Can You Sue a Party Host If You Fall?

Metzger Wickersham

New Year’s Eve parties are famous for being wild and energetic, even when compared to parties for other major holidays. If you were at an NYE’s party or other celebrations this year, fell, and got hurt amid all the fun and chaos, are you able to sue the party’s host for your damages?

Premises liability laws in virtually every state require a party host to take reasonable precautions in order to protect welcome guests and visitors. If you were hurt at a party, then you could have a chance to file a slip-and-fall injury claim against the host by virtue of this rule alone. However, what you were doing at the party and the conditions of the party itself can reduce the proprietor’s or host’s liability for your injuries.

Accepting a Risk of Injury

In many states, the amount of compensation you can receive from a liable party is reduced by how liable you are for your injuries. In some states, you cannot receive any damages whether you were 1% or 50% liable for your injuries, too.

When considering a wild party, your liability for a slip-and-fall accident that left you seriously injured could increase beyond 0% if you had accepted a risk of injury. The legal concept of “assumption of risk” states that the claimant’s or plaintiff’s liability could increase if they willfully engaged in an activity that they knew or reasonably should have known was dangerous. If you were intoxicated at the party when you fell, then the defendant could likely argue that your intoxication is what caused you to fall and that you assumed the higher risk of falling over by drinking until you were intoxicated.

New Hazards During a Party

A key element of premises liability law is that the proprietor – or party host – has to protect guests from hazards that they should have reasonably known about. As a party progresses, safety hazards can start cropping up if the guests are being wild and riotous. For example, someone might knock over a cup of alcohol, creating a puddle on the ground that was not there when the party began.

The party host might have an understandably difficult time keeping track of every guest and every potential hazard if there are a lot of people in their house. Noticing and addressing every property hazard as they occur is arguably unreasonable, so the host’s liability for your slip-and-fall injury could be reduced.

Although, you should not simply accept the host’s argument that they could not have possibly cleaned up the hazard that caused your fall beforehand. Even in a busy party environment, the host or proprietor needs to make reasonable attempts to check that everyone is safe and sound, such as walking from room-to-room once every 10 minutes or so. If they ignored this duty to an unreasonable extent, then they could still be held liable for your damages after an accident during their party.

Were you hurt at a New Year’s Eve party or other celebration in Pennsylvania? Metzger Wickersham and our slip-and-fall accident attorneys would like to hear from you. We have offices throughout the state to make working with our team and pursuing fair compensation convenient. Contact ustoday.

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