Know Your Liability if You Choose to Host a Holiday Party this Season

Party timeNew Year’s Eve is approaching, and everyone wants to celebrate with family and friends.  You may be considering going out to a restaurant or a club, but that can quickly become more trouble than it’s worth.  After all, the idea of drinking, getting crazy and having to drive home after the festivities brings with it potential hazards you probably don’t feel like dealing with.  Perhaps the solution is to entertain at home.

Becoming a “Social Host”

So, what happens when you become the “social host”?  Legally, a social host is any person, who by express or implied invitation invites people into their home and provides alcoholic beverages to their guests.  In other words, the social host is the one throwing the party.  What you need to know is that, as the social host in New Jersey, you are legally responsible for your guests’ actions in some circumstances.  For example, if you serve alcohol to any guest who is “visibly intoxicated” who then causes injury to any third party, either through drinking and driving or any other type of event that causes injuries, you will be at fault.

Party Hosts are Liable for Injuries of Third Parties by Their Guests

New Jersey courts have held that this rule applies even to guests who help themselves to alcohol will not make you any less responsible should something happen.  Although the “social host” is not liable for injuries suffered by the guest of legal drinking age, they are responsible for the injuries they cause to a third party if they continued to be served while visibly intoxicated.

Unfortunately the law does not account for personal responsibility, so taking necessary precautions while planning your event can help to prevent some of these issues from occurring.  If you plan wisely and keep a watchful eye on your guests, everyone can enjoy the evening in a safe and enjoyable way.

Should you become injured as a result of someone else’s negligence during this holiday season, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out your rights.  A Villani & DeLuca attorney is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (732) 965-3350.

We at Villani & DeLuca want to wish you a happy and safe New Year.  Celebrate safely.