Many persons host house parties, especially after prom, and this is leading to a trend that some parents are concerned about in terms of safety. As of such, many adult who host these parties are asking young guests as well as their parents or guardians to sign what is called a liability waiver.
This is a legal document that persons sign when they participate in an activity in order to acknowledge the potential risks involved. When this is done, a company or individual is attempting to remove the legal liability from the person or business that is responsible for hosting the activity.
Can Liability Waivers Protect House Party Hosts?
Increasingly more persons, especially parents, are now turning to liability waivers to get protection for damages in their homes as well as responsibility for actions which result from house parties.
Most states enact laws which hold party hosts liable for alcohol-related injuries which occur when minors are given alcohol. This includes any injuries to minors and any other individual who sustain injuries or dies. There are more general laws for social host liability in some states, which are not restricted to minors but anyone who was allowed or encouraged to drink excessively to get injured or killed or cause another person to get injured or killed.
In addition, these laws hold the social hosts liable for any property damage that relates to such incidents. In most states, the host of the party or event must have recognized that a guest was drunk and should not be given more alcohol to be held liable. The laws apply to various other intoxicating substances as well.
It is important to point out that a homeowner’s policy typically includes liability protection that covers persons against lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury that you or any family member causes to others. However, you should be concerned about the criminal consequences as well. The punishments for adults who contribute to a minor’s delinquency vary in different states, but fines and jail time could be involved. This situation will worsen if problems arise or incidents happen after the party guest leaves. For instance, coverage will be excluded from a homeowner’s policy in most cases when an auto accident occurred afterwards.
Social host liability differs significantly as it depends on jurisdiction and the cases depend on many facts, so it is best to consult an attorney to know about the different types of liability waiver.
At the end of the day, it is a good idea to get participants to sign a release of liability once some risk is involved. As the operator or owner of the activity, this will release you from being held responsible if a participant is injured. All hosts, organizers, or sponsors of events should consider having guests or participants signing this legal document before starting the activities.