It’s the morning after, and you’ve got…a horrible…
Social Host Laws.
Social host liability laws are laws that impose liability on social hosts for alcohol-related injuries that occur to minors, and in some states, to anyone who was allowed to drink to excess and who was injured or killed, or caused another’s injury or death. Social hosts are generally private individuals who serve alcohol in non-commercial settings.
Social host laws make a host liable for property damage related to these kinds of accidents. In most states, to be held liable, the social host must be aware that his guest was intoxicated and should not have been served more alcohol. These laws don’t just apply to alcohol – they can also include other intoxicating substances.
While many social host laws are aimed at reducing alcohol-related deaths and injuries suffered by or caused by minors, some states, like Oregon, have social host laws that apply to guests of all ages.
What Social Host Laws Mean to You.
Liability for personal injury cases generally encompasses economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to money losses, like medical bills, car repair costs, lost wages, etc.
Noneconomic damages, however, refer to more intangible damages, like injury to reputation, mental distress, or humiliation. In the context of a personal injury action, “pain and suffering” generally refers to the noneconomic, mental or emotional damage you suffer as the result of an injury or accident.
While social host laws are limited to economic damages only, such money damages can still be significant. When you consider that Oregon have social host laws that impose a duty of care of a party host to any guest, and then consider that most accidents caused by intoxicated adult guests are drunk driving incidents, the serious consequences of one’s duty becomes obvious.
Talk to a Lawyer!
It’s important that you know your legal duties as well as your rights. If you think you may be liable under the social host laws, or believe someone else is, talk to us. We are experienced attorneys with offices in Salem, Medford, Bend, Portland, Albany, Eugene Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, and several other cities in Oregon. We also have offices in Vancouver and Tri-Cities in Washington. You can call us toll free at: 1-800-682.9568.