October 1, 2018

Posted: October 1, 2018 | Liability, Safety Tips

Hosting a Holiday Party? Here’s What You Need to Know about Liability

With the holidays upon us, party planning is in full swing. Like any other holiday season, many party hosts and partygoers will have to deal with holiday party injuries, that will definitely “throw a wrench” into a night of merriment. 

During this holiday season, social hosts and homeowners in California should be extra careful about liability for holiday party injuries. Who is liable and how can you help keep your guests safe? Our expert personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie provides advice and guidance that will keep your holidays merry.

Liable 'Parties'

1. Social Hosts

Many states have enacted laws holding party hosts liable for injuries guests may cause while intoxicated. Liability can be triggered when social hosts continue to provide and serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals and the inebriated individuals cause injuries to themselves or others. 

Social host laws vary from state-to-state and a number of states limit this variety of liability to hosts who provide alcohol to minors.  For instance, California law significantly limits third-party liability for alcohol-related accidents. In California, lawmakers have essentially absolved bars, restaurants, party hosts, and most others of potential liability for selling or furnishing alcohol to customers and guests, in most (but not all) situations.  

2. Homeowners

It’s not uncommon for partygoers to take a spill or two at holiday parties. If you get injured at a friend's holiday shindig, the homeowner could be liable for your injury under the theory of premises liability. Homeowners should take holiday party precautions and safeguard their homes from both indoor and outdoor hazards. 

A great place to start thinking potential liability is to focus on your decorations. Steer clear of open-flame candles and flammable holiday décor and don’t forget to put your sharp-edged figurines away. 

Steps to Take

If you're a party host concerned about limiting your holiday party liability, you may want to throw your holiday soiree at a restaurant or some other off-site location. 

Party hosts who can't seem to find holiday cheer without alcohol should hold their holiday events at establishments with liquor licenses. That way the alcohol will be served by professional bartenders who know how to respond to guests who are consuming alcohol in excess. 

Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie provide reliable legal representation you may need to protect your rights and we can advise you whether or not an accident may warrant legal action. We offer a free consultation, so call us at 949-752-7474 to schedule your free consultation today.