Bar Fights And Personal Injury: Can The Owner Of The Bar Be Sued?

So you decided to accompany your co-workers to the nearest bar to have happy hour after work. You're having a great time. All of a sudden, a brawl breaks out. Even though you weren't involved in the altercation, you are injured by one or more of the parties involved. The question is, can the owner of the bar be held liable for your injuries? This article will give you some insight into this scenario.

Proving Negligence

If you are going to sue the owner of the bar successfully, you will need to prove that they acted negligently. If their negligence is what caused your injuries, you may be entitled to collect damages.

When it comes to proving negligence, there are four factors that will be considered by the court: duty of care, breach, causation, and damages. All four of these factors must be present in your case in order for your lawsuit to be successful.

Duty Of Care

Duty of care refers to the legal obligation a person or business has to take reasonable action to ensure the safety of the people they are dealing with. If it can be proven that an offending party in an incident had an obligation to protect those around them, then this requirement for proving negligence is fulfilled.

In the case of the bar owner, they clearly have a duty to take reasonable actions to ensure the safety of their patrons. This means they are supposed to maintain a reasonably safe environment in their bar. 


A breach occurs if the offending party fails to fulfill their obligation to ensure the safety of other people. If the owner of the bar failed to uphold their duty of care, then this requirement for proving negligence is fulfilled.

In this situation, it would be making sure that the bar had adequate security who could make sure that altercations don't become dangerous to the patrons.  Since bars serve alcohol and alcohol is known to diminish people's inhibitions, it could make for potentially aggressive behavior. This could easily cause a dangerous physical confrontation.

Foreseeable Harm

One thing that is important to note in this case is that the incident that caused the injury has to have been foreseeable if you are going to have a valid case. This means that the owner of the bar could have easily seen that a bar fight was possible if they didn't take preventive action.

If aliens came in and abducted certain bar patrons and maimed and mutilated others, then the bar owner would not be held liable. There was no way they could have seen that coming.

Causation Of Injury

Not only does the bar owner have to be shown as breaching their duty of care, the incident that caused your injuries would have to be a result of this breach. If a business breaches their duty of care, but nothing happens as a result, they are not vulnerable to a lawsuit.

In your situation, you will need to show that your injuries were the direct result of the bar fight that was caused by the owner's breach of their duty of care. If you were in the restroom when the fight broke out and tripped over your own feet, you will not be able to hold the bar owner liable.


After proving that the incident was caused by a breach of a duty of care, you will need to show that the incident actually caused your injuries. You will need to have actually suffered losses due to your injuries.

If the breach caused the incident that harmed you, but you didn't receive any serious damage, you will not be able to collect damages. Your attorney will have to show that you actually suffered a loss in order to be awarded damages.

If you have been injured in a physical altercation at a bar, it's possible that you could be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney like True, Guarnieri, Ayer LLP to find out what your rights are.

About Me

Understanding the Law Can Help Keep You out of Trouble

Like most adults, I always thought I had a good grasp of the basic laws of the country and those of my state. One day I learned that while, of course, I knew the major ones, I didn't even quite understand my local traffic laws. I always obeyed the law, but due to just not knowing about one local traffic law, I ended up facing a huge traffic fine and getting quite a few "points" on my driver's license due to my legal ignorance. I have since became determined to study up on the law, so I don't make the same mistake twice. I have learned a lot already, and I thought I would help others avoid ending up in the situation I did by sharing what I have learned on a blog. I hope I can help you stay out of legal trouble!



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