Victims of personal injuries face many challenges while recovering. Compensation for medical treatment, missed work and other damages from the responsible parties as soon as possible often goes hand in hand with recovering from any physical injuries. But what happens when a victim is unable to sue the person responsible for causing these injuries?
The California legislature has presented a bill addressing the issue of social host liability. Currently, if the host of a party allows an adult or minor to become intoxicated by supplying alcohol, and that person is injured or injures a third person (such as in a drunk-driving accident), the injured party has no ability to recover compensation from the social host.
The new rule proposed by the legislature would allow the potential for the host to be liable if they knowingly provide alcohol to a minor. The bill, if signed into law, would allow the host to be sued for negligence. The injured persons would still have to prove that the host was negligent, but this would at least allow the injured parties or their families to have their day in court.
Legislators want to create awareness of the problems that are caused by providing alcohol to minors. By creating a law that makes hosts responsible for injuries that occur, hosts will need to consider the potential negative consequences that could result when serving alcohol to minors.
California is one of few states that have no social host liability rules for knowingly serving alcohol to a minor (the bill does not address social host liability for providing alcohol to adults). Many victims are not aware of social host immunity, and are surprised when they attempt to bring a claim and are not successful.
Opening the door to social host liability would allow victims a reasonable place to turn to recover compensation for injuries caused by drunk-driving accidents. If you or a family member has been injured, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about how this could impact your case.