Our New York City personal accident lawyers have handled numerous cases involving assault and batteries cases that occur in bars nightclubs and other establishments.  If you suffered personal injuries because you were attacked by a customer in a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol, the bar may be responsible to compensate you for your personal injuries. 

The most common problem faced by our New York City injury attorneys is that the assailant usually has no money to pay for the damage and injuries that they caused or they fled the scene of the incident and cannot be identified. If you go no further, that would leave the injured victim of violence without a remedy. Fortunately, there are sometimes other parties who are responsible for an assault and who can be held liable for not taking adequate steps to provide either adequate security or a reasonably safe commercial property.  In other words, bars and clubs are responsible to provide their customers with a reasonably safe premises and can be held responsible for even criminal acts of their patrons, if they failed to provide adequate security or react to a dangerous situation that escalated and resulted in a customer being injured.

Our New York City personal injury attorneys have significant expertise and experience in analyzing liability issues involved in holding both security companies, bar owners, nightclub owners and other land owners responsible for not providing adequate security for their patrons.

Often when an attack occurs on a commercial property, New York law allows customers to sue the business if the security fails to intervene in the attack or prevent the attack where they should be aware of the impending attack. Likewise,  if there was a known need for security because of prior incidents at a bar or club, and they failed to provide adequate security, then they can be held liable. Many bars in New York City cater to a thug type clientele, and know that these patrons carry weapons, so if they fail to use a metal detector and you were stabbed or shot, then you can sue if the bar did not have metal detectors or did not perform and adequate search. 

The contract between the landowner and the security company often provides a basis to sue the security company because the security company voluntarily undertook the responsibility to protect the premises’ patrons. A customer can sue a security company for a negligence where they fail to protect a bar's patrons. New York law recognizes that where a contract demonstrates that a security service was the exclusive provider of security services to protect third parties legally on the property, the patrons are intended beneficiaries of the contract to provide security. Where performance of the contract is to be rendered directly to a third party under the terms of an agreement, the third party is deemed an intended beneficiary of the covenant and is entitled to sue for its breach. New York law recognizes that an injured assault victim may recover as a third-party beneficiary of a security contract when a defendant security company fails to perform a duty imposed by contract when it appears that the parties to the contract intended to confer a direct benefit on the alleged third-party beneficiary to protect him from physical injury.


New York law also recognizes that security companies owe a duty to the premises’ patrons where the provisions of the contract evidence that the parties intended to confer a direct benefit on the third-party to protect him or her from physical injury. Security guards who voluntarily provide security services or who are under a contractual duty to provide security services for an establishment do owe a duty to protect patrons from the foreseeable assaults. Likewise, New York law recognized that the broad language in security company’s employee manual can impose a duty upon the security company’s employees to protect the patrons of the establishment from violence.

These general duties apply whether an assault occurs in a bar, a nightclub, a parking lot or a strip mall. The obligations to security companies and are more important where there is a history of violence either on the premises or in the immediate vicinity. Often our New York City personal injury lawyers will get the State Liquor Authority records of complaints of violence and other crime records from the local police departments.

In bars and clubs, in New York City and New York with bar scenes, including Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Port Chester, violent patrons are often an inevitability. Where bar security fails to provide pat downs or metal detector searches, where there is a history of weapons or gang activity, often serious injuries and even death because of stabbings and shootings are the unfortunate result.

Likewise, too often bars and clubs hire unqualified security guards. New York’s Security Guard Law has strict registration requirements which exclude felons from working as security guards and requires training. Where unlicensed and unqualified security guards are employed they are often incapable of providing adequate security.

Our New York City personal injury and wrongful death attorneys regularly handle personal injury and wrongful death cases in New York City (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn), Rye, Scarsdale, Yonkers, Mamaroneck, Elmsford, Mount Vernon, Bronxville, Ossining, Port Chester, Greenburgh, New Rochelle, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Valhalla, Mount Pleasant and Mount Kisco. From our Manhattan and New York offices our New York wrongful death and accident lawyers are ready to hold security companies who don’t do their jobs accountable.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in proving these cases. Our N.Y.C. bar assault lawyers know that the story often changes once a lawsuit is filed, so we make sure that video evidence from the bar's surveillance system is preserved and that our attorneys have the best witness in the world, a video camera. 

Our New York personal injury lawyers offer free consultations in our New York City (Manhattan) office.


One of the most underused laws in bar assault cases is the Dram Shop Act. New York’s Dram Shop law and the Alcohol and Beverage Control Laws prohibit sales of alcohol to obviously drunk or intoxicated individuals or individuals under the age of twenty one. Obviously drunk and underage people are more likely to become aggressive and when these bars or clubs serve people who should not be served, they are responsible for assaults that occur. Since most assaults in bars occur as a result of highly intoxicated individuals instigating a fight, where the bar served the customer to the point that they were highly intoxicated that is a violation of New York's Alcohol and Beverage Control Law.  When a bar serves alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated and that intoxicated customer assaults another customer, the bar can be sued for any resulting personal injuries. 



Manhattan Office Phone (212) 858-0503

White Plains Office Phone (914) 574-8330

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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