Are Bars Liable for Customers Who Fall After Drinking?

Posted on: June 4, 2019 by RMS Hospitality

In the United States, businesses in the nightlife scene, be it a sports bar, a cool college bar, or a nightclub that gets packed on the weekend, report serving more than 19 million people each year. Throughout the country’s 62,000 bars and nightclubs, you’re bound to come across a liability issue here or there. From rowdy patrons to overserving to slips and falls, nightlife businesses are no different than any other business when it comes to risks and liabilities to those who enter through their doors.

Accidents can happen anywhere, and when alcoholic beverages are involved, it only sheds a more serious light on safety and well-being. The risk of injury skyrockets and the threat of death is even brought into the equation when someone who has been drinking at a bar gets behind the wheel of a car. When it comes to more common issues like slips and falls, however, it’s still important to understand who’s to blame and how serious an issue it is.

Common Injury, Uncommon Risks

There are a number of common bar and nightclub injuries that can occur at any given moment. Sticky or wet floors, dark halls, stairs, low ceilings, crowded rooms, etc. These elements and more all make for a number of risks and liabilities for nightclubs and bars on a daily basis. Something as simple as a trip and fall case may seem like no big deal, but the injured party can end up causing major issues for the establishment in question.

In this case, it’s important for a bar to hold the right kind of liability coverage, such as bar liquor liability, to protect against liquor-related claims, or those made on account of the influence of alcohol. Someone may trip over a stair heading up to a bar’s second deck, but then claim the bar over-served them, causing them to miscount their steps.

Slip and fall accidents can result in broken bones, injured necks and backs, and even concussions, causing further long-term damage to the injured party. Anything from wet floors to low lighting to obstructions on the floor, like chords or food items, can cause major damage.

When is a bar liable?

Bars and nightclubs have a legal duty of care in their operations, meaning they have an obligation to do what they need to protect their patrons from harm. When something like a slip and fall case happens, and the patron gets injured in any way, they can file a claim or lawsuit to pursue compensation.

When a bar proprietor fails to take action to ensure the overall safety of customers, they are hit with a negligence claim. When a customer is hurt because of this negligence, the bar owner becomes liable (or responsible) for the damages that occur. That’s why it’s important for bar and nightclub owners to make sure their bar liquor liability and other liability insurance coverages are up to date to be as effective as they need to be to protect against these types of claims.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

Posted in: blog Liquor Liability Sports Bar Insurance