The Dangers Lurking at Your Holiday Gatherings

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, it’s not uncommon to see an uptick in personal injury cases. Many of these cases are premises liability claims against property owners. These cases usually happen whenever there are gatherings on private property, like a home or business. When you’re invited to a holiday party or work engagement, you aren’t worried about the safety of the surroundings or whether your host was careful with the food being served. Whether it’s a holiday party with colleagues or a neighborhood Christmas party, it’s important to be alert and avoid putting yourself in a situation where you could become severely injured.

4 Premises Liabilities to Watch for During a Holiday Gathering

Many common issues like slip and falls and tripping hazards are common during holiday gatherings, but you also have to be worried about intoxication-related injuries if alcohol is being served.

Here are four of the most common types of premises liabilities during holiday gatherings:

· Hazardous Property: A home or property with inadequate lighting, threadbare carpet, warped floors, or an overgrown lawn can pose a danger to guests. These negligent maintenance failings can lead to concealed tripping hazards or slip and fall accidents. Property owners could be held liable for injuries suffered if a guest is injured on the property. When a property owner invites guests to their home or facility, the guests expect general safety from harm.

· Prolonged Hazards: If a property has a prolonged hazard, which is a known hazard that was ignored, the property owner could be held liable for associated injuries. For example, if the HVAC system in a property is known to leak, and no one clears the leak before guests are on the premises, a slip and fall on the slippery surface you leave the owner open to a premises liability case.

· Inebriated Guests: Social hosts are usually not held responsible for guests who come to your gathering, drink, and drive or engage in risky behavior. However, a significant caveat should be noted. The social host indemnity does not apply to underage drinkers. If a host serves a minor at an event, they could be held responsible for ensuring there are no underage drinkers.

· Poor Food Quality: If guests arrive at a property and enjoy the food provided and fall ill from it, they can argue that the food caused their illness. These types of injuries are not typically considered a premises liability claim unless the guests can prove that the property owner knowingly served contaminated or expired food without consideration to the health and safety of guests.

What Makes a Case a Premises Liability Claim?

Not every injury rises to the level of a premises liability case. If the injured party can prove their injury was caused by negligent ownership of private property or maintenance of a property. Additionally, premises liability cases involve a lack of reasonable care for one’s property that leads to the injury of someone with a justifiable reason to be on the property. If the conditions are your holiday gathering rise to the level of negligence covered above, you could be opening yourself up to a premises liability claim.

Decades of Experience to Apply to Your Premises Liability Claim

At The Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser, we have decades of experience developing strategy and handling premises liability cases. Attorney Kaiser has worked tirelessly to fight for his clients. With more than two decades of experience, he and his legal team are ready to help fight your case! Call us today at (661) 441-3446 to schedule a consultation.


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