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Premises Liability – Bars and Nightclubs

Seattle’s nightlife scene provides many opportunities to kick back and enjoy a fun evening with friends. Unfortunately, the city’s bars and nightclubs also present a number of potential hazards. And the last thing that you want is for your big night out to end in an emergency room.

If you are seriously hurt while at a bar or nightclub, however, it is important to take the time to consider your legal options. An experienced lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of your injuries and help you decide if someone is legally accountable for your damages. At the Emerald Law Group, we represent many people who have been injured in preventable accidents while patronizing a Seattle nightlife establishment.

Bar and Nightclub Owners Have a Duty to Keep Patrons Reasonably Safe

Like any business that is open to the public, a bar or nightclub owner must exercise care in keeping their premises reasonably safe. Among other things, this means performing basic maintenance to ensure that, for example, someone does not slip and fall on a puddle of water on the floor while going to the restroom. Especially in a nightlife establishment where the lighting is often poor, it is especially crucial that a bar or nightclub’s staff keep walking surfaces free of potential slipping or tripping hazards.

Businesses that serve food or drinks can also be held legally liable for serving contaminated products to their guests. Indeed, food and drink poisoning is often one of the more common injuries suffered by bar and nightclub patrons. Such injuries are usually the result of poor health and hygiene standards by the staff.

Another common source of bar and nightclub injuries involve physical assaults. We have all heard stories about people getting hurt when a fight breaks out in a crowded bar or club. An establishment can be held responsible for the consequences of such fights if its negligence was a contributing factor. For example:

  • If a bartender continues to serve a clearly intoxicated patron who goes on to hurt someone, the bar owner could be held liable under Washington Dram shop law.
  • If a nightclub has inadequate security–i.e., not enough bouncers–the owner may be responsible if a fight breaks out.
  • If a bar violates state or local liquor laws, say by admitting too many people or serving minors, it can be held responsible for any injuries that occur.

Contact Emerald Law Today

If you are injured in a nightclub or bar, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. Do not assume that you can “walk it off” or that everything will be fine after you get some sleep. It is important to document any potential injury in the event it becomes necessary to take formal legal action.

Your next step should be to contact an experienced Seattle bars and nightclubs lawyer who can provide you with professional advice and representation. Contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our staff.

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