To help explain how to proceed in the wake of a Texas bar brawl, we are going to answer a few frequently asked questions. Whether you were a victim, an instigator, a property owner, or have a loved one who was involved, these questions and answers should help shed more light on the best course of action. When fights break out, everyone involved should be aware of what to do to avoid legal fallout and get compensated for any damages suffered during the altercation.
I started a bar fight—should I get an attorney?
Absolutely, yes. An experienced Texas bar brawl attorney will be instrumental in putting up the best defense possible. Since you started the fight, you could be facing some serious charges.
In Texas, aggravated assault is a second-degree felony with punishments including 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. While simple assault in Texas typically carries misdemeanor penalties, the offense can easily elevate to a felony. A person convicted of simple assault could also face jail or prison time and hefty fines and fees.
An experienced bar fight lawyer will be able to gather evidence and prepare a case that could make the difference between several years in prison or paying a fine. If you started a bar fight, get a lawyer ASAP to protect yourself as much as possible from legal repercussions and limit damages you may have to pay.
Is the bar (partially) liable in a bar fight injury claim?
It depends… If you started the fight, the bar probably isn’t liable. However, the bar might be held partially liable if they over-served you. But even if the bar was negligent when over-serving you, you’re still likely to be responsible if you started the bar brawl.
If you were injured, the bar might be held liable if they over-served the person that assaulted you. These bar brawl injury claims are usually based on the establishment’s negligence. It’s up to you and your attorney to prove that the nightclub or bar failed to meet a legal duty to keep you reasonably safe from certain foreseeable harm or by over-serving patrons that caused your injury.
Expert bar brawl attorneys can help establish who is liable for your injuries and any damages suffered as a result.
What can I do if I was assaulted by a bartender or bouncer?
When it comes to using force, bouncers and bar employees operate under strict guidelines in Texas bars and nightclubs.
They can only respond to violence, not start it. Bouncers are allowed to refuse entry if someone is too intoxicated, if they fail to comply with establishment policies, or if they engage in aggressive behavior. Bouncers can also call the police. The only cases where a bouncer can lay hands on you are when they do so to protect innocent bystanders from violence or break up fights that they are not involved in. Anything else is off-limits for bouncers.
If you were assaulted by a bouncer, make sure you document the incident, get medical attention, get a copy of the police report, and get the contact information for the bar owner, bouncer, and any witnesses. Then, quickly get a case evaluation from Texas bar brawl attorneys that can give you the best chances for getting damages awarded in your case. Your claim is time-sensitive and evidence becomes harder to collect the longer you wait.
It’s best to gather everything and get it to a qualified attorney ASAP.