In general, property owners have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for all lawful entrants. That includes guests, employees, and customers. The state of Georgia also follows the doctrine of attractive nuisance, which protects children in certain cases when they trespass on a property.
Bars hold a unique position since they are frequently the site of assaults. When there is a fight, the one who starts it can be punished under criminal law, but the victim may get little help from the civil justice system. If you were assaulted in a bar, you may be eligible for compensation under premises liability law. One rule to remember is that assault victims in this state cannot recover damages if they were engaged in mutual combat. This applies even to cases where victims are defending themselves or someone else.
Assuming that you did not engage in mutual combat, your case would be against the bar owner rather than against the instigator of the fight. There are several common ways in which bar owners may fail in their duty of care. For instance, they may continue to serve a patron who is clearly intoxicated. They may also fail to install video cameras or hire security staff despite a history of violent acts arising in the bar.
We have been handling premises liability cases since we opened our doors in 1985, and our attorneys usually know from the initial evaluation whether a case is worth pursuing or not. We could take advantage of a network of third parties, including investigators and medical experts, to obtain a copy of the incident report and any other evidence of a bar owner’s negligence. If you have been a victim and want more information about how we might be able to help you, please visit our page on bar assault law.