Summer’s over, but the holidays will be here before you know it. Every year, someone attends a private or work-sponsored holiday party, gets behind the wheel and gets in a motor vehicle accident. What are the responsibilities of social hosts—the persons throwing the parties—to anyone who might be injured in an accident involving an inebriated guest?
Social Host Defined
In New Jersey, as in other states, a “social host” is anyone who extended an express or implied invitation to another person to come to a party they were hosting, and who then provided alcoholic beverages to that person. If that person is visibly under the influence of alcohol when served, the person serving the alcohol can be liable for any injuries or property damage caused by the inebriated person. In addition, if you knowingly serve a person a quantity of alcohol that would reasonable be considered enough to impair that person, you can be responsible for any injuries or damage they cause, even if they were not visibly drunk when served.
In New Jersey, there is no requirement that the host actually serve the alcohol. In fact, a host may be fully liable even if the guest served himself or herself. It is important to note, though, that the host will not be held accountable for any injuries sustained by the drunken party guest, only to third parties.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have suffered a personal injury, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.