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Who Do I Sue After Being Attacked at a Bar?

Who Do I Sue After Being Attacked at a Bar?

The Greater Columbia Area has its share of bars. From the Art Bar to the Social Bar and Lounge, to Twin Peaks Columbia, to Bar None and Tin Roof – there’s a bar for everyone. The thing is, where there’s alcohol, patrons can get rowdy, especially if they happen to be “angry drunks.” This is why bars and nightclubs are in the habit of employing bouncers and security guards to help keep everybody safe.

Even if a bar or nightclub has bouncers, they can’t be everywhere at once. Sometimes, a fight will break out or a patron will attack someone before a bouncer gets to the scene. On the other hand, bouncers and bar employees can see all the warning signs that a patron should be escorted off the premises, but they’ll fail to act and an innocent patron will be assaulted by the drunk patron.

So, what is an injured party to do if they are assaulted at a bar? Do they file a lawsuit against the bar or the patron who assaulted them? It depends on the facts of the case because it can go either way.

Legal Liability in Bar Assaults

Believe it or not, bars are not automatically liable for all assaults carried out by one patron against another patron on their premises. In order for a plaintiff (injured party) to have a claim against the bar itself, they need to prove that the bar was negligent in some way. If negligence can’t be proven, the patron could be the one liable. Examples of negligence on behalf of the bar includes:

  • Not having adequate security (e.g. not enough bouncers or none at all).
  • Failing to escort someone out who is too intoxicated.
  • Failing to boot out someone out who is belligerent.
  • Giving alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk.

Do you have grounds to file a personal injury claim? It depends on the extent of your injuries. If you only suffered minor injuries, it may be pointless to pursue a claim. On the other hand, if you accrued steep medical or dental bills for the incident, you may have grounds to file a claim against the bar or the patron depending on the circumstances.

Related: Can I Sue if I’m Assaulted?

Assaulted in a bar or nightclub? Contact our firm to meet with a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney to find out if you have a claim for compensation!


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