Visitor Question

Assaulted trying to break up workplace fight at a bar…

Submitted By: Joe (San Antonio, TX)

On March 5th, I was bartending in downtown San Antonio. A group of men and women came into the bar, and long story short, ended up jumping our door man. They were seriously beating him, and I felt it was my obligation to run around the bar and try to stop this from happening.

Once over there, I tried yelling at them to stop, which of course went unheeded, and so I pulled one of the men away from my coworker, who they were beating while he was on the ground unconscious.

As soon as that happened, I was then attacked by at least 2 men, and in the course of the scuffle, I slammed into the bar, seriously injuring my shoulder. I have since not been able to work, and have been told on more than one occasion by the bar owner that my case “doesn’t qualify” for workers’ comp.

I spoke to an injury attorney that felt I most certainly have a case for workers’ comp, but I wanted to put this out there and get another opinion. I haven’t contracted with an attorney yet. What are my options here? Is this workers’ comp? Is there anything else I can do? Thanks!

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Joe,

From the facts you present, you may have the basis of a workers’ compensation claim. To qualify as a workers comp claim, your work duties would have had to include breaking up bar fights, or otherwise using your physicality to protect the integrity of the bar.

It only seems logical as a bartender the owner must have previously instructed you on what to do in case of a bar brawl, whether it was to call 911, contact the bouncer, or otherwise take any other action but entering the fray yourself.

If the owner never instructed you in what you were to do in the event of a bar brawl, then you may have a legitimate case for workers’ compensation. If the owner refuses, speak with an attorney about filing a third party lawsuit directly against the owner.

Learn more here: Assaults and Workplace Violence

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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One comment on “Assaulted trying to break up workplace fight at a bar…

  1. frank says:

    I’m accused by a coworker of hitting him in the parking lot of the place we work. He went to the police and filed a claim, but the truth is that we got in an argument but I never hit him. I went to the police station also to do my report. The police told me that without witnesses and camera on the parking lot it’s very hard to prove he was hit.

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