Whether or not you can file a civil lawsuit against a nightclub for your injuries will depend on multiple factors. It is more than likely that suing a night club will involve asserting premises liability claims against the parties who own, manage, or lease the property. It can be important to determine whether a person is classified as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser when they are on the property of another party.
Negligence principles will also be relevant to many legal cases involving claims against night clubs. The four elements of negligence are that the party being sued owed the injured party a duty of care, breached that duty, the breach caused the victim harm, and that harm resulted in measurable damages. It is essential that the party bringing a civil lawsuit against a nightclub must prove each one of these elements to obtain financial compensation for their injuries.
Premises Liability Laws and Night Clubs
Night club owners have no duty to undiscovered trespassers. However, owners and occupiers of land have a duty to discover trespassers to warn of or fix seriously dangerous conditions on the premises. It is necessary to determine if the individual bringing legal claims against the property owner is classified as a licensee, an invitee, or a trespasser.
Property owners in Texas are responsible for keeping the environment safe for patrons. Management companies and contractors are also responsible for making sure a night club is safe for visitors.
Local government laws may also influence how state laws are applied to premises liability claims. Speaking with a knowledgeable Dallas personal injury attorney can help you determine if you need to assert any other claims that are related to the negligent behavior of the property owner for injuries resulting from your time on site.
Premises Liability Cases Involving Night Clubs Often Involve Multiple Defendants
Multiple defendants are likely to be liable for the injuries suffered by accident victims in night club accidents. A corporation or an LLC may own the building, or a partnership may lease the building to another company. Many night clubs also have both employees and independent contractors on their payroll.
These factors can make night club cases injury exceedingly complex. It is often the case that more than one party can be named as a defendant, and sometimes these cases may also involve multiple plaintiffs. Civil lawsuits become more complex when multiple parties are associated with the case.
Dram Shop Laws and Civil Lawsuits Against Night Clubs
A dram shop refers to a nightclub, tavern, or bar. This somewhat outdated terminology refers to any business that serves alcohol. The phrase is typically only used in legal documents and insurance documents today. It is defined in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Any night club must be licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and can be liable for injury accidents resulting from serving a person who is intoxicated. Country clubs and other private clubs in Texas may be liable under dram shop laws. While clubs will often have liquor liability insurance, the insurance company will attempt to minimize and / or deny your claims.
The public policy justifying the enforcement of dram shop laws is to encourage bar owners and night club owners to serve alcohol in a responsible and safe manner.
If you were injured by someone who was visibly intoxicated and yet was served more at a night club, you should discuss this further with an attorney.
Common Causes of Injuries in Night Clubs
Injuries suffered by accident victims in night clubs may be caused by many different circumstances. Typically, a dangerous physical condition inside the night club is the primary cause of a patron’s injuries. The following are some of the most common causes of physical injuries in night clubs:
- Blocked emergency routes and exits
- Overcrowding of the night club
- Physical altercations with security officers or other patrons
- Faulty handrails on stairs
- Shattered glass
- Uneven floors
- Damaged furniture
It is essential to obtain evidence regarding the dangerous condition which caused the accident victim’s injuries. Therefore, any individual who suffered injuries at a night club needs to ensure that they take pictures or video of important and relevant evidence, such as that of their injuries.
Organizing The Evidence Which Can Substantiate Your Legal Claims
It is important to ensure that you work with your personal injury lawyers to collect the evidence you need to prove your legal claims. You may need to collect photographs, video recordings, and other forms of documentary evidence. Also, physical evidence may be important to your premises liability case against a night club.
Any injured patron who brings legal claims against a night club will more than likely assert a negligence claim. The four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages. The injured party must prove each one of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence to obtain monetary compensation for their injuries.
Medical records and medical bills are two of the most important forms of evidence the injured party will provide during a civil lawsuit against a night club. Assembling evidence and organizing it in a cohesive manner can take months. It is, therefore, imperative that you give all treating provider information over to your legal counsel as soon as possible so they can begin collecting important evidence early on in your premises liability case.
Common Injuries Suffered During Night Club Accidents
Night club accidents can be extremely dangerous due to the dark conditions in which patrons are moving as they spend time inside night clubs. Slip and fall accidents are common in night clubs, but other factors are also relevant. The following are some of the most common injuries suffered as a result of night club accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones
- Ankle injuries
- Knee injuries
- Neck injuries
Other injuries may also affect accident victims who are injured inside night clubs. Sometimes victims suffer injuries in the parking lot of a night club. A premises liability lawyer can help you understand the extent of the night club property that is relevant to your case.
The Different Types of Damages Victims Can Claim in Night Club Accident Cases
The measure of damages will play an influential role in settlement negotiations. Both parties will attempt to determine an approximate amount of the injured victim’s total damages. Most premises liability cases involve both general damages and special damages.
Most accident victims experience emotional, physical, and psychological trauma during and after a night club accident. General damages such as pain and suffering are designed to account for this aspect of an individual’s damages. Special damages account for those damages which can be substantiated by documentary evidence.
Special damages often include medical expenses, property damage, and lost earnings. If you cannot return to your former career due to your injuries, then it is possible that you may claim additional damages for lost earning capacity.
It is essential to focus on all the losses that affect your life due to the night club accident in which you suffered injuries.
Contact Dallas Premises Liability Lawyer Julie Wolf Today
Julie Wolf is an experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable premises liability attorney in Dallas, Texas. If you are searching for legal representation regarding the potential claims you may have against a Texas night club, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You need a premises liability lawyer with a proven track record of success in civil lawsuits against nightclubs.
We do not stand down from insurance companies and other powerful defendants; we fight them with everything we’ve got. Wolf Law, PLLC can help you with every aspect of your premises liability case. Reach out to us today to learn more about the legal options available to you.