If you have been involved in a violent incident, such as a bar fight, it is normal to wonder who can be held liable for injuries sustained. Do you have legal rights in this situation to recover personal injury damages? The answer depends on the circumstances of the exchange, so keep reading to learn about the different parties that could be held liable (and why) in a personal injury case after a heated exchange.
The Bar Holds Liability
In some cases, the bar will be the entity you hold responsible. As a place of business, the bar has a duty of care to patrons, and that means setting up security to help nip fights in the bud quickly before anyone gets hurt.
If the business failed to do this, you can sue for damages. When alcohol is involved, the business may also be held liable for serving too much and allowing the customer to get drunk. Your lawyer will help you build your case against the bar if the establishment could have done something to prevent your injuries.
The only time a business cannot be held liable is if you and the other person agreed on the fight. Whether this was on the premises at the bar or not, you took on the risks of the injuries and can’t hold the bar responsible for your choice. You may have other options, though.
The Other Person Holds Liability
If the other person is at fault, you can sue that individual for the damages caused. It doesn’t matter if you were intoxicated at the time or hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol. The amount you will be awarded can be affected by the details of the case, so an attorney is your best option when looking at personal injury cases for this reason. Your attorney can prepare your case so you have the best option of recovering damages after a fight.
When the other person was the business owner or a security guard, you may be able to sue. You will need to prove that the actions were unreasonable for the situation.
The Security Guard Holds Liability
In some cases, the security guard (or bouncer) can be held liable. This happens if the actions of the security guard were unreasonable or excessive for the situation. For example, a security guard may need to use force to throw one person out. That security guard then uses the same force on friends of the person, who were leaving on their own accord and not in the same state as the person. The force used on the friends would be unreasonable, and any injuries from this can potentially be sued for.
Another situation would be if a person who got into the middle of a fight accidentally (standing in the wrong place) was thrown out with excessive force and sustained injuries. The person didn’t start the fight and wasn’t trying to be involved, so they shouldn’t have been violently thrown out of the bar.
You can see that in these cases, injuries could have been caused by the security guard unreasonably and leave you with the option to sue for damages.
After a violent argument or quarrel, you may have options to recover damages done to you during the fight. Before you start the process, think about the reason for the injuries and who is at fault. While the person who started the fight is liable, the business and security guards may also be at fault for negligence or use of excessive force. Your best option is hiring a personal injury lawyer who can tell you what your choices are and help you prepare your case so you have the best chance of recovering some monetary award for your injuries.
The Lamber Goodnow legal team and its partner personal injury firms in Chicago are experienced in these matters. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.