Bar Liability for Injuries

cartwrightlaw - September 14, 2022 -
alcohol law, Bar Liability for Injuries

Bar Liability for Injuries is something important. Bars all across California focus on providing enticing atmospheres by serving their customers alcoholic beverages, but every bar also has an obligation to ensure that they are keeping their premises safe for the customers within bars as well as making sure they do not over-serve patrons who are departing the bars. If you think a bar is responsible for injuries you recently suffered, then you will want to seek help from a San Francisco personal injury lawyer.


State laws in California allow victims of various types of bar accidents to seek financial compensation for their personal losses following certain types of accidents. While many establishments take great pains to stress being responsible in their serving alcohol to patrons, there are still instances in which people do end up suffering injuries because of negligent acts. That’s where Bar Liability for Injuries takes place.


Bar Fights

Under California Business and Professions Code §  25602, no person who sells any alcoholic beverage can be civilly liable to any injured individual (Bar Liability for Injuries) or the estate of such individual for injuries that person suffered as a result of intoxication by a consumer of such alcoholic beverage. 


But California Business and Professions Code § 25602.1 states that a cause of action can be brought by or on behalf of any individual who suffers injuries or death against any party licensed or a party required to be licensed who sells alcoholic beverages to an obviously intoxicated minor in which the furnishing, sale, or giving of such beverage to a minor is the proximate cause of a personal injury or death suffered by that person. 


When you suffer injuries because of a bar fight or even a sexual assault within a bar, you could still have grounds for a negligence claim against the bar. In such cases, you will have to prove that a bar failed to meet its legal duty to keep patrons reasonably safe from foreseeable harm and that failure was a breach of its legal duty that was the cause of your injuries.


In most bar cases, a negligence claim will be based on negligent security because the bar’s security agents are supposed to ensure that innocent people do not suffer harm because of the acts of other possibly intoxicated patrons. When security guards do not intervene or act appropriately in breaking up bar fights, the result can often be that innocent people suffer injuries.

bar fight, Bar Liability for Injuries

Slip and Fall Accidents

Not all bar incidents necessarily involve other patrons, and one of the most common kinds of accidents people can be involved in are simple slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls are more common in bars because of various spills on the floors of bars as well as hazards such as loose carpeting, uneven floors, tangled cords across floors, broken furniture, and simple failure to erect warning signs in hazardous areas.


Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions No. 1003. relates to unsafe conditions and states that a bar is negligent in the use or maintenance of its property if a condition on the property created an unreasonable risk of harm; the bar knew or, through the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about it; and the bar failed to repair the condition, protect against harm from the condition, or give adequate warning of the condition. 


On top of this, California Civil Code § 1714 establishes that everybody is responsible, not only for the result of their willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another party by their lack of ordinary care in the management of their property or person, except when the victim has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon themselves.


California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1 places a two-year time limit on the ability to file claims relating to injuries caused by the wrongful acts or neglect of another party. When a lawsuit concerns damage to personal property, then the statute of limitations increases to three years.


With a slip and fall claim, a victim is going to need to prove that a bar had some kind of condition that caused an unreasonable risk of harm, the bar knew or, with an exercise of reasonable care, should have known about that risk, and the bar did not repair or rectify the condition or give adequate warning of the condition. A slip and fall accident often has the potential to possibly result in several damages for a victim, including awards for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among many other considerations.


Dram Shop Claims

Dram shop laws are common in the United States, and the phrase dram shop generally applies to any establishment that sells alcohol to patrons. While most dram shop laws in other states allow people to hold bars liable for serving intoxicated people who later cause motor vehicle accidents that injure innocent people, California is actually far more restrictive.


California Civil Code § 1714(b) states that “the furnishing of alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person.” In other words, California generally passes responsibility for accidents caused by intoxicated persons on to the intoxicated persons themselves but absolves bars of responsibility.


One major exception is the aforementioned California Business and Professions Code § 25602.1, which holds businesses responsible for serving minors. This same law also applies to social hosts at private parties, who cannot be held liable for the acts of intoxicated guests unless those guests happen to be minors.


Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer

Do you think that you might have some kind of legal claim against a bar for negligence in California? Are you lookin for Bar Liability for Injuries? Cartwright Law Firm will be your best bet for determining the appropriate steps to take to hold negligent parties accountable.


Our firm works tirelessly to help all kinds of accident victims get justice for the ways they have suffered injuries, and we believe in helping people get the financial compensation they need to achieve complete recoveries. Call (415) 433-0444 or contact us online for a free consultation so we can take the time to discuss your case in full with you and go over all of the possible options you might have in your case.



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