If you are having parties for the holidays this year, you are probably focused on the menu, the decorations and making sure your guests have a good time. However, you also need to remember that when you invite guests into your home, you have certain legal responsibilities. Fulfilling these responsibilities is essential to avoiding liability in the event of an injury accident.
This holiday season, our New York City injury attorneys want to remind you of some of your obligations as a social host of parties. We urge you to enjoy the holiday and New Year’s parties with an eye towards caution and common sense to make sure everyone stays safe and gets home without injuring themselves or others.
Drinking and Driving and Your Holiday Party
One of the very first things you need to be aware of when you are throwing a holiday party in New York is that you could potentially become responsible if a guest at your party drinks and then causes injuries. For example, if you throw a party and someone drinks and then drives home, causing an accident, those injured in the accident could sue you.
Your responsibility for allowing a drunk driver to injure others is going to vary depending on the situation. New York has something called social host laws, which impose responsibility for serving alcohol to an intoxicated minor. The social host laws in New York are found in N.Y. GOB Law section 11-110. Under this law, any person who is injured as a result of the intoxication of a minor that you provided alcohol to can sue you.
New York’s social host laws do not extend to private parties serving adults in the home, although there are dram shop laws that hold commercial establishments responsible for selling to an intoxicated individual. However, depending upon the circumstances, if someone gets drunk at your house and injures others you could potentially be sued for general negligence.
To avoid the potential consequences of becoming liable for an injury caused by a person you gave alcohol to:
- Provide only a limited amount of alcohol.
- Don’t serve anyone who seems drunk.
- Never serve a minor and make sure your kids don’t have parties with alcohol
- Ask who the designated driver is for each group you invite to your home if you plan to do a lot of drinking.
Keeping Your Home Safe
In addition to the dangers of getting your guests drunk, you also need to make sure your house doesn’t present any hazards to your guests. If there are dangerous conditions like an icy driveway or a broken staircase that your guests could get hurt on, make sure to either correct the problem or to warn your guests of the potential risk to avoid liability based on someone getting injured at your house.
By being responsible with alcohol and by making sure your home is a safe place for guests, you can have a memorable party and not put yourself at risk for getting sued.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accident victims. Call 1-877-313-7673 to speak with someone about your case and to discuss your rights today!
NYC Traffic Accidents in Focus as Holidays Approach, New York Injury Lawyer Blog November 19, 2012