Who Is Liable for Injuries in a Bar Fight?
Posted in Lawsuit on January 25, 2017
Bar fights don’t only pose threats to a victim’s physical health and reputation – they can also have legal ramifications. Bars and nightclubs are common scenes for arguments and fistfights, usually due to alcohol consumption and drunken and disorderly conduct. Alcohol can cause depression, aggression, paranoia, and even rage.
Bar fights can erupt in a matter of seconds, resulting in chaos and a high risk of personal injury to everyone involved. Injuries may result from physical contact, thrown pieces of furniture, broken glass bottles, weapons, or unnecessarily rough bouncers. If you sustained an injury in a bar fight, learn your rights as a victim.
Types of Bar Fight Claims
Bar fights can lead to serious injuries such as lacerations, significant bruising, head or brain trauma, neck and back injury, or facial injuries. Victims will often have expensive medical costs, including the price of an ambulance and tests and X-rays. Injuries may cause missed work, or even the loss of a job due to the physical appearance of facial injuries. Violent bar fights and assaults can also lead to emotional and mental trauma and distress.
Guiltless bar fight victims may be able to receive compensation for these damages by filing a premises liability, civil liability, or assault and battery claim. Here is a breakdown of each:
- Premises liability. Bar owners have a duty to keep a property reasonably safe for patrons and visitors. This includes providing adequate security to keep patrons safe from assault. If an establishment reasonably should have known about the propensity for fights based on a history of violence, it must take steps to avoid patron harm, such as hiring ample security or serving drinks in plastic cups to avoid patrons using bottles as weapons. Learn more about premises liability cases.
- Civil liability. Your bar fight may take the form of a negligence case if the bar or nightclub breached its duties and if this breach caused your bar fight injuries. According to Missouri dram shop laws, bars have a duty to refuse to serve alcohol to patrons who are already intoxicated. If a bar continued to serve a patron who was clearly intoxicated, and that person caused your injuries in a fight, you may have a claim against the bar itself.
- Assault and battery charge. If the person who caused your injuries did so on purpose and with the intent to commit assault or battery, you may be able to file a claim against the individual. You must prove the defendant acted with intent, but you do not have to prove that the defendant meant to cause your specific injuries. Even if you weren’t the target of a bar fight, you can file an assault and battery claim against another bar patron, bar security personnel, or bar management. Assault and battery is a criminal charge, not a civil charge.
There are plenty of legal remedies available to innocent victims injured in bar fights in Missouri. Depending on the circumstances of your bar fight injury, your defendant(s) and legal options will vary. You may have grounds to file more than one claim against an individual or the establishment.
Who Is Responsible?
If you suffered a major personal injury during a bar fight, the first step toward compensation is retaining a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can investigate your claim and tell you if he or she believes you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in Kansas City. Your lawyer will help you identify the defendant or defendants in your bar fight incident. More than one party may share responsibility for your injuries. Contact an attorney today to find out your potential legal remedies in your particular case.