Should I file a lawsuit if I was injured at a local bar? 32 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I was out with a couple of friends at a local bar and while walking towards the bathroom, I stepped onto a heating vent and literally went through the floor. The vent was not secure, it was very scary. I fell as far down as my chest, and caught myself before falling all the way through to the basement. Two people pulled me up and I ended up going to the hospital and had x-rays taken. I did not break or fracture anything, but my right leg has severe swelling, bruising and I am in a lot of pain. I was given pain medication and told to take it easy and come back if I start to feel worse. The main issue I have is that the bar manager blew me off, was extremely rude and told me it was my fault. I was not intoxicated, had only been there for an hour and had 1 beer when this happened. Clearly, this was negligence on their part. I took pictures of the heating vent after I fell through it. The management refused to fill out an accident report or put anything in writing other than the owners name and phone number. What should I do?

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Touchstone Law Firm, LLC
Touchstone Law Firm, LLC | Dmitry David Balannik
Yes.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 5/31/2013
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
At this point, the bar appears to not want to be all that communicative, so I would recommend consulting with an attorney to discuss your options. You may have a case, but you'll need to speak with a lawyer & provide additional information to be sure. In the meantime, you should continue to get medical treatment & move towards recovery.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/3/2011
Durflinger Oliver & Associates
Durflinger Oliver & Associates | James Edmund Oliver
You have rights that need to be protected.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/3/2013
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
First of all, continue to take pictures of your bruising and to make journal entries (a Google Doc is a great place to do this) regarding the pain you are feeling and any other negative effects the accident is having on your life. Second, if you are contacted by the bar's insurance company or attorney, refuse to speak to them until you are represented by your own attorney. If you have friends or acquaintances who witnessed the accident or the defect in the vent, interview them as soon as possible and take notes of what they say along with their contact information. Finally, consult with an attorney in more detail to see if this warrants retaining an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/30/2011
Paris Blank LLP
Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
You need to be able to prove that the owner/occupant of the bar knew or should have known that the vent was defective and created a dangerous condition to its patrons which condition was not disclosed to the patron. If you have evidence that the Bar knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and that the condition was not open and obvious and that there was no reason for you to know of the defect.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 11/30/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You have a claim.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You certainly have a premises liability claim against the bar. Forget what the manager said. The value of your claim depends on your injuries and medical expenses. Take photos of your bruising. If you get additional treatment it will likely increase the value so don't hesitate to get additional treatment right away. You should retain an attorney also that handles these claims.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Don't let your ego get control of the case. The bar management is liable as this appears to be an obvious maintenance problem. Ask the manager to put you in touch with his carrier. If he does not you might sue the bar in small claims (Judge Judy) court for up to $5000. If the injury continues to bother you and you need more medical care find a good PI lawyer and let him deal with it.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Yes you should file a claim with the bar's property insurance company. This is what the law refers to as a premise liability case. The bar is a business that invites customers to come in and buy things so they can make a profit. The law holds the business community to a higher standard than it does with you or I inviting people into our homes. So the bar has a duty to protect its customers from harm. This is what I call a trap door defect. It's something customers are expected to step onto and if constructed properly it should support them. It didn't'. Instead it operated like a trap door. Hire a lawyer to pursue a claim with the bar's property casualty insurer.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Susan M. Hankins, P.C. | Susan M. Hankins
    Premises liability is a technical area of the law that requires a thorough investigation of the facts and the law that is applicable. If you were injured due to a negligent condition, you may have a claim to pursue. Under Georgia premises liability law, accident victims can hold the owner or occupier of property liable for negligently causing or negligently failing to repair, correct or warn about these and other unsafe conditions which lead to personal injury. Premises liability encompasses many types of injuries where a person enters a business and is injured. Defective construction, disrepair, poor maintenance, inadequate inspection or negligent overloading could all result in injuries to patrons such as yourself. You should consult with an Attorney to determine whether your claim is valid. Remember the law imposes deadlines for filing lawsuits and investigations preceding such suits take time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If all you have is some swelling and bruising that clears up then I don't think a lawyer would be interested. If it gets worse, then consult a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Orman Kimbrough, Esq.
