What happens if I am injured in a fight at a bar or club in Massachusetts?
If you were injured at a bar or club, you may have a claim to recover for your injuries. Many people are seriously injured in fights, slip and falls or even more serious violence like stabbings or shootings.
You can always recover against the person that caused your injuries. However, in most cases that will not provide you with any compensation. Generally, it is easier to locate the owner of the establishment where the assault took place, than the assailant. Additionally, the club owner is more likely to have an insurance policy from which damages could be recovered. In that case, you will want to see if you have a claim for negligent security against the club and or owner of the club. Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim. Premises liability is the legal concept that property owners have some level of responsibility for accidents and injuries that take place on their property. The law states that property owners are in the best position to prevent or minimize foreseeable crimes, and their failure to do so is considered negligence. In order to win a case against a bar or club, you must prove that the bar or club was negligent, and their negligence was the cause of your injury.
Many times, these horrible incidents could have been avoided had the club owner taken reasonable measures to provide for the safety and security of their patrons. There is no set list of what specific security measures a club owner is required to take. A club or bar owner must take all “reasonable” measures to ensure that their customers are safe. The gray area often is trying to determine what would be considered “reasonable”. When determining what reasonable security measures a bar or club should take, it is common practice to look to what type of establishment it is. What is considered reasonable for a wine bar, would more than likely not be considered reasonable for a bar in a heavily crime-infested area.
Foreseeability is an important factor in negligent security cases, as it may be difficult to hold a club owner liable for an incident that was difficult to foresee. Reasonable security in a bar may include having multiple bouncers, screening patrons for weapons, having proper lighting, properly training their employees and security personnel, as well as adequate security cameras. However, if a bar is notorious for fights, stricter security measures may be required and failure to implement such would be considered negligent. These additional measures could include hiring off duty police officers as additional security, serving drinks in plastic cups (to prevent bottles from being broken or thrown), and securing tables and chairs to the floor. In most premises’ liability cases, the burden of proof is on the injured party to show that the bar owner should have foreseen that the injury or accident could have occurred.
Courts will determine foreseeability primarily based on whether there were prior, similar crimes at the same location that the owner knew, or should have known about. Many bars and clubs have had repeated incidents of violence or police activity at their club. Your lawyer can investigate prior incidents of police activity at the club to develop a pattern of negligent security. This will help to prove that the incident was foreseeable, and the bar or club owner should have taken additional measures to ensure that it did not happen again.
These cases often involve intoxicated assailants, and therefore usually involve not only the club’s security protocol, but also their alcohol service policy. A bar also has a duty to closely monitor their patrons and ensure that they are not serving alcohol to intoxicated customers. The owner should be mindful of obvious signs of intoxication such as, slurred speech, clumsiness, and extreme changes in behavior.If you were involved I a similar incident, DelSignore Law Attorneys can help you.
As in any personal injury case, it is extremely important what you do immediately after the incident. If you are attacked in a club or bar, it is important that you immediately file a report with management. The legitimacy of a claim is often questioned the longer it goes unreported. It is also important to get the contact information for any eye witnesses who may have seen the attack, or who may have been aware of your assailant’s behavior before the assault, i.e. how much they were drinking. Witnesses can be critical in proving your case.
If you were injured at a bar or club that did not properly protect you, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. Cases of negligent security like this are rarely clear-cut, so it is important to enlist the help of an attorney with experience in this type of law.
Contact us at DelSignore Law. We have a staff consisting of highly skilled personal injury attorneys who will file a claim on your behalf to recover for your damages. Call us now at 781-686-5924. We are on standby and are available to speak with you today. If you are still unsure as to whether hiring a lawyer is the right decision, consider what some of our clients have to say after working with us.