The Albuquerque area has a vibrant food and entertainment scene, featuring many popular bars, from quiet lounges to energetic nightclubs.
Unfortunately, fights in bars can happen when tempers flare and alcohol is added to the mix—especially when bar owners overserve clients and fail to provide adequate security. While some bar fights are mere scuffles that are quickly broken up and result in no injuries, more serious altercations could result in severe injuries or even death.
Innocent people are often hurt when fights break out, whether they were unwilling participants or were simply bystanders who were hurt in the melee. Others may be attacked without provocation and injured by an aggressive patron.
After a bar fight in Albuquerque, the case could involve two separate legal tracks: criminal and civil. While criminal charges could be filed against the individuals responsible, the criminal case will deal with the penalties and fines they may face, and will not affect you, the victim. Through a civil case, you could seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, suffering, and more. Your civil claim as a victim usually does not depend on whether anyone is found criminally guilty.
The injury attorneys at Parnall Law represent people who’ve been hurt in bar fights in Albuquerque and surrounding areas. We offer a 100% Client Service Satisfaction Guarantee, so you will be free to take your file without paying any attorney fees in the first 30 days after hiring our firm if you are not 100% satisfied with how we treat you.
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Who Could Be Liable for Injuries in an Albuquerque Bar Fight?
When you did not start a fight or agree to a fight (referred to as a “mutual affray”), you may have an intentional tort claim against the person who attacked you. Intentional torts involve a person being harmed by another person’s conduct. Assault and battery are common intentional tort claims.
It is important to understand that assault and battery can result in the person who started the fight facing criminal charges, but the criminal case would be completely separate from your civil action. A criminal case involves a far higher burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt), so it is possible for a person who avoids a criminal conviction to still be held civilly liable.
The problem with filing a lawsuit against the attacker is that many people who start bar fights do not have the financial resources to pay judgments against them. Depending on the circumstances, it might necessary for a bar fight victim to file suit against the bar where the fight took place.
Taking action against a bar, restaurant, night club, or other establishment where the fight broke out could be done under the area of injury law called premises liability. Because the bar had a legal responsibility to provide a reasonably safe place for patrons, the owner or management could be held civilly responsible if they were negligent. This could include failing to provide adequate security, overserving a customer, or failing to act on previously violent behavior displayed by those who attacked you.
Types of Bar Fight Injuries in Albuquerque
Bar fight injuries can range from minor cuts or bruises to far more serious kinds of harm. Anyone who has been involved in a bar fight should always seek medical attention, even if they don’t believe at first that their injuries are severe.
Some of the most common kinds of injuries in a bar fight include:
- Head Injuries
- Joint Damage
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Organ Damage
- Nerve Damage
- Muscle Strains
- Neck Injuries
While it is senseless and tragic, some people will die from the injuries they suffer in fights at bars. In such cases, the authorities will likely pursue a criminal conviction against those responsible, and surviving family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit as well.
Types of Bar Fight Claims in Albuquerque, New Mexico
While a lawsuit against a person who started a bar fight is a fairly straightforward intentional tort claim, legal action against a bar can be a bit more complicated. Victims may file premises liability lawsuits against bars for failure to maintain a safe property, inadequate security, or negligence in overserving a patron, for example.
Bars have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their customers, and they may breach this duty if they do not provide adequate security to remove a person who was likely to cause a fight or failed to stop the fight. A bar could also be liable if it provided alcohol to a person who was already intoxicated and that person started a fight, or if the bar failed to turn away a customer who has a known history of violence.
When you are hurt in a bar fight, you want to be sure to take certain steps that could help your case tremendously. Always contact the local law enforcement agency and make sure a police report is filed.
Also, try to take pictures of the bar and especially of your injuries before they have time to heal. If other people saw your bar fight, try to get their names and contact information as they may be needed later as witnesses.
Compensation for Bar Fight Injuries in Albuquerque
If you’ve been hurt in a bar fight in Albuquerque, you could be owed significant compensation for the losses you’ve been forced to endure. The person who attacked you or the establishment might be liable for damages including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Damaged personal property
- Pain, suffering, and trauma
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the types of damages and the amount of compensation you recover will vary. That’s why it’s crucial to hire an attorney with specific experience handling these types of cases to help you understand what you might be able to collect.
Contact Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers for a Case Evaluation
Our team has recovered more than $100 million for more than 5,000 clients in our 20 years of service. We will be ready to discuss your case when you call us now to schedule a free and confidential consultation.