Bar and nightclub fights can happen due to a variety of reasons, but a common theme is that they almost always involve alcohol. Disputes, heightened emotions, or jealousy over a romantic interest can cause altercations leading to a range of injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, concussions, head injuries, and facial trauma. Sometimes, individuals may suffer life-threatening injuries from weapons.

In Indiana, the ability to sue for injuries resulting from a bar or nightclub fight depends on various factors, primarily centered around premises liability. Establishing liability typically involves demonstrating that an establishment failed to provide adequate security or negligently allowed conditions that led to the altercation. To pursue a successful lawsuit, an injured party must show that the establishment owed a duty of care, that this duty was breached, and that the breach directly caused the injuries.

In premises liability cases, Indiana courts often consider the foreseeability of harm. If an establishment had prior knowledge of violent incidents or a history of inadequate security, it may strengthen the case for negligence. Additionally, Indiana operates under a modified comparative fault system, meaning that the injured party’s own actions can affect their ability to recover damages. Therefore, if it is discovered that the plaintiff contributed to starting or escalating the confrontation, their recovery may be reduced or barred altogether, depending on the degree of fault attributed to them. As an example, in the recent case of Brandon v. Buddy & Pal’s III, Inc., and Walker, a jury ruled that the plaintiff was actually responsible for the fight that led to his injuries, deeply impacting his case.

Pursuing legal action against the individual involved in the altercation may prove impractical in many cases. This is primarily due to the absence of insurance coverage for such incidents, and the individual responsible may lack the financial resources to satisfy any awarded personal injury judgment. A more realistic approach in obtaining compensation involves directing attention towards the establishment where the fight occurred. To successfully argue negligence against a bar or nightclub, one must demonstrate two key elements — the venue failed to fulfill its legal obligation to reasonably ensure patrons’ safety from foreseeable harm, and that this breach of duty directly contributed to the sustained injuries.

It is important to promptly inform management of the establishment about the incident, as Indiana’s dram shop laws necessitate timely notification following an injury-causing event. Management will need to document the event and any time there are injuries, medical attention should be sought immediately. Failing to report an occurrence promptly not only jeopardizes potential legal remedies, but also provides insurance companies and juries with grounds to question the credibility of the claims. Effectively navigating the legal process involves adhering to procedural requirements and presenting a compelling case that underscores the establishment’s negligence in maintaining a safe environment for patrons.

If you or a loved one were injured at a bar or nightclub as the result of a fight or any other reason, contact Hurst Limontes to discuss your options. Consulting with our legal team specializing in personal injury law can be instrumental in determining the most effective course of action.

Call 317-636-0808 or complete the form below for a FREE and confidential consultation. We have over a century of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.