Can you sue the person who threw a party if you drink and crash your car after? 34 Answers as of July 11, 2013

If you go to party or fundraiser party and someone gets drunk and drives and has accident, can you sue the homeowner?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Anderson & Bliven, P.C.
Anderson & Bliven, P.C. | Alex Evans
In some states you can if they knewingly overserved you but generally no. You should speak to an attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 6/21/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
It sounds like you would have a chance if the homeowner was providing the alcohol, or otherwise behaved in an unreasonable manner that resulted in the damages. If the extent and duration of your injuries are severe, then you should contact a lawyer to review your case. Be aware that generally, there is a two year limit in which you may bring a claim. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/15/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
You can hold the homeowner responsible for the accident and injuries. Difficult case but it can be won.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/14/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
Generally speaking, in Oregon, if you are served alcohol by a social host while you are visibly intoxicated and then injure yourself as a result you are not entitled to recover damages from the host. If however, you are injured at the hands of someone else who was served at the party while they were visibly intoxicated you may be able to recover damages. From you question it appears that you are in the former situation, but I would encourage you to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney anyway and to do it asap because there is a notice requirement under Oregon law that must be met within 6 months of the injury if the injury took place off of the premises where the alcohol was served.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
If the alcohol was provided free, a social host has no liability to either the guest, or to a third party injured by the guest. If the alcohol was sold at a cash bar, the host would have the same liability as a bar who continued to serve an intoxicated patron. Usually in these type of cases, it is a third party who was injured in an accident with the drunken guest who brings a claim. The guest himself would have to overcome the burden of proportionate responsibility. If the intoxicated persons liability is greater than 50 percent, they may not recover any damages. This is assuming the guest is of legal age to start with.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    A homeowner can be responsible for injuries sustained after someone becomes intoxicated at the homeowners place and then drives drunk. Typically the claim would be for a third-party injured by the drunk driver, not the drunk driver himself/herself.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Dram shop is generally not applied to homeowners unless the drinker is a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You would be contributorily negligent and could not sue, but anyone you hit and injure can sue the bar tender.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    If someone held you down and poured the booze down your throat.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    North Carolina's doctrine of contributory negligence (claims by a person whose negligence contributed to his or her injuries are barred) is likely to bar claims because of the driver's negligence in driving while impaired.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes,it's called the Dram Shop Act and it holds that the homeowner should not serve someone who is already obviously intoxicated or they can be held responsible for the consequences. It is possible, but it is a difficult case to prove. Speak to a competent negligence lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Virginia law does not favor such actions. Contributory negligence is a complete defense.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Sweeney & Sweeney
    Sweeney & Sweeney | J.Leonard Sweeney, III
    The short answer would be yes you can.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    Not if you are the one who got drunk. If you injure someone after drinking at the fundraiser they can sue you and the host.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Many states have laws that govern this very issue, so I would need to know your jurisdiction to give you an answer. But I can give you some general ideas to get you started. Many states hold the party host responsible if he/she serves a minor and the minor gets in an accident. Some hold the homeowner strictly responsible even for adults. Most states would hold the homeowner/host responsible if he/she knowingly served an intoxicated adult who then caused injury (so it boils down to a factual inquiry of what the host knew concerning the guest's intoxication level). A lawyer in your area should be able to tell you what the law is and whether it is worth pursuing the homeowner. Almost all personal injury lawyers will give you a free initial consultation during which you could discuss these issues. So it shouldn't cost you anything to get a more concrete answer from a local lawyer who can apply your law to your specific facts. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Thats an interesting question. If a homeowner serves alcohol and someone gets intoxicated and crashes their car hurting someone else, then yes, the homeowner may be responsible. But your question is a little different if I understand correctly what you are asking. I dont know the answer for sure, but my gut is telling me that if the person who got intoxicated is the one who got hurt, then it would most likely be considered that persons fault. However, if the person who drank was under the legal age for consuming alcohol, then my answer would be different. A minor, or say one who is twenty in a State where the legal drinking age is twenty-one, is served alcohol and get drunk, then, under those circumstances, I believe that the person who served the alcohol could be held responsible. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give legal advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not agreed to represent you. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. All claims have time limits. In general they are in the State of New York: three (3) years for personal injury and property damage actions, two and one half (2 ) years for medical malpractice claims, two (2) years for wrongful death, one (1) year for an intentional wrongdoing, six (6) years for contract claims, but four (4) years for sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, and four (4) months to challenge an action or decision of a government body, department or agency. However, in a claim for personal injury or property damages, if any person or entity at fault is affiliated with a municipal or other government department, agency or facility, then you may be required to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days and then commence a lawsuit within one (1) year and ninety (90) days, but sometimes within one (1) year. These time limits have exceptions. Never sit on your rights!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    Generally, a person who holds a party may be liable for damages caused by someone who leaves their home while intoxicated; however, the law changes substantially if it is the intoxicated person who is injured.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    If the person who got drunk and was not a minor got hurt I doubt if he would have a claim against the homeowner unless the homeowner played a large part in him getting drunk. Speak to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If the injured person is a member of a protected class, i.e., a minor, but not if the person is an adult who willingly gets intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    No - private parties do not hold the same liability as bars and restaurants. Go and google "dram shop laws" for an explanation of this term.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    Social hosts are generally not liable for the negligence of their guests. There are certain circumstances where they can be, however. Because you mention a fundraiser, the host may be deemed more of a business than a social host because the individual is inviting people in for their own benefit. In that case, they have a duty of care to avoid over-serving visibly intoxicated individuals. It's not an easy case, but it's worth a free consult to look into. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law applies: 1. Are you the driver? If yes, then no. 2. Are you an injured party, then the answer is yes, but your damages may be reduced by your own negligence in getting into a car driven by a person DUII; 3. Are you an innocent third party injured or who sustained property damage by a drunk driver, the answer is yes. It's called the Dram shop act, but there may be a 180 day notice to put the responsible party on notice of the potential claim. Call if you are #3 and let my staff know you are a LawQA caller. Thanks.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Every state is different. If you were an adult, and you drank the alcohol, you would be the person at fault in most states, not the homeowner. Talk to an attorney in your state. Attorney is licensed in Alabama only. This writing does not constitute "legal advice" nor does it start an attorney-client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray | Greg Gray
    In Texas there is no longer "social host" liability. Therefore, the short answer is "no".
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    A person may have a claim against a homeowner that throws a party where someone gets drunk, drives, and then crashes into them. However, you will not have a claim against the homeowner for your own injuries if you are the one that got drunk and drove.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    No. Party host is not liable for guests who drink and drive. 1714. (b) It is the intent of the Legislature to abrogate the holdings in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (1971) 5 Cal.3d 153, Bernhard v. Harrah's Club (1976) 16 Cal.3d 313, and Coulter v. Superior Court (1978) 21 Cal.3d 144 and to reinstate the prior judicial interpretation of this section as it relates to proximate cause for injuries incurred as a result of furnishing alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person, namely that the furnishing of alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person. (c) No social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person may be held legally accountable for damages suffered by that person, or for injury to the person or property of, or death of, any third person, resulting from the consumption of those beverages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm | David T. Aronberg
    Depends on the State's law where the party was. May also have some other potential issues.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    Although more facts are necessary you have an action against the driver and possibly the homeowner. Feel free to contact us to review your matter further.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    If you are under age, you likely could. Otherwise, I would not waste my time. You're an adult; act like one. I would not take your case...not ever.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Ordinarily, a person who voluntarily becomes intoxicated cannot sue the person or tavern who provided the alcohol. So, no, you probably can't sue your host.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney