A nightclub employee, as well as the owner, could be held liable for any personal injuries sustained by their patrons, including injuries caused by a nightclub’s bouncer or security personnel. In some situations, security personnel can become overly aggressive. While they may have a valid claim for assault, the injured party can still file a lawsuit for damages in the state of Nevada.
Nightclub injuries are especially common in Las Vegas. Because most bar and nightclub employees do not have adequate finances to fully compensate an injured patron, the plaintiff may turn to suing the nightclub owner.
Assaults by Nightclub Security Personnel
Nightclub security personnel are not immune from assault claims. Any intentional acts of putting another person in imminent physical danger or causing bodily injury can constitute assault. For example, a nightclub bouncer who violently pushes a patron and causes injury could be charged with assault and also held civilly liable for their actions.
When Can You Sue a Nightclub Bouncer?
A nightclub bouncer is hired by the establishment to keep peace. They are there to ensure that no one gets hurt and no one gets out of hand, including themselves. A nightclub bouncer in Las Vegas is not a law enforcement officer, so the law treats them as ordinary citizens. Therefore, a nightclub bouncer in Las Vegas injured you, you can sue them for damages.
However, you must be able to:
Prove You Were Not the Aggressor
To sue a bouncer, you must prove that you did not provoke them. If you were inebriated or trying to start trouble, you might not be able to sue successfully. However, if there is evidence that shows you were not aggressive towards the bouncer or anyone else at the nightclub, this can help establish your case.
Prove That the Bouncer Used Excessive Force
Bouncers are supposed to use reasonable force when breaking up fights and ensuring that everyone remains safe. If they use excessive force and injure someone while breaking up a fight or taking someone into custody, they can be held liable for their actions under Nevada law.
Prove That There Was an Injury
For someone to be found liable for damages resulting from their negligent actions, you must prove there was an injury. According to American Bar Association, potential damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Current and future medical expenses
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A Bouncer’s Defense
While nightclub bouncers do not have any more authority than the average citizen, they are legally allowed to defend themselves – especially if they are involved in an altercation with a patron. If a patron starts a fight and the bouncer responds by defending themselves and there is corroborating testimony, proving the assault may become difficult.
Also, bouncers are responsible for maintaining order and safety in bars by defusing potentially violent situations. However, they can only use force if necessary.
According to Nevada law, bouncers have the right to:
Issue Verbal Warnings
Bouncers can issue verbal warnings if patrons do not adhere to the rules of an establishment or behave in a way that endangers others, such as using foul language or making threats. Bouncers may also use stern language if patrons refuse to show identification or attempt to bring weapons into an establishment.
Ask Patrons to Leave
Similar to verbal warnings, bouncers can ask patrons to leave if they do not adhere to the rules of an establishment or behave in a way that endangers others.
Protect Other Patrons
Bouncers have the right to protect other patrons from violence by using reasonable force to contain an out-of-control individual. They can call law enforcement officers to remove unruly or disorderly individuals from their premises. The bouncer may also intervene in physical altercations between patrons to attempt to calm or restrain them until police arrive.
If a nightclub’s security crew uses unreasonable force against a person, they can be held liable for the damages they have caused. Since the average bouncer is not financially capable of covering such damages, the plaintiff often must hold the employer or owner of the nightclub liable instead.
This would fall under an employment liability issue, but the employer can only be liable for claims of negligence. Therefore, it will come down to whether the bouncer was acting within the scope of their duty when they attacked the plaintiff (such as following orders from a superior) or if they were acting on their own (such as retaliating from an insult).
What to Do After Being Injured by a Nightclub Bouncer
If a nightclub bouncer in Las Vegas injured you, here are some steps you should take:
#1. Get Medical Attention
After being injured by a nightclub bouncer, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. Go to an urgent care center or emergency room so they can assess your injuries and determine their severity. Early treatment can help you avoid lasting effects from the incident.
#2. Report the Incident to Management
After being injured, report the incident to management at the nightclub as soon as possible. This not only provides a documented report for you, but it can help them keep track of incidents that occur at their establishment so they can make changes – and perhaps even prevent future injuries from occurring.
#3. Document the Incident
Take photos of your injuries and gather any evidence that proves you were injured by the nightclub bouncer, such as video footage or contact information for witnesses. This evidence can be used in court to prove the violent behavior you encountered.
#4. Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney
Because these types of claims are so complex, it is recommended that you speak with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. Having an attorney can make a huge difference in your settlement amount.
Some damages that your attorney may be able to recover include:
● Medical costs, including hospitalizations and emergency room visits
● Future medical costs
● Pain and suffering
● Lost wages
● Loss of future earning capacity
Time Limits to File Your Injury Claim
In Nevada, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim – in other words, an injury that occurred due to the negligence or intentional acts of another person. If a nightclub bouncer harmed you, you may have a valid case.
The statute of limitations in Nevada is two years for both personal injury and wrongful death cases, per NRS § 11.190(4)(e). If you do not file within two years of your injury or your loved one’s death, your case will be dismissed by default.
How Can a Las Vegas Nightclub Injury Lawyer Help?
A Las Vegas nightclub injury attorney from our firm can handle your case from start to finish. For example, we can:
#1. Confirm That You Have a Case
Your attorney will assess your case and determine if it is worth filing a claim or lawsuit against the nightclub or its owners/managers.
#2. Thoroughly Investigate the Case
A Nevada personal injury lawyer can review police reports, medical records, security footage, and other evidence to identify the liable party (or parties) and then fight for compensation for your injuries.
#3. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get the best possible settlement. Our lawyers often work out settlements that cover medical bills, lost income, and other expenses related to the incident.
#4. Represent You in Court
If we cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, our team is prepared to represent you in court and fight for the compensation you deserve.
#5. Protect Your Legal Rights
Your lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected and that your claim is handled properly every step of the way.
Contact De Castroverde Law Group Today
If a nightclub bouncer injured you, you do not have to go through the legal process alone. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney with De Castroverde Law Group offers experienced representation for victims seeking compensation for their nightclub injuries. Our lawyers are ready to represent you and explain your options.
To get started, contact us today for a free consultation.