When people are intoxicated, they may negligently or intentionally cause harm to others. For instance, a person driving drunk may hit and kill another driver or a pedestrian. Or a drunk person may stumble into someone else, causing them to fall and suffer injury.
When an intoxicated person causes harm, that person may be held liable. Other parties may be held liable as well. For instance, when a social host provided the intoxicated person with alcohol under certain conditions, the social host may be responsible for paying part or all of the damages resulting from the intoxicated person’s actions.
Not all states recognize social host liability law, but those that do typically take a pretty broad view of the matter. A “social host” may include a homeowner, property renter, or anyone who serves alcohol to a guest.
A wide range of people may count as social hosts, but in some states, not everyone who drinks alcohol at the host’s event counts as a guest. Many states limit social host liability to hosts that serve alcohol to people under age 21, or who allow people under age 21 to drink on their premises.
Social host claims often fall into two categories: “first person” and “third person” claims.
In a first-person social host liability claim, the person injured is the host who served the drinks. In most states, the social host will not be allowed to sue the intoxicated person for damages unless the injured host is also a minor.
In a third party social host liability case, the person injured, the intoxicated person, and the social host are three different people. For example, in a case in which you are injured by a driver who got drunk at a party, you might have a third-party claim against the host of the party.
Contact Our Ocean, Middlesex & Monmouth County Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
The personal injury lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza fight for the compensation our clients deserve. Contact us today at 732.264.4400 or toll-free at 866.567.0135 for a free and confidential consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.