I Was Assaulted By a Bouncer…Can I Sue the Bar?

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A bouncer’s job is to keep a nightclub or bar safe and secure. Bouncers check identification cards, protect properties from damage, escort drunken and disorderly individuals from the premises, and break up fights. Sometimes, however, the bouncer can be the one that causes an injury through physical assault or battery. If you believe a bouncer assaulted you in Omaha, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a civil lawsuit with the help of an Omaha premises liability lawyer.

The Laws of Vicarious Liability

Taking legal action against a bouncer individually may not result in fair or full compensation for your medical bills or pain and suffering. The bouncer might not have the funds to pay a settlement or judgment award in full. The bar where the bouncer worked, however, will have insurance that could pay you a better sum. It is generally in a victim’s best interest to consider the option of bringing a lawsuit against the bar instead of the employee after bouncer assault.

Bars, like other employers, will take legal responsibility for their on-duty employees. The bar will be vicariously liable for all its employees, including bartenders and servers. A tort such as assault by an on-duty bouncer, therefore, will ultimately come down to employer liability. The bar may owe you compensation as a victim of bouncer assault. If the bouncer behaved negligently, recklessly or criminally, the bar may need to pay for the wrongdoing.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

A bar could also be responsible for the actions of an overly aggressive bouncer if it reasonably should have known about the bouncer’s potential for violence yet employed the bouncer anyway. If the bouncer had a history of convictions or job terminations for violent crimes, for example, the bar might be liable for hiring the bouncer anyway. This is a form of negligent security that could expose the establishment to a premises liability lawsuit in Omaha.

Premises liability law states that a property or business owner has legal responsibility for the safety of its visitors. If an owner welcomes guests onto a property, he or she must make sure the property is reasonably free from health or safety hazards. This includes slip and fall hazards, sidewalk defects, inadequate lighting, dangerous staircases, collapsing structures, toxic substances, and dangerous pets. Another potential hazard is inadequate security.

Inadequate security often refers to a lack of proper security measures for the circumstances or location of the business, resulting in a preventable crime such as burglary, robbery, physical assault or rape. It could also, however, refer to failing to hire responsible security guards and bouncers. The security at a bar could be negligently inadequate if the bar failed to conduct a background check before hiring a bouncer, or if it failed to properly train the bouncer, for example.

Did a Bouncer Assault You?

Before you bring your lawsuit against a bar in Omaha for assault, find out what a standard bouncer legally can and cannot do to bar patrons. In general, a bouncer may only use physical force if the patron first uses it against the bouncer. Bouncers may only ask you to leave the bar, until and unless you get physical. If you do not get physical, neither can the bouncer.

Bouncers can issue verbal warnings, check IDs, ask that you leave the premises, refuse entry, protect bystanders from violence, break up fights and detain someone who committed a crime. A bouncer may only use a reasonable degree of restraint to detain a patron, however, and respond to physical attacks with equal force.

If a bouncer used an excessive amount of force or violence to throw you out of a bar in Omaha, you may have a case against the establishment. If the bouncer assaulted you without you using any physical force first, you may also have a case. Gather statements from eyewitnesses who saw the assault and keep your medical bills. Then, speak to a personal injury attorney about a potential civil lawsuit.