Unpredictable crowds, alcohol and cramped spaces can be a dangerous mix. A fun night out with friends can escalate into chaos, leaving you with serious injuries from a sudden bar fight. Even as an innocent bystander, you deserve compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress and financial burden you endured. The question is, who do you hold liable?
Bar owners have a responsibility to ensure your safety
Under the theory of premises liability, property owners such as bar owners owe the highest duty of care to their visitors. They must prevent foreseeable harm to their patrons by maintaining a safe environment and promptly addressing potential dangers. If hazards cannot be immediately resolved, bar owners must warn customers.
A pub that has a reputation for fights or questionable clientele has several options to enhance safety: hiring bouncers, requesting police assistance or training staff in de-escalation techniques. A bar may be liable for injuries if it fails to provide a safe environment.
In addition, dram shop laws in Mississippi do not protect vendors who serve liquor to visibly intoxicated patrons from liability. If the bar served alcohol to someone who was clearly drunk and that person started the fight that led to your injuries, you may have grounds to sue the establishment for damages.
If you were involved in the conflict in any way, however, you may not get as much compensation as you were hoping for.
What is comparative fault?
Mississippi follows the legal theory of comparative fault. If you are partially responsible for your injuries, your compensation will decrease in proportion to your fault. For instance, if the court deems you 10% at fault, it will reduce your compensation by 10%.
In addition to bodily harm, bar fights may lead to complicated legal issues. Consider speaking with a lawyer if you sustain injuries during a bar fight to see whether you have a case. You may be able to collect compensation for your losses.