Jackson has an active nightclub scene and usually most people have a good time unwinding after work at these venues and go home having enjoyed themselves. Occasionally, there are problems. Nightclub attendees are sometimes involved in altercations either inside the nightclub or in the immediate vicinity or even have an accident while leaving, perhaps in a cab or their own vehicle. What are the limits of liability in a nightclub injury? Should the victim of an attack just blame the person or persons who attacked them and seek damages from them or can they blame the nightclub?
As in many personal injury cases, the answer is never a straightforward one and depends on the exact circumstances, the ability of the attacker to pay any proven damages and the liability of the nightclub to its customers.
For the purposes of this article we shall confine the topic to the question of liability after a nightclub attack that occurs inside the venue only.
Who was involved in the fight?
If a fight occurred inside the nightclub, who was involved? How did it start? If you were involved in a fight that was a mutual affair, it is unlikely that you could claim any damages at all. It is a general feature of the law that this would be regarded as a “mutual affray.” It would be different if you were the innocent victim of someone else’s malevolence, i.e. it was an unprovoked attack against you, or you were hit by accidentally, e.g. by a bottle thrown through the air by someone else.
If you were the victim of an attack started by someone else and there was no mutual involvement or you were hurt as an innocent bystander, the primary legal action would be directed against the person who injured you. This would be a personal injury lawsuit against your attacker or the person who injured you when you had nothing to do with the fight. A personal injury lawsuit is a civil action independent from any criminal charges laid against the attacker which may have resulted from the fight.
Although the attacker may be the primary defendant in any lawsuit, it is not at all obvious that they may have the means to pay any damages sought. You would be looking for compensation for any medical treatment that was necessary as a result of the injury, as well as the replacement of any lost earnings you have suffered because of the injury and possibly a pain and suffering payment. This could amount to a lot of money, but there is no certainty that the attacker would be capable of making a payment after a successful lawsuit.
The liability of the nightclub
As it is unlikely that the attacker would have liability insurance, unless it was a staff member who attacked you, there is merit in looking at the liability of the nightclub itself. All such establishments would have premises liability insurance and a duty to provide a safe environment for their patrons, so depending on the circumstances there may be a possibility that you could sue the nightclub manager, or the owner, for negligence because the fight occurred on their premises and your injury was a direct result of their inability to stop it from taking place.
You will need a personal injury lawyer if pursuing a nightclub liability claim
Because of the difficulty in proving that the negligence of the nightclub manager, owner or staff working in the nightclub caused your injury after a fight, you will need an experienced Jackson personal injury attorney to help you with your claim. The attorney will assess the circumstances of the fight and the injury you received and give an opinion about whether a personal injury claim is viable. If so, the attorney will make a recommendation about whom you should pursue for damages. This may be the person who attacked you, the nightclub or multiple parties.
In Jackson, contact an experienced nightclub injury liability attorney at the Diaz Law Firm to discuss your legal options and strategy after a bad accident. You can contact the Diaz Firm online or call us at 601-607-3456.