Injured by a Bouncer: Suing the Club Owner for Bouncer Brutality…
If you’ve been injured by a bouncer then you’re likely to feel aggrieved and you may well want to take matters further and seek compensation.
Bouncers are relied upon by bars pubs clubs and restaurants to handle any issues that may arise by monitoring those who wish to come into an establishment.
Bouncers ensure the club goers have the right identification and do not bring onto the premises prohibited items such as drugs and weapons.
Overall if all goes to plan, bouncers play an important role in ensuring a secure and safe environment for all those who visit an establishment.
However, we know only too well there are situations where bouncers don’t keep a cool head and can use force or excessive force without any justification.
If this happens then claiming compensation is certainly worth considering.
Recovering from Bouncer-Inflicted Injuries: The Impact on Victims
The physical toll of a bouncer attack upon the injured party can of course be huge and far reaching.
Victims can suffer injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, bruises and all manner of other injuries which can require urgent medical attention and then time off work.
Following on from this, the injured party may suffer emotionally with symptoms such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress dis order (PTSD). These mental health problems can last for long periods of time and severely impact upon an individual’s quality-of-life.
It’s also not uncommon for the injured party may also suffer with a sense of violation which can make the emotional distress and mental anguish so much harder to bear.
Leaving aside any physical or psychological effects there are also financial considerations victims of bouncer assault may face significant financial loss such as expenses and lost wages.
This can of course be a real worry if the victim is seriously injured and has no prospect of being able to return to their usual employment.
The Ugly Truth: Bouncer Aggression is a Real and Dangerous Issue
This type of claim is much more common than people think and it’s been a real concern in entertainment venues such as bars and nightclubs for some time.
Bouncers can use excessive force when dealing with patrons resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities which can lead to action in the civil courts against the establishment itself for civil compensation.
With the rise of social media and the prevalence of surveillance cameras, assaults by bouncers have become more widely known as an issue that exists and which needs to be tackled.
Conflict and confrontations in pubs and clubs is exacerbated in environments where there is excessive alcohol consumption combined with over crowding and on occasions tense social circumstances.
Of course bouncers themselves may misuse drugs or alcohol which could impair their judgement or cause them to commit a violent assault.
Although some establishments have tried to tackle the problem by ensuring their bouncers attend mandatory training courses there remains the real problem of bouncers using excessive force and heavy-handed tactics resulting in people sustaining unnecessary injuries.
Seeking Justice: Bringing Personal Injury Claims Following a Bouncer Assault
Following an assault the victim often considers trying to bring criminal charges. Unfortunately the Police often won’t pursue matters on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Nevertheless, in many situations the victim still has the option to bring a civil personal injury claim to seek compensation where the burden of proof is that much lower.
In the majority of assaults the victim’s most effective recourse is to seek compensation via a civil claim rather than relying on the criminal justice system.
In the hands of a good, experienced solicitor the process should be very much quicker and unlike criminal proceeding is focused solely upon compensating the victim.
So if you have been injured arising out of a violent assault by a bouncer then it is possible to look at bringing a personal injury claim for damages for your injuries, cost of medical treatment, lost or reduced wages and other expenses.
In order to pursue matters then it may be necessary to issue legal proceedings against the bouncer in question and/or the establishment where the injury took place.
Ordinarily any compensation will be paid by the establishment’s insurer who will be required, subject to liability, to pay compensation.
Know Your Rights: Understanding Bouncer Assault Offences
In UK law the two main offences which can be committed by a bouncer are Assault and Battery:
Assault is when the bouncer intentionally causes another person to fear the imminent use of impending criminal force.
This means the victim only needs to have a reasonable belief they are in imminent danger and there does not even need to be any physical contact.
On the other hand battery refers to the situation where there was a wilful and illegal use of force against an individual and therefore as a distinction battery, as opposed to assault, requires actual physical contact between the bouncer and the injured party.
In the UK both assault and battery are both criminal offences and can lead to the offender being prosecuted where the emphasis is to punish the perpetrator.
However it is also possible to consider bringing a civil action with through a personal injury lawyer which looks at the effect of the confrontation upon the injured party and the compensation owed.
By bringing a civil action the burden of proof is also lower so instead of it being “beyond reasonable doubt” which is applied in the criminal courts it is just necessary to prove the claim on the “balance of probabilities” that is, more likely than not.
