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Just a Bar Fight? Drunken Altercations Can Have Serious Consequences

Jason Reese

It’s holiday time, and especially with New Year’s approaching, people are heading out to restaurants, pubs, bars, and clubs to spend time with friends, to celebrate and enjoy life. For most of us, these evenings out are uneventful most of the time. The worst thing we worry about is a lost credit card or the dumb, but ultimately inconsequential, things we did after too many drinks. Unfortunately, when a night out goes badly, serious consequences can arise.

How many times have you seen trouble-makers getting aggressive or acting foolish because they’ve had a bit too much to drink? It’s more common than any of us would like it to be. Truth is, fights can break out anywhere, but they’re much more likely wherever alcohol resides. Even still, most of these instances are broken up easily, with little to show but some bruised pride. Some occasions, however, become incredibly frightening and dangerous. In these instances, the resulting injuries can include traumatic brain injury or death.

Since injuries sustained, either directly or proximately as a result of physical contact, can result in a need for long-term care, it is important for victims to ensure they are appropriately compensated for expenses caused by a negligent or reckless party. In the case of wrongful death, a lawsuit can allow family members to receive compensation for lost financial support, household services, parental guidance, love, care, and affection, as well as for expenses for medical care, funeral and burial, and legal services.

Premises Liability and Personal Liability

Obviously, one potentially liable party is the person who assaulted you or your loved one. You must be able to show that your assailant attacked you without legal cause, which can include things like self-defense or defense of a third party or of property. It can also provide a defense to your attacker if he or she can prove that you either consented to the fight or that your own negligence contributed to the incident. In some cases, there may seem to be justification for the assault, but assault is always illegal, dangerous, and can be harmful to the victim. The victim can, in fact, file a personal injury claim, even if the assaulter is acquitted against criminal charges related to the assault.

Another party who may be liable is the establishment at which the event took place. The theory of premises liability holds that a property owner can be legally responsible for injuries that occur on their property. If a bar or other venue owner is negligent in keeping their physical space safe, in refusing to further serve intoxicated customer, or by failing to provide ample security, the owner may be liable for the injuries sustained.

We all know that many bar fights include at least two participants. Without an experienced lawyer, it may be difficult to find sympathy for your case if you participated in the altercation, particularly in cases where the injuries do not result in death. If you or someone you know has experienced a serious injury as a result of a fight or other incident in a bar, club, or other public establishment, call Wagner Reese now for a FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440. We are an Indianapolis-based personal injury law firm with years of experience, and we can help you pursue a case against the assailant and/or establishment responsible for your loss. No fees collected unless your case is won or settled.


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