Throwing and attending a social gathering – or, in other words, a house party – is a vital element of social life. If your friends invite you to a house party, and you refuse to go, they will most likely poke fun at you in an attempt to convince you to go.
By not attending house parties, you may be viewed as a “weirdo” by others. They will shun you or give you a strange look. House parties are particularly popular – and dangerous – among teenagers and young adults, when alcohol flows like a river, guests are more likely to do risky (and stupid) things, while social hosts are less likely to take reasonable measures to protect guests from harm.
Today, our Philadelphia house party accident attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group is going to explain when and how guests can sue social hosts for an injury sustained during a house party. Typically, you have a right to seek compensation for your injury at a house party if the host failed to take adequate precautions to prevent the accident. However, hosts of house parties cannot be held responsible for 100 percent of all injuries to their guests.
In fact, when a social host serves alcohol to guests at a house party in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, he or she may be held responsible for injuries to people outside the party being injured or killed by an intoxicated guest of the party.
In some cases, social hosts are immune from liability in house party accidents when the injury was the result of the guest’s alcohol impairment. However, if the guest can prove that his or her injury during a house party was caused by such a dangerous and non-obvious condition that even a reasonable and sober person would have sustained an injury under similar conditions, he or she may be entitled to compensation.
“Regardless of whether a social host throws a party at their home or apartment, they are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment for guests and protect guests from reasonably foreseeable hazards on the property,” explains our experienced house party accident attorney in Philadelphia. “Failure to do so may expose the host to liability.”
Under Pennsylvania premises liability law, when the owner of the property or host of the party invites other people onto the property, he or she automatically assumes responsibility for all injuries and accidents caused by unreasonably dangerous conditions on the property.
Typically, you cannot hold a party host responsible for an injury caused by a dangerous condition the host was not aware of and could not have been reasonably expected to be aware of. However, many party hosts attempt to escape liability by lying and saying that they did not know about the dangerous condition. In that case, you will need legal assistance from a skilled premises liability lawyer to establish fault.
Things get particularly interesting when a drunk party guest causes injury or death to another person after attending a house party where alcohol was served. Under Pennsylvania Dram Shop Liability law, when the owner of a property sells, furnishes, or gives alcohol to a person who is already “visibly intoxicated,” the owner may be held liable for any injuries and damages caused by that intoxicated person. Violation of the liquor code is considered “negligence per se.”