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Who's Liable for Your Holiday Party Injury?

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

With the holidays upon us, party planning is in full swing. Like any other holiday season, a fair number of party hosts and partygoers will have to deal with holiday party injuries, throwing a wrench (hopefully not literally) into their night of merriment.

During this holiday season, social hosts and homeowners should be extra careful about liability for holiday party injuries.

Liable 'Parties'

Social Hosts

Many states have enacted laws holding party hosts liable for injuries guests may cause while intoxicated. Liability can trigger when social hosts continue to provide and serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals and the inebriated individuals cause injuries to themselves or others.

Social host laws vary from state to state. A number of states limit this variety of liability to hosts who provide alcohol to minors.


It's not uncommon for partygoers to take a spill or two at holiday parties. If you get injured at a friend's holiday shindig, the homeowner could be liable for your injury under the theory of premises liability.

Homeowners should take holiday party precautions and safeguard their homes from both indoor and outdoor hazards.

A great place to start is to focus on your decorations. Steer clear of open-flame candles and flammable holiday décor. Also, put your sharp figurines away.

Steps to Take

If you're a party host concerned about limiting your holiday party liability, you may want to throw your holiday soiree at a restaurant or some other off-site location.

Party hosts who can't seem to find holiday cheer sans alcohol should hold their holiday events at establishments with liquor licenses. That way the alcohol will be served by professional bartenders who know how to respond to guests who are consuming alcohol in excess.

If it's too little too late and you're a partygoer who was injured at a holiday party, you'll want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.

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