Iowa is one of 32 states with laws related to a private host’s responsibility for guests’ behavior, a doctrine known as social host liability. In some states – and previously in Iowa – this doctrine has been interpreted to mean that a host who serves alcohol to guests can be legally responsible for any harm intoxicated guests cause to others. However, Iowa’s statute was amended in 1999 to make the scope of this law much narrower.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an intoxicated individual, you could have grounds for a legal claim against the party who served that individual alcohol. However, certain specific conditions will need to be met. To discuss the strength of your case with a knowledgeable Des Moines social host liability lawyer, call LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.
Building a Social Host Liability Case
Prior to 1999, hosts who knowingly served alcohol to intoxicated guests could be liable for injuries those guests caused. However, courts eventually determined that the consumption of alcoholic beverages – not serving them – is the proximate cause of intoxication-related injuries. Therefore, social hosts are considered immune from liability in most of these cases.
However, a host who provides a guest with alcohol in violation of the law may still be found responsible for resulting harm to a third party. The most common example is a party in which adults serve alcohol, or allow alcohol to be served, to minors. If these minors become intoxicated and go on to harm someone, most commonly in car crashes, the adult hosts can be liable.
With the help of an experienced Des Moines social host liability attorney, you may be able to build a case against a negligent party host. This could help you win compensation for medical bills, lost income, wrongful death, or other losses.
The Des Moines personal injury lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. have years of experience helping victims of alcohol-related accidents. To discuss what we can do for you, contact us at (515) 705-0233.