Rose and Jim love the fall season and have been talking about throwing a Halloween party with several of their friends Jim immediately gets to work, fussing over the decorations and stocking up on supplies for the party. But Rose hesitates, remembering a previous party that ended in a legal disaster.
What can Rose and Jim do to ensure their house party is memorable for the right reasons? They can still provide a great time for their guests when they host their party. However, several small considerations will keep their guests from possible harm, while protecting Rose and Jim from possible litigation.
Like Rose and Jim, you may want to throw a party at your home. If you worry about potential legal problems that could occur, read on. Below, we’ve listed four common possible legal issues to look out for when you host a party in your own home.
Alcohol might make the party, but it can also create a lot of legal issues for a host. You don’t want to be responsible for drunken altercations or a drunk driving accident. In some states, social hosts can be held liable if a guest gets drunk at their party, drives away, and has an accident. In Pennsylvania, serving alcohol to a minor involved in an accident can result in severe legal repercussions.
One consideration is to keep the alcohol away from your party together. If people want to have drinks, you could throw a two-stage party. The first half of the party could be in your home, and then everyone who wants to drink could head to a bar or club afterward.
If you do decide to have alcohol at your party, take extra precautions. Make sure guests either have a designated driver or a cab to take them home. Don’t serve alcohol at all to minors, and don’t over-serve to any adults.
You might want to show off your cat Snowball to all your friends at the party, but pets can behave unpredictably in a large group of people. A cat might get sullen or spooked with so many people around, and a dog will probably get overexcited.
A dog bite or cat scratch will quickly put a damper on the party. Even if a guest unknowingly or knowingly baits your pet into an attack, the legal fallout can be messy. The easiest solution is to keep pets in their own room away from the festivities. If guests still want to meet a pet one at a time, you can control that situation much better.
Pools and Hot Tubs
A pool or hot tub can add some fun to a party, but they also increase the chance for an injury. Slip and fall accidents are especially common around pools and hot tubs. When alcohol and water mix, extra problems start to crop up.
If you have a pool in your home, make sure you follow city and state ordinances to maintain your pool, even if it won’t be open during your party.
Though the different ordinances can be difficult to track, compliance to these guidelines protects the homeowner from being held strictly liable in the case of an injury.
To avoid slip and fall accidents, frequently check for standing water around your pool or hot tub. If a guest mentions a puddle, take care of it without delay. If a guest warns you about a dangerous situation and the homeowner ignores it, the homeowner might be considered negligent when an injury occurs.
Hot tubs and alcohol are a bad combination. Many of the physical effects caused by a hot tub are compounded by alcohol. If you want to have both alcohol and an open hot tub at your party, have guests use the hot tub first, and they can drink after.
When you follow this advice, you reduce your guests’ risk for injury, and everyone will have a great time at your party. If you attend a party where the hosts are less careful, you might get sick or injured. Talk to a personal injury lawyer so that you can get fair compensation for your host’s negligence.