If you visit a bar, club or casino in Las Vegas, the last thing you might expect is to get injured by an overzealous bouncer. Unfortunately, security guards may mishandle patrons and go as far as to cause serious injuries by beating them up. If a bouncer became overly aggressive and injured you in Las Vegas, find out if you are able to sue for your injuries.
Legal Limitations of a Bouncer
A bouncer’s job duties include enforcing the rules of the establishment and removing anyone who breaks them from the premises. These job duties come with certain rights, such as the right to kick someone out of a bar or club or forcibly remove them, if necessary. However, bouncers and security guards have an obligation to use the least amount of force possible when performing their jobs. They cannot use physical violence, for example, except in self-defense.
If a patron has done nothing to injure or threaten a bouncer, the bouncer does not have the right to use physical force or violence against the patron. The bouncer punching, hitting or kicking the patron in this scenario would be unwarranted, against the law and could result in the bouncer being held liable for any injuries sustained by the victim from excessive use of force. If there is evidence that the patron was threatening the bouncer and that the physical force was reasonably necessary, however, the bouncer may not be held liable.
Premises Liability Claims Against Bars and Nightclubs in Las Vegas
Injuries caused by a bouncer often involve the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. Under this rule, an employer can be held liable for the actions of its employees. This includes its bouncers and security guards. If a bouncer injures you without cause, you may have the right to sue the bar or nightclub. Bringing a claim against the establishment could result in greater financial compensation for your injuries and bills than a claim against the individual bouncer, as a company will have more insurance coverage.
The laws of premises liability in Nevada may also give you the right to sue a bar or nightclub for injuries caused by a bouncer. The establishment could be held directly responsible for its own acts of negligence that may have contributed to the incident, such as the creation of a dangerous premises through negligent employee hiring or training procedures. Negligent retention, such as failing to fire a bouncer who has been violent with patrons in the past, could also make a facility liable for injuries.
What to Do if You Are Assaulted by a Bouncer
It may be possible to hold an individual or facility liable for your personal injuries if you are assaulted by a bouncer in Las Vegas. It is important to protect your legal rights in this situation by taking the correct steps:
- Get medical care for your injuries. First, go to a hospital nearby for professional medical care without delay. Prompt medical care is an important start to a personal injury claim.
- Describe what happened. Tell your doctor what happened in as much detail as possible. Write down a description of events for your own records, as well.
- Make note of any eyewitnesses who saw the assault take place, such as any other patrons of the bar or restaurant at the time of the incident.
- If the facility has security footage of the incident, request a copy. Obtain copies of any police or accident reports, as well.
- Contact a personal injury attorney about a potential lawsuit against the bouncer and/or facility before proceeding with the insurance claims process.
Getting the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights as a victim of violence or physical assault by a bouncer or security guard. An attorney from Koch & Brim, LLP can help you go up against an overly aggressive bouncer in Las Vegas.