If guests suffer personal injury while at your house, you can be held responsible and sued for negligence. Furthermore, if a guest of yours injures a third party after they leave your house, you can be sued by the third party. If you plan on having parties at your home, you should be aware of the responsibility that you have toward your guests.
As a homeowner, you owe your guests a general duty of care. This means that you have a duty to provide a safe environment for your guests, at least to a reasonable extent. You should prevent conditions in your house or on your property that can cause injuries, unless the danger is so obvious that your guests should be able to avoid it without your specific warning. Generally, courts impose greater liability when injuries involve children, as they are not as good at recognizing danger as adults are.
Another form of liability results from being a social host. A homeowner is responsible for the injuries sustained by a third party if they let their guests drive home under the influence and their guests hurt others in the process. If you served alcohol to your guests, knew that your guests were drunk, and let them drive home anyway, you can be held liable.
This liability is extended to underage drinking in your home. Even if you are not aware that children are drinking in your home, or if you prohibit underage drinking, you can be held responsible if teenagers guests drink in your house. You can be sued by the parents of the guests and the consequences can be extremely serious, as you face jail time and other legal penalties. If underage drinking results in an accident, the penalties will be even worse.
Even Friends Will Sue
While you may not think that your friends or family members would sue you for personal injury, if they hurt themselves at your home, these cases do arise. In order to prevent being sued for negligence, you should take some precautions, such as alerting your guests to potential dangers in your home, and monitoring their alcohol consumption while they are in your home. If you feel that one of your guests is too drunk to drive home, you can suggest that they sleepover or call them a taxi. Even if you don’t think that your guests will sue you, third parties that they injure as they leave your house can. Furthermore, you cannot tolerate underage drinking in your home, and you must make it clear to your children that if they have parties with alcohol, they put you at serious risk.
If you have any questions concerning personal injury that occurs in your home, or if you are being sued for negligence, you should contact an attorney for more help.