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Can a Host Be Held Liable For a Drunk Driving Accident?

The holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family, reminisce about the past year and make plans for the year to come. However, because many holiday gatherings involve serving alcohol, this is also the season where drunk driving accidents occur more frequently. If you’ve been struck by a drunk driver, then you may be thinking about a lawsuit, which means you need to be aware of every option that you have at your disposal.

Some states actually allow drunk driving victims to bring a suit against a host who has served alcohol irresponsibly, providing you a secondary option for compensation. Learn more about the legal responsibility of hosts when serving alcohol and find out why you need help from a Pueblo car accident lawyer.

Basics About Liability as a Host

For legal purposes, a host is anyone who invites another person into their home or business, and if a host chooses to serve alcohol to their guests then they can be held legally responsible if any guests cause a drunk driving accident.

While most states have some sort of law that holds hosts responsible for the actions of their guests, they can sometimes be limited in their scope. A good example of this is for cases involving minors. Adults, generally, are legally responsible for all of their actions, including consuming alcohol. Minors, on the other hand, have limited legal responsibility, which is why a host that serves alcohol to a minor can be liable for any accident that they cause.

To learn the laws surrounding hosts and alcohol in your state, it’s a good idea to consult a Pueblo car accident lawyer for more information.

Circumstances Where You Can File a Suit

For anyone considering filing a personal injury lawsuit against a host who has irresponsibly served alcohol, there are two available cases to be aware of: third party and first party.

Third party cases are the more common of the two and generally are brought by someone other than the host or drunk driver. For example, if you’re hit by a drunk driver and then find out they were over served as a guest in someone’s home, then you, the third party, would file a suit against the host.

First party cases are filed by the drunk driver, and almost always involve single car accidents. If you visited a friend, or attended an office Christmas party, and were continuously served drinks despite obvious intoxication and then got into an accident, then you, the first party, might have a case against the person who over served you.

Gathering the Right Evidence in Your Case

As with almost every type of personal injury lawsuits, cases against hosts require the right type of evidence to proceed effectively, and in these suits the ways you can prove fault are limited to recklessness or intent.

If your case centers around proving recklessness, then you must be able to prove that the host in your suit served alcohol with reckless disregard to the danger of their actions. The most typical example of this would be allowing a clearly drunk person to continue drinking, or even continuing to serve them drinks.

Proving intent is a completely different matter, and usually a higher bar, legally speaking. With intent, you have to show that the host knowingly and intentionally served alcohol unsafely or illegally, as would be the case in serving alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age or to a person with a history of drunk driving.

Speak with a Pueblo Car Accident Lawyer

Drunk driving accidents are very common, especially during the holiday season, and if you’ve been struck by a drunk driver then you need to be sure to fully protect your interests. Work for your just compensation with the advice of a Pueblo car accident lawyer from Heuser & Heuser, LLP. One of our experienced attorneys will examine the facts in your case and help you decide if you should bring a personal injury suit. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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