Can I File a Personal Injury Claim Against a Bar or a Nightclub if I am Attacked or Sexually Assaulted in the Club?
Yes, you can file a personal injury claim against a bar, nightclub or lounge if you are attacked, sexually assaulted, or injured while you are there. In most cases, lawsuits arising out of a fight or assault at a nightclub are based on negligence. In other words, you can sue the bar or nightclub for failing to take reasonable steps to keep you safe and protect you from foreseeable harm. In some cases, you can also file a dram shop suit against the bar or nightclub for serving the person who assaulted you too much alcohol. Here is a breakdown of the two claims:
Bars and nightclubs, like every business in Florida, have a duty to protect their patrons from foreseeable harm. Given the fact that bars and nightclubs are in the business of serving alcoholic beverages to patrons, fistfights, physical altercations and sexual assaults may be foreseeable depending on the type of establishment it is. For instance, fights, assaults and altercations are probably foreseeable at a local nightclub on a college campus that is known for fights and inebriated students every weekend. A club like that should have security or bouncers on the premises because fights are foreseeable; however, fights are probably not foreseeable at a local restaurant serving mimosas on Sunday morning where there has never been any altercation before. Using our nightclub example from above, the local nightclub should probably have an off-duty police officer present, they should install cameras and they should pat down their patrons to make sure people aren’t bringing weapons onto the property. All of these steps should be taken by the local nightclub to keep their club safe, especially if they know fights or assaults have occurred in the nightclub in the past. If you were injured in the nightclub in the above example and they didn’t have security then you would have a strong negligent security claim to bring against the nightclub. Even if the club had some level of security, you can still move forward with a negligent security claim based on the club having inadequate security. Either way, you should contact an attorney immediately if you are injured while visiting a bar or nightclub to determine whether or not the establishment’s security was adequate.
In some situations, if you are attacked by an intoxicated person in the club then you will be able to move forward with a dram shop claim. Dram shop laws impose a duty on a bar or nightclub to monitor the patrons that they are serving alcohol. Dram shop laws also make it unlawful for the bar or nightclub to serve a patron that is already intoxicated. A dram shop claim is based on the premise that the bar or nightclub provided too much alcohol to the person that attacked you. While dram shop claims are rarer and harder to prove than negligent security claims (you will be required to prove that the person who attacked you was actually intoxicated and that they became intoxicated at the bar or nightclub in question), it is important that you discuss your case with an attorney that understands the different claims available to you.
If you have been attacked or sexually assaulted in a bar or nightclub then you should contact The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams to determine how to move forward with your claim. Nightclub owners and managers will oftentimes claim you are at fault, argue you were intoxicated, or they will deny any liability until you are willing to settle for less than your case is worth, but with the help of Attorney Williams, you will have the same resources, financial backing and experience that bar owners and nightclubs have, and you will never feel alone in your fight for justice.
The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams focuses primarily on negligent security matters and we take pride in having a personal relationship with our clients. Attorney Williams treats his clients like family because he knows what they are dealing with is always more than just a case, and he refuses to let nightclub owners, defense lawyers, or big insurance stand in the way of getting his clients what they deserve. He obtains results for his clients and he’ll do the same for you, so give The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams a call to find out what your case is worth today.