Last week we looked at a local Austin news story about a bar patron that received 55 stitches and an injured eye in a bouncer attack. Then we discussed why these injuries caused by bar employees might be happening. As a change of direction, let us discuss who is liable for your injury if you are sent to the hospital for a bouncer’s negligent behavior.
In bouncer attacks, you may actually have some options. You could sue the bouncer or you could sue the employer of the bouncer. The employee will often not have the funds to pay for the injuries he or she gave you, since medical treatment tends to be very expensive. Therefore, taking on the employer is probably the best move if they can be proven liable for your injuries.
Why Might a Bar Owner be Liable for My Injury?
The reason you can take on the bar or nightclub owner is because your injuries were received on commercial property. Therefore, your claim can become a premises liability lawsuit, which means you claim that the employer is at fault for your injuries, since you were a guest at his or her establishment and he or she allowed the conditions for your injuries to occur. Generally, these premises liability cases will involve fallen objects, slip and falls or a vehicle crashing into a store, causing injury to a customer.
An owner of any business is required to ensure that reasonable care was used to keep an area safe for customers or employees. This can sometimes be as simple as making sure that all the light bulbs work, so that no one trips on a step or that a spilled cocktail is cleaned up quickly off the floor to prevent a slipping accident.
In a premises liability case, you and your personal injury lawyer will have to prove that you were injured at the bar and that the employer’s negligence caused your injuries. For instance, the property owner might not be at fault for your injuries if you fell and hurt yourself because you were drunk. However, if your injuries were not your own fault, then you may have a case for proving that someone else is to blame.
As we said last week, a bouncer does not have any more right to physically remove someone from the premises than a server does at a restaurant. Bouncers can ask you to leave and then call the cops if you do not leave, but they cannot physically throw you out of the door.
Bar owners are expected to ensure that bouncers and other employees handle guests with reasonable care at their establishment. If a poorly trained bouncer has hurt you, then a personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate to see if the employer is also liable for the injuries you received on his or her property.
[Did You Know? Bouncers became popular during the late 19th century in saloons and brothels to prevent people from avoiding payment or starting trouble.]
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney