When you allow your underage child to attend a house party, likely, you do so with the assurance that responsible adults will be present. You may even speak with the parents who will be in attendance at the house party to confirm this. When any person attends a party at a private premises, it is the social host who will be held legally liable should something go wrong.
Parents who are indirectly hosting a house party through their child have the legal responsibility to ensure that all those in attendance are reasonably safe. They should also ensure that no alcohol is served to those who are underage. If your child suffered damages as a result of being served alcohol at a party, or if they become involved in a car accident due to underage alcohol consumption at a house party, you may be able to take legal action to claim damages from the social hosts. The following are some key points you should be aware of before taking action.
Adult party hosts have a certain duty of care
When it comes to addressing underage drinking at parties, the adult social hosts present have a duty of care. This means that they should not directly serve alcohol to minors, but also that they should not make it available. If a minor suffers an injury due to alcohol consumed at the house party, the social hosts may be held liable simply for making alcohol available.
To hold an adult liable, you must show negligence or intent
For an adult to be held liable for damages, it should be proven that they knew or should have known that a party attendee was underage and that they had access to alcohol. If they continued to make alcohol available in this circumstance, they were acting with negligence. Similarly, if an intoxicated guest proceeds to get behind the wheel, a social host may be held liable for providing alcohol if they knew or should have known that they were intending to drive.
If your child or loved one has been negatively affected by negligence at a house party, it may be possible to take legal action. Doing so could help them gain compensation for the pain and suffering caused.