In Michigan, a social host can be held liable for injuries to individuals caused by someone to whom they served or provided alcohol. If you or a loved one has been injured by a person who was served alcohol at someone’s party or informal get-together, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. A Michigan personal injury lawyer at White Law PLLC can help you recover damages sustained as a result of another person’s negligence.
Social Host Liability Law in Michigan
It is illegal to serve alcohol to minors in all 50 states in the United States. There are certain states that have additional laws that penalize people who host underage drinking. Michigan is one of those states that has a social host liability law.
Pursuant to Michigan law, anyone who provides or sells alcohol to a minor can be held criminally liable. However, they can also be held civilly liable. If the minor who was served alcohol causes someone’s injury or death, the person who served them can be held responsible for compensating the injured party for their damages.
There is no social host liability law in Michigan that relates to adults. In Michigan, a minor is anyone under the age of 21 years. If you have been injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated minor, contact a personal injury attorney in Michigan as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.
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How Michigan’s Social Host Liability Law Differs from Dram Shop Liability
Many people are aware of dram shop laws but are not familiar with social host liability laws. Dram shop liability applies to restaurants, bars, or other establishments that are licensed to sell and serve alcohol. When an adult who is served alcohol causes injuries to another person, the establishment can be held responsible for those injuries.
Social host liability, on the other hand, applies to private individuals who provide alcohol to minors. If a minor who was served alcohol causes injuries to themself or others, the social host can be legally responsible for those injuries. If you were injured by an intoxicated minor, the person who served them or allowed them to drink at their home or during their event may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries and other losses.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers at White Law PLLC can investigate the cause of your injuries and determine whether you have a dram shop or social host liability claim. We know what evidence is needed to help prove your claim. Contact us as soon as possible so we can review the materials we need to support your case and what compensation you may be eligible to collect.
Elements Needed to Make a Social Host Liability Law Claim in Michigan
To establish liability based on Michigan’s social host liability law, you must prove negligence. If a social host provided or sold alcohol to a minor or allowed them to consume it, it can be alleged that they acted negligently. In Michigan, willful ignorance is not considered an excuse and cannot be used as a successful defense in a social host liability law claim.
Negligence is defined as the failure to use ordinary care. Ordinary care is considered that which a reasonably careful person would use under the same circumstances. There are specific elements that you must demonstrate to prove negligence and make a successful social host liability law claim in Michigan.
First, you must show that you suffered an injury that was caused by a minor in an accident related to their use of alcohol. You must demonstrate that the social host against whom you are making your legal claim provided the alcohol to the minor or failed to use due diligence to verify the minor’s age. Finally, you must prove that the service of the alcohol to the minor is what caused your injuries.
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Injuries Sustained in Michigan Drunk Driving Accidents
The injuries caused as a result of a minor’s alcohol use can range in severity from minor to fatal. In 2019, there were nearly 75,000 injuries and almost 1,000 fatalities as a result of alcohol-related accidents in Michigan. Common injuries suffered in Michigan drunk driving accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Head or neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
If you have suffered from injuries as a result of an accident caused by an intoxicated minor, the social host responsible for serving them may be held liable. You should contact a Michigan personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss filing a social host liability claim. We can review the accident and your injuries to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
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Damages You Can Collect in a Michigan Social Host Liability Claim
If you were injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated minor, you are likely facing physical and financial damages. If it can be proven that your injuries were caused as a result of social host liability, the at-fault social host is responsible for compensating you for your losses. Damages you may be able to recover payment for include:
Economic damages are your actual financial damages. They can include your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage. An actual dollar amount can be placed on these tangible losses.
Non-economic damages are your non-economic losses. They can include your pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent disabilities. It can be difficult to put a monetary value on these losses.
In a social host liability law case, exemplary damages may be awarded to compensate you for humiliation, outrage, or indignity resulting from the liable social host’s malicious, willful, and wanton behavior. These damages are intended to be compensatory and not punitive. Exemplary damages are uncommon, so you should discuss whether your claim warrants such damages with your personal injury lawyer.
To recover damages in a social host liability claim in Michigan, you must file your claim within three years of your accident. To ensure you do not miss this deadline, you should consult with our personal injury attorneys at White Law PLLC as soon as possible. We can review your accident and determine what compensation you can collect for your losses.
Do Not Wait to Contact DUI in Michigan for Help with Your Social Host Liability Claim
It is common knowledge that serving alcohol to minors is illegal. If a social host disregards the law and negligently serves alcohol, or allows it to be served, to a minor who caused an accident, you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at White Law PLLC today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you get the compensatory damages you deserve.
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