Social Host Liability

Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or New Year’s Eve celebration, if you serve alcohol at your event, you can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. We’ve compiled a list of 5 things to keep in mind as you’re planning your holiday party this year.

What is Social Host Liability Law

Oregon, like many other states, has certain laws that hold hosts liable for alcohol-related injuries, accidents, and deaths.

1. Social Host Claims Include Several Types of Damages

Like most personal injury cases, liability for social hosts is expressed in several types of damages, which offer some sort of compensation for losses incurred by the injured individual. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, value of household services, value of childcare, and pain and suffering.

2. Social Host Claims Have a Two-Year Statute of Limitations

Social host claims have a two-year statute of limitations, which means that these types of lawsuits must be filed in court within two years of the date of the accident. But beware that there are even shorter time periods – even as short as 180 days –  wherein an injured party must give written notice of injury to social host if that injured party wants to later file a claim.

How to Avoid Social Host Liability Claims

3. Don’t Serve Alcohol to Underage Guests

One easy way to avoid potential social host liability or negligence claims is to never serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. If the underage guest leaves the party intoxicated and gets into a car accident that harms another person, for example, the third party can sue the host, assuming the intoxicated person was a minor and the host did not check their ID.

4. Don’t Serve Alcohol to Visibly Drunk Guests

Even if your guests are of legal drinking age, you still have an obligation to stop serving individuals who are visibly intoxicated. You also need to be vigilant in making sure that intoxicated guests do not drive home from your party while still intoxicated.

5. Plan to Have a Designated Driver available

In addition to being cognizant of the state of your guests, one of the best ways to prevent social host liability is by making sure there are designated drivers available to help guests get home safely. If you don’t have an available designated driver, be sure to encourage any guests who have been drinking to take an Uber, Lyft, or other form of public transportation to ensure their safety, and the safety of others on the road.

If you’re looking for a personal injury or negligence lawyer in Portland, we can help! Contact Paul Galm Law today or visit our office in Beaverton for personalized and compassionate assistance in your social host liability case.