If you were injured in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver then you are at the right place. If after they left a social gathering or venue where they were served alcohol then you may be able to recover damages through a social host liability claim. We understand that it can be difficult to fight for justice when you are recovering from serious injuries. That is why we recommend seeking the help of an experienced social host liability attorney in your state.
The dedicated Mount Vernon social host liability attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. will bring relief to you. We handle the process from filing a complaint to pre-trial litigation to the trial, if necessary. We provide FREE case evaluations and home and hospital visits. Attorney fees are only paid out of your settlement. Do not delay. There is a statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim.
How is a social host defined in Washington State?
A social host is a person who provides free alcohol to guests in their home or some other private venue such as a rented hall.
Washington State has a social host liability law for underage guests (under the age of 21). If you are a social host and you knowingly serve or provide alcohol to underage guests; you could be liable for any damages or injuries they cause.
Some parents mistakenly believe that providing a “safe place” for their teenager and his or her friends to drink is better than letting them drink elsewhere. The problem is that when you allow your teen to drink under your roof you become a social host. Things can quickly get out of control when alcohol is being consumed. Someone may get injured on the premises or drive away and injure themselves or someone else in a drunken car accident. You could be held liable.
What is social host liability?
Commercial entities like bars are ruled by a “duty of care” to the people consuming the establishment’s alcoholic beverages. Social host liability laws place responsibility on the “social host”- often the homeowner – who hosts a house party. Many states, including Washington, have social host liability laws for drinking that involve underage minors.
Underage Social Host Liability Law: Washington State
RCW 66.44.270 : “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.”
What are the penalties for breaking Washington State’s underage social host liability law?
The penalties for breaking Washington State’s underage social host liability law include a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail. Social hosts also owe a “duty of reasonable care” to a minor who consumes alcohol supplied by them on or off their premises. Essentially, a host may be held liable if the minor is injured. This also includes damages to property or injuring someone else in any way. Note that in Washington State a social host is not liable for permitting a minor to consume alcohol on the host’s premises if the alcohol was not provided by the host. Despite this protection in the law, it is still risky to allow teens to drink at your home. Their behavior may become erratic and unpredictable.
How does a social host liability claim work in Washington State?
In Washington State, a social host liability claim may be brought against a private social host for an injury that was caused by an intoxicated minor under the age of 21. If the host served alcohol to an adult 21 or older who then caused an injury, the host cannot usually be held liable.
How do I know whether I should pursue a social host liability claim?
The only way to know if you have a case is to meet with one of our experienced social host liability associates for a FREE consultation. We will fully evaluate your accident and injuries and discuss your legal rights.
Do I really need to hire an attorney or should I handle my own social host liability claim?
In most cases, hiring an injury lawyer will yield better results. Even for seemingly minor claims. At Tario & Associates, P.S., we stand by our injured clients every step of the way. We have been rated as one of the top personal injury lawyers Mount Vernon has to offer!
Remember that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you. If your insurance company has already presented you with a proposed settlement, you need to know whether it is fair. Things to consider are if your claim is worth more. May think if you should hire an attorney to force the insurance company to pay you the fair and full compensation you deserve. Attorneys may be able to achieve monetary recoveries five to twenty times what an insurance company has offered.
Can I be held responsible if my child hosts a party at my home with underage drinking without my knowledge?
Generally, parents will not be held responsible for underage drinking accidents. This is the case if that happens on their premises if they were not home and were unaware of the party. If parents knew about the party or left teens unsupervised while they were out of town and provided alcohol / left alcohol accessible in their home to underage guests then there is a possibility that parents could be held responsible for an alcohol-related accident. Speak to a social host liability lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
What damages may be recovered in a social host liability / alcohol-related accident claim?
Like in other types of personal injury cases, the plaintiff in an alcohol-related accident claim seeks to recover damages. This is including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and property damage caused by the accident.
What time limits does Washington State law place on social host liability claims?
A social host liability claim must be filed before the deadline set by Washington State’s statute of limitations. This is three years from the date of the injury in most cases.
We look forward to answering all of your questions and speaking with you about your legal needs. When you contact our office we can review your case and discuss your legal options.
If you or a loved one was injured, you have enough to worry about. Let us give you Peace of Mind. Contact the experienced Mount Vernon social host liability lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. today.