Bouncers and security guards at businesses in Kansas City keep you and other customers safe. If they get overzealous or unreasonably violent in performing their job duties, however, they could cause serious personal injuries and even deaths. If you or a loved one have injuries because of a bouncer in Kansas City, you could have grounds for a claim not only against the individual but also against the establishment for damages.
Vicarious Liability for Employees
Using excessive force when breaking up a fight or kicking someone out of a bar or business is an act of negligence. It is a breach of the bouncer’s duties to use unreasonable force in performing the tasks of his or her job. If this breach of duty causes injuries to others, the bouncer could be responsible for damages. Yet in Missouri and Kansas, employers are vicariously liable for most employee actions if the employee was working at the time. The establishment that hired the bouncer or security guard, therefore, may be responsible for repaying victims.
A lawsuit against an establishment for vicarious liability will take the form of a Kansas City personal injury attorney. As a victim, you or your lawyer would have to establish that the bouncer caused your injuries and was an on-duty employee of the business at the time of the incident. If you or your lawyer can prove negligence and establish vicarious liability, the business could owe you compensation for your injuries and medical bills.
Negligent Security and Premises Liability
The other type of claim that may be possible after a bouncer in Kansas City causes injuries is a premises liability lawsuit. Bars, restaurants, clubs and other establishments have legal responsibility for accidents that happen on their properties. It is up to the business to reasonably prevent customer injuries. One responsibility under this duty of care is to engage in safe hiring and training practices.
If a business fails to maintain a safe property, resulting in injuries from a bouncer, the establishment could be liable. As a guest or customer, you may have a negligent security claim against the establishment. Negligent security refers to a lack of proper security measures at the business, which could include a bouncer who committed assault. An overzealous, reckless, negligent or criminal bouncer could fulfill the definition of negligent security, giving you grounds to file a premises liability claim against the business in Kansas City.
If you think you have the elements of a premises liability claim after a bouncer injures you, bring your lawsuit within your state’s statute of limitations. You have five years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury or premises liability claim in Missouri, and two years in Kansas. You or your lawyer can file your lawsuit against the establishment in the county where the incident occurred.
A Criminal Assault Case vs. Civil Case
A bouncer that causes a guest injury could be guilty of the crime of assault in Kansas City. The penalties for assault include fines and/or jail time. The criminal and civil justice systems are separate, meaning the bouncer may have to go through two different court processes. The criminal justice system serves to convict and sentence the assailant, while the civil system compensates the assault victim for his or her losses.
Kansas City prosecutors may be able to bring assault charges against the bouncer if his or her actions were criminal. It is up to you, however, to hire an attorney to file a civil lawsuit against the bouncer and/or establishment. The city will not file a personal injury or premises liability claim for you. An attorney can help you fill out the paperwork and file your claim by the deadline. Then, a premise liability attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to trial in pursuit of damages. You may be eligible for financial recovery after a bouncer injures you in Kansas City.