Holding Nightclubs Accountable: The Application of Civil Law in Bouncer Assault Cases
- In situations where a bouncer has injured somebody by using excessive force then it is possible to consider bringing a claim in the civil courts against the bouncer and/or the establishment where it happened.
- To succeed with a civil action the injured party needs to be in a position to show that the bouncers conduct was negligent, reckless or intentional and that they caused harm to the person caught up in the confrontation.
- It may also be necessary if pursuing the establishment to be able to show that the establishment knew or should have known of the bouncer’s actions but did not take reasonable steps to prevent them.
Duty of Care: What it Means and Why it Matters for Bouncers
- If you have sustained injury at the hands of a bouncer then it is necessary to consider whether the bouncer breached their legal duty of care towards you.
- Duty of care is an important legal concept that refers to the legal obligation of either individuals or organisations to take all reasonable measures to prevent harm to others.
- If bouncers fail to act in a way that is inconsistent with fulfilling their duty of care then they may be held liable for any harm that ensues.
- Whether you have a legitimate action against the bouncer or the establishment will depend on the facts of each particular injury and whether for instance, force was justified and whether it was excessive and appropriate in all the circumstances.
- If an employer hires a bouncer who has previously injured others when using excessive force or has failed to carry out his duties in compliance with proper safety procedures then the employer may be held accountable for the bouncers actions.
- A solicitor specialising in this field will be able to discuss matters with you and provide an opinion as to whether there are grounds for proceeding further on a no win no fee basis.
What Steps to Take After a Bouncer has injured You?
Importance of seeking Medical Attention
First things first if you’ve been injured then seek medical attention in the immediate aftermath.
Even if your injuries seem minor it’s crucial to get your injuries documented so that you can receive any treatment and also you have formal proof of being injured.
Reporting the incident to the Police
It’s also important to formally report the incident to the police so that the full circumstances of the fracas are reported and that the authorities are in a position to investigate. Be ready to provide details of the assault together with the name of the bouncer if known and any witnesses.
If you have suffered a violent attack then you should definitely look at bringing a criminal injuries compensation claim from the CICA to see if you qualify.
Reporting the matter to the authorities as soon as possible is important if you are to qualify but there are other important eligibility criteria that you need to carefully consider and ensure as far as possible that you meet these.
Taking Action: Why It’s Crucial to Speak Up and File a Complaint
If you have suffered injury arising out of a bounce assault then it can be a traumatic and painful event. You may be left feeling violated powerless and unsure about what action you should take.
There’s no doubt you need to make a formal complaint to the management of the establishment where the fracas took place as soon as you can. You should make a note of the person who you are speaking to and obtain confirmation that the details of your complaint are recorded.
Following your conversation be sure to write to the establishment with all the details so that you have proof of what you have told them and at the same time placing the onus on them to investigate matters while preserving any CCTV.
By speaking up you are helping to create a safe environment for future customers and by reporting the incident all being well steps will be taken to improve the security and training for the bouncers.
If at all possible collect any evidence to support your injury action and this may include witness statements, any other details to prove the violent attack took place and medical care received as well as any photographs or videos of the confrontation itself.
The Importance of Experience: Choosing a Lawyer with Expertise in Bouncer Assault Cases
- You should definitely consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you can obtain early advice and assistance in relation to bringing a civil claim following a bouncer assault.
- In the first instance a specialist solicitor will evaluate your potential claim and help you establish whether there are reasonable prospects of winning your case and let you know the potential outcomes of your claim.
- An experienced lawyer will be able to set out any additional steps that you need to take to protect your position.
- Your lawyer will be able to advise you about the type of evidence that is needed and provide you with guidance in relation to formally reporting matters if you have not already done so.
- If the claim is accepted by your chosen lawyer then your claim will be overseen by someone who has the experience and expertise to ensure that you receive a fair settlement or compensation by using their negotiation skills.
What Factors can Affect the success of a Bouncer Assault Claim?
There are a number of factors that can influence whether a bouncer assault claim is likely to be successful.
- The quality of the evidence is important in demonstrating that the bouncer in question used excessive force or acted negligently. The evidence can be in the form of eyewitnesses accounts, photographs or CCTV footage.
- Credibility of the Claimant is clearly an influential factor generally and this can determine the success of an action against a bouncer. The Claimant’s credibility will be assessed by the extent to which they were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident as well as their character, their previous history and how well they come across when giving evidence.
