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Bar Fights and Premises Liability

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Premises Liability


When you go out with friends to explore the Chicago nightlife scene, a bar fight can ruin your experience. Fights fueled by alcohol are not uncommon, and many of them take place inside bars, clubs, and restaurants throughout the city. An unwarranted physical confrontation may result in serious injuries such as concussions, broken ribs, or skull fractures. Most of the time, your assailant will be directly held responsible for your injuries, potentially facing criminal or legal action. However, depending on the circumstances, the establishment or private venue where the fight occurs may also be liable for resulting damages.

Filing a Premises Liability Claim

As a patron of any Chicago bar or establishment, you have the legal right to be kept safe from undue harm and injury. If the business owner was negligent and failed to offer adequate protection, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. In premises liability cases, you must prove that the owner did not take sufficient measures to prevent a foreseeable injury from happening. For examples, if you were hurt in a bar fight, contributing factors can include:

  • Failing to remove intoxicated or violent patrons. Because excessive drinking often leads to aggressive behavior or unruliness, a simple misunderstanding can quickly escalate into a full-on brawl. Bartenders have an obligation to refuse alcohol service to already intoxicated patrons, and failure to do so can result in dangerous situations. Consequently, the establishment can be held responsible for contributing to an aggressor’s actions and your injuries.
  • Failing to provide adequate security. Not having enough security personnel to stop a fight can be seen as negligent. Bars with a history of fights or arrests should know to hire additional security to handle future incidents. Popular venues also require more staff for crowd control. If you were hurt in a fight due to lack of security, you may be able to file a premises liability claim.
  • Using excessive force. In some instances, bouncers have to forcibly break up a fight, and remove an aggressor from the bar. However, excessive force can result in unnecessary injuries to victims or bystanders. Depending on the situation, the bar owner can be held accountable for the behavior of his employees.
  • Creating an unsafe environment. An establishment creates an unsafe environment when it lets in more patrons than the space can accommodate, encourages rowdy behavior, or fails to address a problem until it’s too late.

If any of the factors above contributed to a bar fight that caused your injuries, you may be able to file a premises liability claim with the help of a Chicago personal injury attorney. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our premises liability attorneys have decades of experience in helping victims successfully recover damages. We will be able to assess your case, establish liability, and figure out the best legal option. You can be potentially compensated for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to find out how a knowledgeable Chicago premises liability attorney can assist you.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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