Woman injured when knocked down while dancing by a drunk patron...

by Rick
(Dallas, Texas)

While dancing at a country dance bar, a 60 year old woman was run into by another dancer and knocked to the ground. She could not walk out so she was picked up by her husband and another patron and loaded into her husband's car and taken to the hospital. She needed surgery for a broken hip and broken wrist.

Should her husband get a lawyer and try to get the bar's insurance to pay for the injured woman's medical bills? No police were called but the manager is aware of the incident and was present when they carried her out. What are our options here? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Woman injured when knocked down while dancing by a drunk patron...":

Rick (Dallas, Texas):

Restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments have a legal "duty of care" to do everything within reason to ensure their patrons are safe from undue harm or injury.

To be responsible, or "liable" for a patron's injuries, the country dance bar would have had to have some form of negligence, or have displayed a willful, wanton, malicious, or reckless disregard for another patron's safety.

Once negligence or willful conduct was established, the country dance bar would have breached its duty of care to the injured patron. That breach may have been sufficient for an injured patron to recover damages from the bar owner.

Damages can include compensation for an injured patron’s medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

For example, if the bar employees knew someone had spilled a drink on the dance floor and ignored it, and a patron slipped and fell and was injured, then the bar owner may have been negligent. Or if the bar owner knew the flooring was uneven and dangerous, and ignored it, and a patron slipped and fell becoming injured, the bar owner may have been negligent.

Or that a patron was clearly intoxicated, and knowing that failed to have him removed from the dance floor, and as a result he knocked down another dancer, causing injuries, then the bar owner may have been negligent.

From the facts you present, there is no evidence of negligence, or a willful, wanton, malicious, or reckless disregard for another patron's safety. The dancer who ran into your wife apparently did so unintentionally, and the bar owner could not have stopped the collision from occurring.

Therefore, the dancer who knocked the sixty year old woman to the floor and the bar owner likely were not liable. But it never hurts to consult an attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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