If my minor son was at a party and was injured, are the homowners liable for any of his medical bills?

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If my minor son was at a party and was injured, are the homowners liable for any of his medical bills?

The parents were home and beer was served at a party. My minor son punched a window and his medical bills were over $3,000. Are the homeowners liable for any of his medical bills? What about party-host liability?

Asked on April 29, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Criminal charges could be brought against the homeowners for contributing to the delinquency of a minor by providing a minor with alcohol.

As for the separate civil case, the homeowners are liable for the injuries of a guest.  When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain your son's medical bills and medical reports.  His personal injury claim will include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of his injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Prior to filing a lawsuit against the homeowners which would be based on either negligence or premises liability, it may be possible to settle the case with the homeowner's insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your son's lawsuit against the homeowners.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because a minor cannot file a lawsuit himself.

If the case is NOT settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, you will need to file the lawsuit on behalf of your son prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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