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Bar and Nightclub Fight Accident Attorney

Not all bars are fun, excitable, and some are safer than others, unfortunately. Though man bars and nightclubs are just places to have fun, meet new people, and enjoy a night out, some of these nightlife locations can become the breeding grounds of arguments, disputes, and sometimes all-out fights can break out.

What happens if you had been caught in the crossfire of a fight that broke out at one of these bars? And who is liable if you're injured in the attack or hit with a wayward swing from one of the offenders? Unfortunately, often, bystanders are just as equally to be caught in one of these brawls, and wind up injured before the security of the location can break up the fight. Finding out who is liable, may it be the individual who started the fight or the bar itself, is an essential step to getting compensation for any injuries you received in the incident/fight.

The Bar FIght Assailant

The first instinct is to assume that if the fight was not something you started or agreed to, the liability is on the assailant. This is true, and you can sue someone who's needlessly attacked you without you agreeing to the fight beforehand for assault. If, however, you did agree to the fight and got beat up, this is not grounds for any lawsuit.

However, some individuals may not have the money to pay for the compensation if they're found responsible and liable for your injuries. As such, sometimes suing isn't worth the time or money it would take when the individual will likely not be able to pay at all. This isn't the only option, though, as some fights in bars can be found liable on the nightclub or bar itself in cases of negligence by the establishment.

Negligence of the Bar or Nightclub?

The exception for suing for negligence on a bar or nightclub is still a fight that was agreed upon. You need to be able to prove negligence in a case against the establishment itself, and in cases of mutual affray/consented upon the fight, the nightclub or bar is hardly negligent.

When there was another patron who committed the assault on you, finding the bar negligent may seem like a strange and challenging suit to file. However, assuming that the other individual/the assailant was intoxicated at the time of the assault, which they usually are at these locations, the negligence may lie with the bar's policy on alcohol.  And, poor security management too: intoxicated individuals that may start fights.

Each bar is required to have a reasonable amount of security when their demographic and location are taken into consideration. Bars and nightclubs that primarily serve seniors before a community event, for example, would need far less security than a bar that's demographic is younger and potentially bar hopping or pregaming large parties. If the bar is in a location known for drug uses, dangerous fights, and other general dangers, the bar is expected to have security that is equivalent to the potential needs of the location. This could mean that some bars in more dangerous locations change their internal policy, like having bouncers and security guards hired to monitor the bar, affixing the chairs and tables to the bar floor, and even using plastic cups and cutlery to avoid broken glass or other dangerous items.

Each location is responsible for understanding the dangers of the location, their bar, and the large numbers of intoxicated people that may be patrons at the same time. As such, it would be considered negligent if a bar allowed a loud, excessively drunk, and potentially aggressive, individual to continue to drink while harassing other patrons. This would be a scenario in which the security and bouncers should step in and escort the individual out or cut them off from further drinking to avoid a dangerous encounter.

The legal term "dram shop" is a law that ensures that a location does not serve alcohol to already intoxicated individuals. Even if the assault happened as you left the bar, or in the nightclub/bar itself, and the individual was intoxicated, the case may be considered a dram shop case that would be against the establishment that was negligent enough to allow this patron to continue to drink despite the intoxication.

Municipal and State Laws

Negligence isn't the only way a bar can be considered liable for the assault as if the bar is violating or operating against the law; there is often a case against them legally. These sorts of violations could include operating a happy hour in a state where it's illegal, serving alcohol to underage patrons at the bar, and continuing to operate after closing time that the state prohibits. All of these violations would be an aid to an individual seeking a lawsuit against the establishment.

How To Aid in the Investigation and Prosecution of a Bar Fight Injury

When one of these assaults happens at a bar, it is essential to start by ensuring your safety. If you are in no state to do the following steps, you should be tending to your injuries and needs first.

If you are injured in a fight at a bar, seek out and report it to the manager or management team immediately after the incident occurs. It won't bar you from filing a lawsuit against the bar if you don't report it to the manager directly after the incident, but it is strongly advised that you don't wait to report the incident.

After this, you should seek out witnesses. Try to get the names and contact information of the witnesses around you who saw the assault, the assailant's behavior before the drunken brawl, and how much the assailant may have had to drink before the incident occurred. Some individuals may be reluctant to cooperate, but witnesses to the assault are often crucial to the collection of evidence for your accident attorney. The quicker that you can seek out witnesses, the better for your case their statements will be, and the easier it will be to ensure that you have credible witnesses to the assault.


An assault at a nightclub or bar can happen suddenly and cause serious damage to you or your belongings. Being aware of where the liability may sit is essential to ensuring the strength of a potential lawsuit against the offending individual or negligent bar/nightclub.  For a free case evaluation, contact our personal injury lawyers at The Injury Firm in Fort Lauderdale: 954-951-0000.

The Injury Firm

1608 East Commercial Blvd. 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000


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