- Of course, in addition the bouncer’s behaviour, conduct and any previous misdemeanours will be taken into account. The court will be looking to assess whether the bouncer behaved in a reasonable manner and within the scope of their duties. If the bouncer was deemed to have used excessive force and cannot justify their actions then it’s easy to see how the court will find in the Claimant’s favour.
- Similarly, if the establishment where the assault took place has a bad safety record with a number of previous disturbances where bouncers had not exercised restraint this will again be helpful evidence in support of the Claimant’s claim.
Defences to Bouncer Assault Claims
The most obvious defence in the circumstances is the one of “self defence” where the bouncer argues that they used force to protect themselves or others and that the action they took were justifiable.
The bouncer may also allege that any force that you used was reasonable and necessary in order to control situation.
If the Claimant who was injured provoked the bouncer into using force then again it could be argued that the bouncers actions were reasonable in all the circumstances.
The strength of each claim needs needs to be assessed on its own facts.
To succeed in a civil claim for assault at a pub, club or restaurant its necessary for the injured party to be able to show that the bouncer’s actions were negligent or reckless and as a result caused harm to the Claimant.
If there are grounds for pursuing a claim for civil damages then this can be a good way of obtaining recompense for bodily damage, financial losses and any other losses arising out of the assault.
The secret is to ensure that the matter is reported properly to both the law enforcement officers and the establishment where the fracas occurred as soon as possible.
Then you need to concentrate upon finding a good lawyer who practices in this area and who can provide a quick assessment in relation to the merits of bringing this type of action and who has the experience to quantify all the necessary heads of loss.
What is the difference between Criminal Charges and Civil compensation in bouncer assault cases?
If you have been assaulted then it’s possible that both criminal charges and civil proceedings could be brought against the bouncer.
Criminal charges are brought by the state with the intention of punishing the bouncer for any crime committed and also with a view to acting as a deterrent from others committing similar offences.
The consequences of a guilty verdict could result in the bouncer being fined, having to undertake community service, probation or for the most serious of offences, imprisonment.
On the other hand Civil compensation proceedings are brought by the injured party against either the bouncer and or the establishment involved. The purpose of these proceedings are to compensate the injured party for any personal injury they have suffered arising out of the assault together with financial losses and medical expenses.
Can I sue the establishment even if they didn’t directly cause my injuries?
Depending upon the facts it is possible to sue both the bouncer and the establishment where the confrontation occurred.
The employer may be responsible for the actions of the bouncer in certain circumstances. Generally an employer is liable for the actions of its employees where their actions occur within the scope of their employment. This is known as vicarious liability. The important factor is to be able to demonstrate that the bouncer was acting in the course of their employment or carrying out particular duties which were assigned to the employee. If so the club may be held vicariously liable for the bouncer’s actions.
On the other hand if the bouncer in question acted outside the scope of their employment by choosing to go out on a tangent and without the authority of the employer then it’s possible the employer would not be held accountable.
It’s also worth considering that in circumstances where the employer has failed to take sufficient steps to prevent the assault for instance
Indeed it is desirable to pursue the bouncers employer as there should definitely be a public liability insurance company in place which, subject to liability, will be obliged to pay damages.
What action should I take if I have been assaulted by a bouncer?
After formally reporting the matter to both the authorities and the establishment where the assault took place you may want to consider bringing a legal action in civil law with a view to obtaining damages for physical damage, medical bills, lost salary and other expenses.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you in relation to the merits of your claim and what immediate steps you need to take to protect your interests.
Am I still able to pursue a civil compensation claim if I did not report the fracas to the police?
This is still possible as the civil process for damages is quite separate from any action taken by the authorities to pursue matters under the criminal system.
However it cannot be underestimated that it is extremely important to recognise that formally reporting the confrontation and by cooperating with the authorities may well strengthen any civil claim.
Indeed if you are wanting to make a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim (CICA) then this it is a pre-requisite that you report the fracas at the very first opportunity.
It’s also worth mentioning that if the criminal proceedings are successful then this result can be used in support of the bouncers or the bouncers employer’s negligence which would clearly bolster any civil claim.
In the usual course of events damages are paid by the bouncers employer’s insurer or the establishment’s insurer who will be required, subject to liability to make payment of the award on the basis of vicarious liability.
Carter & Carter Solicitors
“Faye Mccunnell left us a Five Star Review on Google following an unprovoked attack she suffered: “David at Carter & Carter solicitors has been extremely supportive in my claim following an unprovoked attack. He was professional & compassionate when dealing with a very sensitive situation. I can’t thank him enough for the support that was […]
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