Bellingham Social Host Liability Law
If you were injured in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver after they left a social gathering or venue where they were served alcohol then you may be able to recover damages through a social host liability claim. We understand that it can be difficult to fight for justice when you are recovering from serious injuries; that is why we recommend seeking the help of an experienced social host liability attorney in your state.
The dedicated Bellingham social host liability attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. will bring relief to you, the plaintiff, while we handle the process from filing a complaint to pre-trial litigation to the trial, if necessary. We provide FREE case evaluations and home and hospital visits. Attorney fees are only paid out of your settlement. Do not delay, contact us today! There is a statute of limitations on filing a complaint.
How is a social host defined in Washington State?
A social host is a person who provides free alcohol to guests in their home or some other private venue such as a rented hall.
Washington State has social host liability laws applicable to guests of all ages. Generally, if you are a social host and you knowingly over-serve alcohol or provide alcohol to already intoxicated or underage guests, you could be liable for any damages or injuries they cause.
Some parents mistakenly believe that providing a “safe place” for their teenager and his or her friends to drink is better than letting them drink elsewhere. The problem is that when you allow your teen to drink under your roof you become a social host. Things can quickly get out of control when alcohol is being consumed; someone may get injured on the premises or drive away and injure themselves or someone else in a drunken car accident and you could be held liable.
Underage Social Host Liability Laws: Washington State
RCW 66.44.270 : “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.”
The penalties for breaking this law include a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail. Social hosts also owe a “duty of reasonable care” to a minor who consumes alcohol supplied by them on or off their premises or who is allowed to bring and consume alcohol on their property. Essentially, a host may be held liable if a minor is injured or injures property or someone else in any way after they become intoxicated in your home.
Since 1979, the social host liability attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. have helped thousands of injured parties in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County to receive fair compensation and just treatment for their injuries. We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to represent our clients. Our network of well regarded specialists in medicine, accident reconstruction, psychology, and engineering serve as invaluable resources when determining liability and calculating the extent and costs related to your serious injury. With the Tario & Associates, P.S. Bellingham social host liability law team on your side, you will have the experience and knowledge you need to win and receive fair compensation for your injury.
If you need help with a social host liability claim, you can count on our law firm. We fight for victims of drunk driving car accidents every day:
Michael helped me in a personal injury case when I was hit by a drunk driver. He was professional and fought hard for me to get the best possible settlement. I highly recommend him. His assistants are great too, always willing to answer questions. – Cathy
How do I know whether I should pursue a social host liability claim?
The only way to know if you have a case is to meet with one of our experienced social host liability associates for a FREE consultation. We will fully evaluate your accident and injuries and discuss your legal rights.
Do I really need to hire an attorney or should I handle my own social host liability claim?
In most cases, hiring an injury attorney will yield better results, even for seemingly minor claims. At Tario & Associates, P.S., we stand by our injured clients every step of the way and have been rated as one of the top personal injury lawyers Bellingham has to offer!
Remember that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you. If your insurance company has already presented you with a proposed settlement, you need to know whether it is fair, if your claim is worth more, or if you should hire an attorney to force the insurance company to pay you the fair and full compensation you deserve. It is not unusual for our attorneys to be able to achieve monetary recoveries five to twenty times what an insurance company has offered.
How much do I have to pay to pursue a claim?
There are no upfront costs or fees paid by our clients to pursue an injury claim; we provide representation on a contingency fee basis for social host liability cases. While you will not incur any attorney fees if you do not win your case, Washington State law requires clients to reimburse the law firm for out-of-pocket expenses. Our firm advances out-of-pocket costs for our injury clients and does not require our clients to pay any of these costs up front. When cases are concluded with a monetary recovery, our firm is repaid out of the recovery for the out-of-pocket costs we have advanced.
If you or loved one was injured, you have enough to worry about. Let us give you Peace of Mind. Contact the experienced Bellingham social host liability lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. today.