Understanding social host liability

Firm News On Monday, May 21, 2018

Hosting a party is not only a significant social responsibility for many hosts, it is also a significant legal liability if alcohol or other controlled substances are involved. In Connecticut and many other states, social hosts may bear some legal liability for injuries suffered because of a social gathering, depending on the nature of the event and substance available there.

If you recently suffered an injury because of a social host’s negligence, then you may have strong grounds to file a personal injury claim to cover your losses and expenses. A strong claim includes clear documentation of the injuries you suffered and the medical care you received because of the injuries, as well as evidence supporting the claim that the host bears responsibility.

When is a social host responsible?

In broad strokes, a host may bear responsibility for injuries that guests suffer after drinking too much or consuming other controlled substances, if the guest was visibly intoxicated at the event and the host continued to supply intoxicating substances, knowing that the guest would soon drive.

Contrastingly, if a host provides or furnishes alcohol or controlled substances to minors in a social setting, then he or she may face legal liability. These are broad examples of legal liability in social settings, so be sure to carefully consider how such examples may apply in your own circumstances.

It is worth noting that parents who own a home where children throw a party without their knowledge generally do not face full legal liability, if they can prove that they did not know about the party and did not actively facilitate it.

Serving alcohol to minors

In most cases, the laws that govern social liability focus on reducing underage drinking. An adult who willingly serves or furnishes alcohol to minors may face serious liability if one of those minors suffers harm or causes harm because of intoxication.

In legal terms, “serving” alcohol entails consciously delivering alcohol to an individual, whereas “furnishing” simply means to make alcohol available. Any adult who knowingly serves or furnishes alcohol to minors or continues to serve alcohol to adults who are clearly intoxicated faces very serious legal consequences.

If you suffered injuries because of some individual’s negligent hosting, then you should very closely examine the legal options you have available. You may have grounds to file a strong personal injury claim to cover your medical expenses and other costs and losses associated with the injury. Don’t wait to see what a strong injury claim can do for you.

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