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Social Host & House Party Liability

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Dram Shop & Liquor Liability
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Social Host & House Party Liability

Claims for Injuries Occurring at House Parties

Alcohol is frequently at the center of house parties and other private social gatherings in Florida. According to Florida’s alcohol liability laws, private social hosts are generally not responsible for injuries that result from their guests’ consumption of alcohol. However, if an underage guest is served, the rules are different. 

In Florida, liquor liability laws impose a duty on homeowners and party hosts to ensure that underage individuals don’t drink alcohol. If they fail to do so, they face both criminal and civil liability.

At Mase Seitz Briggs, we represent individuals and their families who have been injured as a result of a third-party violating Florida’s liquor liability ("dram shop") laws. Contact our office at (844) 627-3529 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. All consultations are free and confidential.

Florida Law Regarding Social Host Liability

Florida alcohol liability laws generally shield private social hosts from liability for their lawful service of alcohol at their home, club, or private gathering. However, when alcohol is knowingly served to someone under the legal drinking age, a host may be held responsible for resulting injuries.

Whether you were under the legal drinking age and illegally served alcohol at a house party or were injured by an underage drunk driver who was wrongfully served, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

§ 856.015, Florida Statutes makes it a crime to let anyone under 21 years of age drink alcohol at a party if:

  • The party host had control over a residence;
  • The host allowed a party to take place at the residence;
  • Drugs or alcohol were consumed by underage individuals;
  • While in control of the residence, the host knew of the underage consumption; and
  • Despite knowing that underage individuals were consuming alcohol or drugs, the host failed to take reasonable steps to prevent consumption.

Proving Civil Liability in Florida

§ 856.015, Florida Statutes can be used to prove civil liability under the doctrine of negligence per se. Negligence per se occurs when a person or business violates a criminal statute that is designed to protect a certain class of people, and the plaintiff is a member of that class.

For example, the Florida “Open House Party” statute is designed to protect underage individuals from the harm they could do to themselves or others as a consequence of drinking alcohol. When negligence per se is proven, the person or business that served the alcohol is in violation of Florida’s liquor liability laws and, as a result, liable for any resulting injuries.

Other Ways of Establishing Social Host Liability

While Florida law limits social host liability related to serving alcohol, it does not mean that you or an injured loved one do not have any recourse if you were injured by someone who drank too much at a private gathering. Alcohol overconsumption may have been one of several contributing factors in you or a loved one’s severe physical injuries.

A property owner can be legally liable for injuries arising from unsafe conditions or known hazards. For instance, if a guest trips and falls because of a loose stair or unsecured cables, the property owner may be held accountable through a premises liability claim

Common examples of when homeowners can be legally liable include:

  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Uneven flooring
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Obstructed walkways
  • Unsecured electrical wires or cables
  • Slippery floors

Property owners are required to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition and to correct or warn of any dangerous conditions that they know or should know about.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

If you or someone you know has been injured due to alcohol consumption or in an accident in which alcohol was a contributing factor, contact our office to discuss your case. Because of the powerful liquor liability laws that shield alcohol providers from accountability, you need the experienced attorneys at Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami to help you recover. 

At Mase Seitz Briggs, our attorneys are singularly focused on obtaining the maximum compensation available for each of our clients. With over 50 years of combined experience, we can help you get the results you deserve.

Understanding Your Rights After an Injury

Injury victims need to act fast to protect their right to recovery. Failure to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim within the statutory time period may prevent you from receiving compensation. If you are injured, you also need to seek medical treatment immediately and continue treatment until released by a physician. 

In general, if you are injured in an alcohol-related accident, you should always consult with an attorney to determine if you have a claim against another party. In some cases, there may be multiple parties that can be held responsible for your injuries, including the other driver in a drunk driving case or a social host that wilfully furnished alcohol to someone underage. 

Call our office to determine whether you have a valid claim for damages. Our experienced legal team will help you understand your legal options and explain your best course of action for receiving compensation.

Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured because someone improperly served alcohol, you may have a claim for all the resulting damages. The attorneys at Mase Seitz Briggs have the expertise necessary to handle your liquor liability claim and recover the compensation you deserve. 

Call us today at (844) 627-3529 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. Never settle for less than your case is worth; get the recovery you need to be made whole again. Our attorneys will fight for you and your family. Contact our office to discuss your claim. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims in Miami and throughout South Florida. 

Get the help you need from real trial lawyers that know how to hold people accountable for their wrongdoing.

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Mase Seitz Briggs
2601 South Bayshore Drive
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33133

Phone: 305-487-8863
Toll Free: 1-844-904-1749
Fax: 305-377-0080
1200 N Federal Hwy
Suite 200
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Phone: 561-210-8516
Fax: 561-210-8301
*Available by Appointment*
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