What to Know About Social Host Liability Laws in New Jersey

If you were injured by another due to a negligent social host, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Reach out to our firm today to learn more about your legal options. Our Middlesex County personal injury attorneys are on your side.

What are New Jersey’s social host liability laws?

New Jersey has social host liability laws in place that permit an injured person to recover damages from any social host who provided alcohol to an intoxicated individual of lawful drinking age at a party or similar event when that guest goes on to cause an alcohol-related accident. In order to bring a successful claim, the injured party typically must demonstrate that:

  • the person who caused the injuries was visibly intoxicated in the presence of the host, or
  • the situations created an “unreasonable risk” of harm to life or property, and
  • the injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident caused by the intoxicated person who was served by the social host.

In New Jersey, if a social host negligently serves a minor who then causes harm to someone else, the injured party may have a possible claim against the social host for negligence.

Can I obtain compensation for my injuries?

With compensation, liability in dram shop and social host cases are defined only in terms of money damages, produced by the defendant or the defendant’s insurer to the injured person. The most typical types of damages in these cases include:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Bills for rehabilitation or therapy
  • Lost wages
  • The value of household services and childcare the injured person would otherwise have performed
    property damage
  • Pain and suffering

It is also essential to recognize that the state of New Jersey also permits those hurt in dram shop and social host liability claims to pursue punitive damages. Opposite of compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to penalize specific bad cases of misconduct, including gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional bad behavior.

With the majority of New Jersey dram shop claims, they must be filed within two years of the date of injury in order to be heard in court. But, the facts of each case are different, which is why it is in your best interest to reach out to a skilled Middlesex County personal injury attorney as soon as you are able to after suffering an injury to make sure that your rights are covered.


Stathis & Leonardis, LLC is an experienced personal injury law firm in Middlesex County, New Jersey that is committed to helping clients who have been hurt due to another party’s negligence. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or were injured on another person’s property, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.

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