Question: I went to a bar with my friends in New Jersey and was attacked by another customer who was very drunk. He started arguing with one of my friends, and when I stepped in to help, he hit me with a beer bottle in the face. I had to get stitches and now have a scar. Can the bar be held accountable for the assault?
Answer: Victims of assaults in New Jersey can file legal claims against any and all parties whose conduct led to the assault. Bars and nightclubs may be held liable for a variety of alcohol-related accidents and injuries, including assaults.
These types of cases are usually referred to as Dram Shop cases. Under a New Jersey law, the New Jersey Licensed Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act, someone who is injured by a drunk patron must prove the following:
- an employee of the bar was negligent by serving alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated (or serving a minor),
- the injury/damage was legally (proximately) caused by the negligent service of alcohol, and
- the injury/damage was a foreseeable consequence of the negligent service of alcohol.
In a bar fight or bar assault lawsuit, New Jersey law requires the injured party to show that the assault was foreseeable. In other words, was there any behavior to suggest that the patron would have committed an assault? Prior to the assault, did the patron exhibit any aggressive behavior? Was the patron a regular customer known for being aggressive to others?
Even if the patron did not exhibit aggressive behavior prior to the assault, the bar may still be liable if other facts show that a fight or assault was foreseeable. For instance, if the bar was overly crowded and lacked sufficient security, the bar may be liable for creating a situation in which intoxicated patrons were more prone to engage in aggressive behavior.
Get more info about liability of businesses in New Jersey crime victim injury cases.
New Jersey Bar Fight Victims’ Lawyers
Our lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and represent victims of bar/club assaults and shootings. Contact our firm for a free consultation. Offices are located in Cherry Hill, Atlantic City and Iselin. 609.223.8900
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.