Is a Nightclub Responsible for Injuries Sustained in a Bar Fight?
It’s always nice to head out on a Friday night to get a few beers with your buddies. You’ve worked hard all week and you just want a few hours to relax. Maybe you have plans to watch a hockey game. Or maybe you’re gonna play a few games of pool. The last thing you expect is for the night to end in the emergency room!
Sometimes, things can get pretty hairy in a nightclub. Once people start drinking, they don’t always act the way they normally would. You could look at someone the wrong way and they decide to pick a fight. Or maybe you buy a girl a drink not knowing that her boyfriend is three feet away.
There are a hundred different reasons why a fight could start in a nightclub. The bottom line is, when punches are thrown, people get hurt. If you’ve been injured in a fight at a nightclub, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Fort Walton Beach.
Are Bars Responsible for Nightclub Fights in Fort Walton Beach?
It’s hard to say exactly who’s responsible for a nightclub fight. Clearly, the person who starts the fight should be held liable. It’s only fair after all. The other people who get involved in the right should bear some of the responsibility too. But, what about the nightclub owner? Should they be held responsible for the behavior of their patrons?
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. The nightclub owes their patrons a duty to keep them safe. This means the bouncers and management are under an obligation to prevent fights from happening. Nightclub liability falls under negligence.
In order to prove that the nightclub is responsible for your injuries, you’ll have to show the following:
- The nightclub owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the breach
It is widely accepted that bar and nightclub owners owe you a duty of care. The question then becomes did they breach this duty?
Are the Owners Responsible for Your Bar Brawl Injuries?
When determining if a nightclub owner is responsible for your injuries, we have to determine if they breached their duty of care. In most bar fights, it’s pretty easy to show that the bouncers or management should have been able to prevent the fight.
If the person who started the fight was overserved, the bar is liable. If the bouncers were close enough that they should have stopped the fight, the bar is liable. If security did nothing to break up the fight, the bar is liable.
There are only a few situations in which the nightclub owner wouldn’t be held responsible for your injuries:
- The fight was agreed upon by the parties
- The fight took place off-property
- You started the fight
If you think you have a claim against the nightclub owner, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Fort Walton Beach right away.
How Can a Fort Walton Beach Lawyer Help?
Your Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer is familiar with these types of cases. They understand the dram laws in Florida. Dram laws basically hold a bar responsible for serving their patrons too much alcohol.
If your assailant was drunk at the time of the fight, it’s probably because the bar overserved them. Even if they were at another bar earlier in the night, the bartenders should’ve noticed that they had already had too much to drink.
Bars also have to consider their crowd. If their crowd is a bunch of elderly people playing shuffleboard, they may not need extra security. However, if their crowd is a bunch of young people doing shots, they may need to treat it a little differently.
Some bars take special precautions to prevent bar brawl injuries. For example:
- They serve all drinks in plastic cups so their patrons don’t have glass bottles
- They have a drink maximum – for example, some bars won’t serve you more than one drink at a time
- They check ID at both the door and the bar to prevent underage drinking
- They have capacity limits so the bar can’t get too crowded
If you or a loved one have gotten injured in a nightclub fight, you need a good personal injury lawyer. Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It is absolutely FREE and it gives you a chance to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney.