Bar fights are nothing new. The booze starts flowing and a brawl suddenly erupts because one guy gets too close to another guy’s girlfriend, or because one fan’s football team is smoking another fan’s team during the big game. Bar fights can end in all kinds of ways—but they often end in an arrest.
Some fights end with criminal charges, but can a bar fight also be considered negligent security?
Bar Owners – Responsible or Relieved?
Owners of bars are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure that their clients and customers are safe. This also means keeping their customers safe from assault or injuries caused by intoxicated patrons.
The bar owner, and/or the hired security company, has a duty to keep you safe from bar fights. If the bar owner or security company fails to keep you safe from a bar fight incident, and that failure caused you injuries, then they may have committed negligence.
History Can Repeat Itself…
Moreover, if a bar has a history of bar fights and security-related issues, then the bar owner has an even greater responsibility to keep patrons safe. This is also the case if a security company has been hired to prevent such fights and habitually fails to do so. Generally, if the harm caused to a patron was foreseeable by the bar owner, then he or she is likely to be held liable for any injuries.
What to Do if You Were Injured in a Bar Fight
If you were injured in a bar fight, either as a bystander or as the one being assaulted, and you were on the premises of a private business, then you may be entitled to compensation which can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- …and more.
That being said, no one can be expected to protect its patrons against every accident and/or crime that happens to take place in a bar. But, if it is proven that the bar owner could have taken reasonable measures to prevent patrons from injuries, and those measures were not taken, then the bar owner may be held liable.
Play it Safe
Some common, reasonable safety measures can include:
- Installing security cameras and surveillance systems
- Hiring security guards and bouncers
- Installing adequate lighting
- Avoid over-serving patrons
- Keeping exits clear of people and furniture.
If the bar owner does not take these precautions and someone is assaulted, robbed, abducted, or sexually assaulted, then he or she may be held liable for the injuries.
Negligent security is a very specific, specialized area of the law. Some factors that need to be considered include the details of each accident, the applicable laws and regulations, and time limits involved in bringing a possible claim.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Find an attorney that offers comprehensive personal injury lawsuit services if you have been injured in a bar fight. Look for an attorney who aggressively represents their clients.
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