What's the chances of me winning a case against a nightclub? 2 Answers as of July 03, 2013The incident took place in Los Angeles, California. I was sitting at my friends' table when a guy in the upper section above us was drunk and sitting on the rail and suddenly fell over onto my neck and back and all the club did was give me drink tickets. I'm in a lot of pain and I'm already in physical therapy for an accident I got in two weeks before this incident.
B. Casey Yim | B. Casey Yim
Based on what you have presented, your case does not look too good. The "deal-breaker"for you is the injury to the same areas of your body only 2 weeks prior to the incident. This will make it very difficult for you to prove "causation"that the injuries were caused by the bar incident rather than the pre-existing injuries to the same areas; or, that at least some portion of your injuries should be allocated to the pre-existing condition. This of course will diminish the amount of your damages, which do not sound too great anyway (we don't know what your medical bills were, or whether or not you have lost wages; or what kind of medical treatment you will require in the future). You will need substantial damages to find an attorney to take your case, since a good portion will probably be reduced by the pre-existing condition. Then you have a difficult liability issue of negligence, and your own "assumption of the risk". Simply put, people who go to bars more often than not drink too much, and then they get drunk. That's not negligence on the part of the club owner. On the other hand, you were fully aware of the proclivities of bar patrons to get drunk, and therefore "assumed the risk" of injury from that circumstance. It sounds like the bar patron simply drank too much, lost his balance, then fell off the railing where he was seated. There was nothing intentional or deliberate. It was an accident, and I'm sure everyone on the jury probably will have had similar experiences. While the "assumption of the risk" defense will not cut off your recovery, it will probably diminish it by some percentage of "comparative fault" attributed to you. When you add the two, your own comparative fault percentage, plus questionable if any provable damages, I would have to say your chances of success are "not optimistic".
Answer Applies to: California