Help for the Pain

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Help for the Pain

A few years ago, one of my favorite people in the world, an elderly aunt of mine, fell down in a retail establishment. The floor at the business was wet and caused this special lady to fall. While she wasn’t seriously injured, she did hurt her leg. If the floor at this store hadn’t been wet or had been labeled as wet, she probably wouldn’t have been injured. If a similar situation has happened to you, consider contacting a reputable accident and personal injury attorney. This person can advise you about the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the business where you were hurt at. On this blog, you will discover the benefits of consulting with an accident and personal injury lawyer after injuring yourself at a place of business.

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2 Defenses To A Social Host Liability Lawsuit

If you're planning on hosting a party this holiday season, it's important to understand that you could be held liable for any accidents your guests may cause if they leave your party intoxicated. This liability stems from social host laws that hold private citizens responsible for avoiding over-serving guests alcoholic drinks in a similar manner that dram shop laws prohibit sellers of alcoholic beverages from serving alcohol to people who are obviously drunk. If you are served with a social host liability lawsuit, here are two defenses you could use to avoid being made to pay damages in the accident case.

Did Not Know the Guest Was Intoxicated

In a social host liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove you acted in a negligent, reckless, or intentional manner by serving the person alcohol when you knew, or had reason to know, that something bad was going to happen as a result of doing so. For instance, if you knew the person was under the legal drinking age and you gave the individual alcohol anyway, you could be held liable for any damages that result.

One defense you could use in this case is ignorance. The success of this strategy depends on the circumstances of the situation. For instance, if you claim you didn't know the individual was intoxicated because the person didn't display signs of being drunk, it may be easier to convince the court of this if you can provide evidence the person was a heavy drinker. People who drink a lot often have higher alcohol tolerance levels and don't always show symptoms of impairment like others who drink less.

Did Not Furnish the Alcohol

To be held liable under social host laws, the defendant in the case must have served or provided the alcohol to the person who caused the accident. You may be able to win the lawsuit if you can show that wasn't the case in your circumstances. For example, if you hired a caterer to serve food and alcohol at the event, then it would be the caterer's responsibility to ensure guests are not over-served at the party.

Be aware, though, that whether or not you prevail may depend on how the judge or jury interprets what it means to serve or provide alcohol. At many parties, hosts make alcohol available but guests serve themselves. The plaintiff's case may hinge on whether the judge considers the act of setting out beer or wine to be the same as actively giving drinks to the intoxicated person.

Defending a social host liability case can be tricky, so it's best to contact a personal injury attorney for assistance as soon as you receive notice about the case. An attorney like Bulluck Law Group can help you develop a viable defense that may let you escape liability for the accident.