Nobody really wants to be in a bar fight, but unfortunately, sometimes you or someone you know could get caught in the middle of one, and you may suffer injuries as a result. You may have a right to compensation from the owner of the establishment and/or other parties if they can be proven negligent.
For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929
Most bars and clubs are bound to provide you with a reasonably safe environment from known harm while in their establishment. However that doesn’t mean that if a fight erupts between two patrons and you get caught in the middle that you will automatically be compensated for any injuries you suffer from the bar. Frequently there is no basis for compensation to be paid. A club or bar does not act as an insurer so that they guarantee you won’t be hurt while in their club or bar. You can always sue the participants but most of the time it will be a dead end.
The law requires reasonable care and that requires that they know or should have known of a particular harm in advance to give them an opportunity for them to correct it or protect against it.
In the example above, if the patrons spontaneously get into a fight without any warning, then the club is not responsible. If they had been in a fight the night before and the staff heard one of them threaten to kill the other, then that may establish the basis for possible liability if they get into it again the following night after the club lets them in again and you get hurt.
Now if the bouncer from the club gets into a fight with a patron and you get hurt, then the club may be responsible if it can be shown that the bouncer was doing his job in a negligent fashion.
Also, if it can be proven that the person that initiates the fight was drunk and that he was apparently and obviously drunk when he was served alcohol at the bar and then got into the fight, you may have what is called a Dram Shop action against the bar for essentially negligent service of alcohol.
None of these claims are easy to prove. So if you were injured in a bar, consult with an experienced premises accidents attorney who know the law as soon as you can.