Summer is coming soon, and many people are planning a variety of parties
and other social activities. With these plans, many hosts are stocking
up on alcohol and responsible ones are making plans to collect their guests’
keys. Every host should want their guests to get home safe, but Texas
social host liability laws can hold hosts responsible for any accidents
their guests cause.
Social host liability laws impose liability on home owners or renters who
serve or allow a minor to be served alcohol on their property, or who
provide car keys to an intoxicated adult of legal drinking age. In the
event that you are injured by an intoxicated guest, you may be able to
hold the host liable for the accident. There are specific criteria that
the accident must meet in order for hosts to be held responsible. If you
have been injured by an intoxicated person leaving a social gathering,
an experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove the liability
of the host.
Proving Liability in a Social Host
Unlike many personal injury cases, a social host liability claim may not
rest on the negligence of the responsible party. There may be negligent
actions that contributed to the accident, such as failing to confiscate
keys from guests who have been drinking or allowing them to leave the
gathering while still intoxicated. Often though, a social host liability
case may also be proven based on reckless behavior or intentional conduct.
Recklessness. When hosts are aware of, but disregard, substantial and justifiable risk
of an accident, they are exhibiting recklessness. An example of reckless
behavior could include offering an intoxicated guest another drink, knowing
that they are drunk or leaving soon. In this case, the host knew or should
have known that it was reasonably unsafe to offer another drink, but still
Intentional Conduct. This occurs when a host intentionally serves alcohol to a guest who should
not be drinking. They may provide alcohol to a minor, knowing that the
minor is underage, or they may give a drink to a guest they knew, without
reasonable doubt, was drunk.
Who Can File a Social Host Liability Claim?
In Texas, there are two types of social host liability cases: first party
and third party. These cases differ based on who was injured by an intoxicated
guest. In first party cases, the injured individual is the drunk guest.
Texas does not allow guests to sue their hosts for injury under social
host laws, unless the guest in question is a minor.
Third party cases are permitted, however. In these claims, the injured
person is a third party injured by the drunk guest. This may include those
drunk driving accidents, those injured in an assault by the guest, or other injuries caused by
the guest. In such cases, you may be able to claim that the host who provided
the alcohol or permitted its consumption on their property is responsible
for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured by an intoxicated person, you deserve compensation
for your injuries. Proving liability for your accident can be challenging
to do alone, however. A skilled
personal injury lawyer can provide valuable insight and legal knowledge for your claim,
and should be able to fight for your interests in court.
Komie & Morrow, LLP, we understand the stress an accident can cause. You deserve to receive
the compensation you need to recover comfortably. Our Austin personal
injury attorneys boast more than 60 years of combined experience. You
can trust that we have the knowledge and drive to protect your rights
in settlements or litigation.
Contact our offices today by calling (512) 640-2050 to request a