Assaults & Acts of Violence
Nightclub & Bar Injuries
As with any business, when patrons visit a nightclub, bar, or lounge, they expect a certain level of safety and security to prevent injuries. Unfortunately, thousands of individuals are harmed every night in fights and assaults in nightclubs and other venues where they suffer injuries. When people have been drinking, there is always a greater risk of poor decisions being made, including physical altercations. Some fights that break out can only be blamed on the patrons involved. However, sometimes the fight or assault can be directly related to the venue and its operations. While managers, owners, and staff cannot be reasonably expected to prevent any possibility of violence, if negligence on their part contributes to injuries sustained by a patron, they could be held liable for the associated damage.
Bar owners and staff have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for their guests. Safety measures can include maintaining the property to avoid injuries, such as ensuring all flooring is properly installed, any spilled drinks or broken glasses are cleaned up promptly, and any entrances/exits and other outside areas are kept in good conditions during poor weather. They also need to ensure ongoing compliance with all fire codes, including providing enough unlocked exits for patrons to leave through in the event of an emergency. Also, proper lighting around the venue and in the parking lots is crucial to avoid injuries.
To ensure a safe environment, venues need to take steps to prevent patrons from being attacked. This goes well beyond just hiring a bouncer to enforce the rules of the establishment. Background checks should be performed on all potential employees. Once hired, nightclubs, bars, and lounges need to make sure they are training their staff to properly deal with unruly patrons and prevent them from causing serious harm. They also need to make sure they comply with all Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules for serving drinks and have protocols in place to ban patrons who have repeatedly caused problems. Management should also have clear guidelines for stopping sexual misconduct and assisting the victims.
Due to the nature of their work, bouncers are often involved in bar attack cases and can be held responsible for their actions if they are determined to have assaulted a patron. They can be personally sued and held accountable if they cause injuries or fail to prevent them. Bouncers are generally not allowed to touch a patron unless they have followed certain protocols to remove an unruly guest, including calling the police. If a patron tried to engage a bouncer in physical combat, only then may the bouncer use force to control the person and defuse the situation. They also may be justified in using physical methods in the event they are protecting someone from an attacker or to stop a crime. While the bouncer can be sued as an individual if it can be proven the bouncer’s actions were the cause of another’s injuries; however, most often the bouncer will likely not be directly responsible for compensating victims. Their actions are generally viewed as the responsibility of their employers, and the establishment they work for may be liable if their negligence increases the harm inflicted on visitors.
If someone is injured or killed at a nightclub and they or their family wants to bring a claim against the bar or club, they must establish certain parameters, including proving the injury was caused by the actions or inactions of the nightclub. This can include proving the incident could have been prevented with increased diligence and/or by showing the injuries were directly caused by the incident in the establishment. Security camera footage and eyewitness testimony can help establish negligence. Victims can seek compensation for expenses including medical bills, ongoing therapy costs, lost wages, and mental trauma caused by the incident. An experienced Houston personal injury attorney understands what they need to investigate in order to evaluate a case, determine a course of action, and help the victim hold the nightclub, bar, or other venue accountable for any harm they may have caused.
Texas Nightclub Injury Lawyers
If you were attacked and injured during a night out, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other costs. The Texas nightclub injury lawyers at Adame Garza LLP have helped victims of a wide range of incidents, and we have the specific experience to confidently advise you on what options are available. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.