Can I Sue a Bar for an Injury in New Jersey?

Posted October 20th, 2023.

Categories: Personal Injury.


Sipping a drink at a local bar, the last thing on anyone’s mind is the potential for injury. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that accidents can occur anywhere, even in places of leisure and relaxation. If injured at a bar in New Jersey, one might wonder: can the establishment be held liable? Read on and reach out to a dedicated Cherry Hill personal injury attorney to learn more about whether you can sue a bar for an injury and how our legal team can help. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the Most Common Causes of Accidents in Bars?

Bars, with their bustling ambiance and occasionally dim lighting, are ripe environments for various mishaps:

  • Slip and Falls: Spilled drinks, wet floors from recent cleaning, or uneven surfaces can lead to unintended tumbles.
  • Bar Fights: Altercations, sometimes fueled by alcohol, can result in innocent patrons getting hurt.
  • Faulty Furniture or Equipment: Broken stools, unstable tables, or malfunctioning machines can cause injuries.
  • Inadequate Security: Poorly trained security staff or a lack of security altogether can lead to unsafe situations.

Can the Bar or Establishment Itself be Held Liable for an Injury?

Often, yes. Bars have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their patrons. If the establishment’s negligence contributes to an accident, they can be held accountable. For example, if management knew about a persistent spillage problem and failed to address it, leading to a patron’s slip and fall, the bar might be found negligent.

What About Third Parties Like Security Companies?

Absolutely. If a bar outsources its security services, and a patron is injured due to the negligence or inappropriate actions of a security personnel, the third-party security company could be held liable. For instance, if a security guard uses excessive force and injures a patron, the security company might face a lawsuit.

Can Another Patron be Held Responsible?

Indeed. If another patron’s reckless or malicious actions lead to injury – say, starting a bar fight or purposefully shattering a glass that someone later steps on – that individual can be sued for damages.

Are there Special Considerations under New Jersey’s Dram Shop Laws?

Yes. New Jersey’s Dram Shop Law is particularly relevant when discussing bar liabilities. Under this law, a licensed establishment can be held liable if they serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron or a minor, and that individual subsequently causes harm to themselves or others. For example, if a bartender continues to serve an obviously inebriated customer, and that customer later gets into a car accident, injuring someone, the bar could be held partially responsible.

What Steps Should I Take If I Sustain an Injury In a Bar?

Following an injury:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if the injury seems minor, it’s crucial to have a medical evaluation.
  • Document the Scene: Capture photos of the injury site, the cause of the injury, and any other relevant details.
  • Gather Witness Information: Collect names and contact details of any witnesses who saw the incident.
  • Report the Injury: Notify the bar’s management of your injury.
  • Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: A seasoned New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help navigate the legal intricacies and advocate on your behalf.

Bars, while primarily venues of relaxation and socialization, are not immune to the perils of everyday life. If injured in such an establishment in New Jersey, the path to compensation might involve various parties, from the bar itself to other patrons or third-party service providers. With the complexities of state laws like the Dram Shop Law, it’s crucial to have legal guidance to ensure your rights are protected and justice is achieved. Always prioritize safety, and if an unfortunate incident does occur, know that legal avenues exist to help.

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