Nightclub patrons who get beaten up or assaulted by bouncers in Las Vegas can bring a personal injury suit for negligence, battery, and possibly other claims. Depending on the extent of the injuries, Nevada law allows for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages for:
Many nightclub altercations begin with an intoxicated patron yelling at the bouncer for not letting him/her in. But as long as the customer is less than 51% at fault for the ensuing violence, Nevada's comparative negligence laws would allow the customer to still recover damages.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about suing for being beaten up by a bouncer in Nevada, including common claims, the statute of limitations, and money damages.
- 1. What can I do if a bouncer beat me up in Nevada?
- 2. Can I sue for compensatory damages if a bouncer beat me up in Nevada?
- 3. Can I get punitive damages if a bouncer beat me up in Nevada?
- 4. Whom can I sue if a bouncer beat me up in Nevada?
- 5. Can I still get money if I was partially at fault for getting beaten up by a bouncer in Nevada?
- 6. When can I sue for getting beaten up by a bouncer in Nevada?
Also read our informational page on Las Vegas nightclub injuries.
People who have been injured by a bouncer in Nevada have potentially several causes of action, including 1) negligence, and 2) battery:
There are four elements to a negligence lawsuit that the plaintiff (victim) has the burden of proving if the case goes to trial:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff's injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
In the context of a Las Vegas nightclub or strip club, the business owner has a duty to keep the patrons safe. It is a clear breach of duty when a bouncer batters a patron (unless the bouncer was legally defending him/herself). Consequently, the nightclub owner would be liable to patrons injured by a bouncer's violence against them.
A civil battery claim also has four elements that the plaintiff (victim) has the burden of proving if the case goes to trial:
- The defendant(s) imposed willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the plaintiff's body;
- The defendant intended to cause harmful or offensive contact;
- Such contact did occur; and
- This contact caused damages.2
Battery comprises any physical violence including punching, kicking or throwing. Considering bouncers tend to be big, burly men, a slap or shove from a bouncer can result in devastating injuries, including contusions, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal injuries.
Yes. The purpose of compensatory damages is to "compensate" the plaintiff for the physical, financial, professional, and emotional harm done to them. Depending on the case, people injured by bouncer violence may recover for their:
- hospital and doctor's bills,
- lost wages, salary, tips, and bonuses,
- lost earning capacity, and/or
- pain and suffering3
In most cases, yes. Courts award punitive damages when the plaintiff behaved maliciously rather than simply negligently, and intentional violence qualifies as malicious behavior.
Note that there is a limit to the amount of punitive damages a person may recover in a Nevada personal injury case. Punitive damages caps in Nevada are:
- $300,000 when compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff is less than $100,000, or
- Three times (3) compensatory damages if the amount is $100,000 or more.4
Victims of bouncer violence in Nevada can typically sue the following people and entities:
- The bouncer(s) who actually caused the victim's injuries;
- The security guard company that employs the bouncer;
- The nightclub or bar where the injury occurred; and/or
- The hotel or casino where the nightclub or bar is located (if applicable)
In virtually every personal case involving bouncer brawls, the venue has much deeper pockets than its employees. So the plaintiff's attorney would concentrate on negotiating with the venue to reach a settlement.
The following are some of the nightclubs and lounges in Las Vegas and Henderson:
- 1OAK (Mirage)
- The Bank (Bellagio)
- Body English (Hard Rock Hotel)
- Center Bar (Hard Rock)
- Chandelier Bar (Cosmopolitan)
- Chateau (Paris)
- Drai's (The Cromwell)
- Extra Lounge (Planet Holllywood)
- FDR (Delano)
- Fizz (Caesars Palace)
- Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay)
- Gilley's (Treasure Island)
- Gold Diggers (Golden Nugget)
- Hakkasan (MGM)
- Hyde (Bellagio)
- Intrigue (Wynn)
- Lavo (Palazzo)
- Liaison (Bally's)
- LIGHT (Mandalay Bay)
- Marquee (Cosmopolitan)
- Moon (Palms)
- Omnia (Caesars Palace)
- Rain (Palms)
- The Sayers Club (SLS)
- Surrender (Wynn)
- Tao (Venetian)
- Vanity (Hard Rock Hotel)
- VooDoo Lounge (Rio)
- XS (Wynn)
- Sip, Drop Bar, Lobby Bar (Green Valley Ranch)
Yes, a Nevada court could award damages to the plaintiff as long as it determines that the bouncer was at least 50% at fault for the incident than the plaintiff. But also note that courts award less damages to victims who were partially to blame for their injuries than to victims who were not at all to blame.5
People injured by bouncers in Nevada may bring a personal injury lawsuit no later than two (2) years after the incident.6
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney...
Beaten up by a bouncer in Nevada? Then call our Las Vegas bouncer injury attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. We will fight for the largest financial settlement available, and if necessary, we will fight all the way to trial. And it is at zero risk to you since you owe nothing unless we win.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co.,112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 109 S. Ct. 1865 (1989); Yada v. Simpson, 112 Nev. 254, 913 P.2d 1261; Switzer v. Rivera, 174 F. Supp.2d 1097, 1109 (D. Nev. 2001); Burns v. Mayer, 175 F. Supp. 2d 1259 (D. Nev. 2001) Murphy v. S. Pac. Co., 31 Nev. 120, 101 P. 322, 334 (1909); Restatement (Second) of Torts, §§ 13 and 18 (1965).
- NRS 41.035.
- NRS 42.005.
- NRS 41.141.
- NRS 11.190.