be aware of, the first of which is a first party case.

In first party social host liability cases, your guest who was over served and caused a drunk driving accident is the person filing the claim. The claimant will try to prove that you had a duty to stop serving them alcohol and that your failure to do so caused their accident. However, because adults are generally legally responsible for their own actions, first part cases can be tough to win.

The other type of social host liability suit is a third-party case. Third party cases result when your guest has caused a drunk driving accident that injured another person. If you’re involved in a third party case, the claimant will need to prove that you over served your guest and then allowed them to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Not every state allows for social host liability cases, so it’s important to understand your state’s rules as part of your defense.

Proving the Facts of Your Case

Your biggest advantage when facing a social host liability case is in terms of proving liability. As mentioned, legal adults are responsible for their own decisions and actions, which can make it difficult for claimant to prove fault. However, it is still possible you will face liability if one of your guests causes a drunk driving accident.

For example, if you were aware that your guest was intoxicated and continued to serve them alcohol anyway, then you acted recklessly and may be held legally responsible, at least in part. Additionally, if you intentionally served alcohol to a minor, then you can find yourself vulnerable to a social host liability case.

When constructing your defense, you should consider retaining a San Jose car accident lawyer that is familiar with social host liability laws in your state.

Work with a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer

If a guest in your home has had too much to drink and caused a drunk driving accident, it’s important that you protect your interests. Defend yourself from a social host liability case with the help of a San Jose car accident lawyer from the Dunnion Law Firm. One of our experienced attorneys can handle your case so that you can avoid a big payout.

Get in touch with us today so that we can start working for you.