    A business including this bar has a responsibility to keep the premise in a reasonably safe condition. Here is does not sound as though that occurred. You should consult with a personal injury attorney who can review all of the specifics facts of your case and advise you how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The category of cases dealing with situations like that is called "premises liability". "The possessor of land is liable for injuries to a business visitor caused by a condition encountered on the premises only if he (a) knows or should have known of such condition and that it involved an unreasonable risk; (b) has no reason to believe that the visitor will discover the condition or realize the risk; and (c) fails to make the condition reasonably safe or to warn the visitor so that the latter may avoid the harm."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Mitchell S. Sexner and Associates | Mitchell Sexner
    It sounds like a case that may require a lawsuit to receive proper compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    I believe that you should at least pursue a claim. A business has a responsibility to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. This bar was clearly not safe and someone could have been hurt worse or even killed. Bu making a claim you will document the fact that your incident happened and potentially make it safer for others. In addition you should have your medical bills and other damages paid by the bar.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    The bar has a duty of reasonable care to its patrons and this is actionable. On the other hand, without a serious injury, you may not get much compensation. In my opinion, it is too early to tell.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    If the bar manager is ignoring your requests, you may have no choice but to get their attention. I suggest you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. You may need to secure evidence, so I would not delay. An attorney can write a letter immediately demanding that the bar turn the matter over to their insurer. From your brief description, it sounds like a possible claim.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    You should retain a personal injury attorney in your area. Hopefully a demand letter from an attorney may change the owner's disposition towards the matter, but you may have to end up filing suit against the bar to recover anything. The bar should carry (again, hopefully) commercial general liability coverage that would cover your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Gilbert & Bourke, LLP | Brian J. Bourke
    You have a claim against the owner and/or occupant of the property. Contact an attorney as soon as possible so evidence can be preserved. The owner of property has a duty to make sure there are not dangerous conditions on the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Get forms from the clerk of the Justice Court and sue him. Then his insurance company will get involved.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Before a civil action is filed in a court of law one always wants to at least make an attempt at settlement. You did the right thing to document the site of the accident immediately, make sure those photographs are secure. I always save and back up digital photos so there is no chance of loss in case a hard drive or other gizmo crashes. Do not make statements to anyone.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
    You should speak with an attorney. The bar has an obligation to make the premises safe. This means if they are, or should be aware of the hazard, they must take steps to warn customers or eliminate the unsafe condition. If they fail to do these things, they are negligent and a claim can be pursued.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You have a legal claim if you can establish the bar or building owners negligence in not taking care of the vent or establishing that they had notice or should have known of the problem.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Council Wooten
    This looks like a case in which the operator &/or landlord is responsible for the dangerous condition that existed You damage claim (amount) will depend, among other things, on the severity of your injury and your actual $$ losses Given the attitude of management, you should contact a good lawyer Make sure you have names of all witnesses to your fall through the floor and anyone with any prior knowledge of the condition.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You should retain a personal injury attorney and pursue a claim against the bar based on premises liability. The bar had a duty to warn you of any defects on the premises known to it which could cause injury. It had a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition. It is foreseeable that a heating vent in the floor will be stepped on by adult patrons of the bar and therefore the bar has a duty to maintain it in a condition which will support the weight of an adult or to cordon it off so as to prevent an adult patron from stepping on it if it will not support the weight of an adult. They failed to maintain, to prevent your stepping on it, and to warn you. This is negligence. Continue to seek medical attention, keep a daily journal of how this injury is impacting your life, and retain counsel right away.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    You may well have a claim for personal injuries. Whether or not it warrants retaining an attorney or not, may depend on how bad your injuries are. However, it would probably be a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most, as I do, offer a free initial consultation. You can learn more about your rights and options and make an informed decision on whether or not you should pursue a claim. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/29/2011
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