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
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.