In this litigious world, we have to protect our financial interests by being aware of actions we take that others could sue over. Even a good party can go horribly wrong if a drunk guest leaves a causes a car accident. In some states, social host liability laws put the onus on the party host to police the sobriety of guests before they walk (or stumble) out the door.

Home insurance will generally pay for your defense and any judgment against you for liabilities like this, up to your policy limit. Here's more about the trouble with drunk friends.

This week we also looked at how party crashers open the door to liability. Whether or not someone has been invited to your house, you have a duty to warn them about unsafe conditions, such as a broken step. You're also likely on the hook for their drunkeness, just as you would be with invited guests, under social host liability laws, if your state has one.

So if you're having guests for New Year's Eve, ward off the bad lawsuit spirits by making sure your house is safe and the cocktails don't flow too freely.