Homeowners in New York who are planning a get-together full of swimming, eating and drinking should be aware of the safety risks. Things may break, people may slip and fall, and others may misbehave themselves. Homeowners insurance will only cover so much, so homeowners should be clear with their insurance agent about the presence of high-risk features on their property like swimming pools and trampolines.
The following are just a few tips that homeowners can consider before their next party. First, hosts should let the guests know beforehand about swimming pools and other features so that they can plan accordingly. Second, it's wise to limit the number of invitees. If unfamiliar people come, hosts may want to turn them away. Parking should be provided for; that way, guests are not forced to park in tight spots or on others' property. The first can lead to vehicle damage, the second to a ticket.
If alcohol is served, homeowners should be familiar with social host liability. Homeowners should encourage their guests to come with a designated driver. If one is not present, homeowners may have to call for alternative transportation or lodge the intoxicated guest for the night.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages should be served alongside alcohol, and alcohol should stop being served well before the party ends. For some events, hiring a professional bartender, who can recognize when someone is drunk, is recommended.
If homeowners do nothing to create a reasonably safe environment for their guests, those who are injured on the property may be able to file a claim under premises liability law. This may mean hiring a lawyer since the laws are complicated, and negotiating a settlement could be difficult. The lawyer may start by hiring investigators and other experts to gather proof of the property owner's negligence. If negotiations fail, victims may decide to proceed with litigation.