Massachusetts Alcohol Liability Lawyer
Alcohol consumption can pose a number of different risks to the health and safety of others, particularly when intoxicated individuals choose to get behind the wheel. For this reason, it is important that those who provide alcohol to others act responsibly and do not allow intoxicated individuals to endanger the lives and wellbeing of others. In order to ensure that this responsibility is not neglected, Massachusetts has in place a range of alcohol liability laws to help injury victims pursue compensation from those responsible for playing a secondary role in the accident that harmed them.
Alcohol liability can extend to restaurant owners, bartenders, and even simply those hosting a private party. Whether their actions result in a drunk driving accident or injuries from assaults committed by intoxicated guests, those in this position may be held liable for any damages caused. For the many victims of accidents and incidents caused by another person’s intoxication in Massachusetts, the lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, know how critical this compensation can be, especially when it comes to affording medical bills and covering for any lost wages.
Alcohol Liability Laws in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, there are two main different types of alcohol liability. These are social host liability and dram shop liability.
Social Host Liability
Hosting a party for friends and family can be a great way to create a pleasant evening in which people are able to enjoy themselves and interact in the comfort of one’s home. While playing host involves certain obvious responsibilities, such as making sure the dining room is clean and taking the guests’ coats, there is one very serious legal obligation that many hosts and hostesses are unaware of: the duty of responsibly distributing alcohol. Unfortunately, too many hosts fail to respect the legal drinking age when hosting gatherings in their homes, and this can have terrible consequences.
What is a Social Host?
Social host laws cover more incidents that you would expect. According to Massachusetts rulings, a social host is:
- Anyone who provides free alcohol to their guests, and does not have an employee/employer relationship with said guests, or
- A parent or adult who provides alcohol to minors.
When individuals invite people into their homes, those hosts should assume responsibility for the safety and well-being of their guests. This includes monitoring the level of alcohol intake and preventing inebriated guests from potentially damaging behavior.
Dram Shop Liability
When an intoxicated individual causes an accident that involves injuries and/or property damage, he or she is often held responsible for the financial burdens that are placed upon innocent individuals. If another individual or establishment provided the intoxicated individual with excessive alcohol, that party may also be held liable for the resulting damages. This is called dram shop liability, and victims who have suffered at the hands of over-served, reckless individuals deserve to know that they have a right to pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered.
Dram Shop Liability Laws
In Massachusetts, dram shop liability laws are designed to ensure that any business operating under a liquor license does not serve alcohol to minors or over-serve alcohol to intoxicated adults; these laws specifically outline how liability will be determined in the event that an intoxicated individual causes damage as a result of consuming too much alcohol. Businesses that are governed by these statutes include the following:
- Country Clubs
- Liquor Stores
Don’t let negligent parties get away with harming innocent bystanders, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. Call an attorney today to learn how you can hold alcohol providers legally responsible for their actions.
Talk to an Alcohol Liability Attorney in Massachusetts
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a bar, restaurant, or social host’s reckless or negligent actions in providing alcohol to others, an attorney from Crowe & Mulvey, LLP can potentially help you fight for the compensation you are seeking. To learn more about how you can fight for your rights and interests, and how we can possibly help, call (617) 426-4488.