Were you seriously hurt in an assault at a nightclub or bar? What should be a fun night out can quickly become a nightmare when a negligent business owner fails to take reasonable steps to protect patrons.
Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers is committed to helping assault victims hold negligent property owners accountable. We will put more than 30 years of experience to work fighting for the compensation you deserve as you move forward with your life.
New York premises liability law requires property owners, managers, and lessees to uphold a duty of care to visitors and customers. When they breach this duty and someone is hurt, they can be held financially liable.
Property and business owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition to protect visitors. Bars and nightclubs must protect or warn visitors from known hazards and hazards they should know exist. They must also take reasonable steps to protect visitors from foreseeable criminal actions by third parties.
Premises liability law allows bars and nightclubs to be held accountable if they sell alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk and that person leaves and hurts someone in an accident while driving. They can also be held accountable if a patron is assaulted by security staff or another patron if they are found negligent.
Premises liability cases involving assaults in nightclubs are notoriously difficult to prove. It is crucial to consult with an experienced New York premises liability lawyer to help you build your case.
As a general rule, a bar or nightclub owner has a duty to protect patrons for foreseeable harm. They must take reasonable steps to control the conduct of people on the premises if they are reasonably aware there is a need and opportunity to do so. To be held accountable for third-party criminal acts, such as one patron assaulting another, the act must be foreseeable.
When is a nightclub assault considered reasonable? New York courts generally hold that nightclubs cannot be held accountable for unforeseen and spontaneous assaults. When patrons get into an altercation that leads to a spontaneous attack, the business owner may win their case by showing the assault was sudden and could not be expected.
However, if you can show evidence that the situation was escalating, the property owner may be held liable. For instance, Patron A has become belligerent and loud over the course of an hour. They begin harassing Patron B loudly. Staff and other patrons are aware of the situation and start to move away. Patron A continues the verbal harassment and then begins pushing Patron B before finally punching them in their face.
In this case, the bar or nightclub may be found negligent if they do not intercede. Patron A’s behavior prior to the assault can be considered putting the owner on notice of a situation that may be dangerous and cause harm.
The security the nightclub provided is also crucial to winning your case. The court will consider whether similar crimes have occurred at the establishment or in the area, the types of crimes that should be anticipated in a nightclub, and what measures are reasonable to protect patrons.
A nightclub owner may be found negligent and held liable for assault if they failed to enact minimal safety precautions. Depending on the circumstances, this may include:
If you have been the victim of nightclub violence, it is important to consult with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Premises liability claims are complicated, and there is a high burden to prove your case against a negligent nightclub owner. Each element of your case must be backed with evidence such as expert testimony to recover the compensation you deserve and hold the negligent property owner accountable.
Goidel & Siegel has represented assault victims and their families for more than 30 years. Our multilingual trial lawyers have extensive experience at the negotiation table and in the courtroom which means insurance companies take us seriously. We are prepared to fight tirelessly for the fair compensation you need.
Contact our law firm for a free consultation to discuss what we can do to help you. We can meet you in our office, during a virtual consultation, or somewhere else you are comfortable.
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