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 them in. 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 Nevada 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 in Nevada, and money damages.
- 1. What can I do if a bouncer beats me up at a Las Vegas nightclub?
- 2. Can I sue for compensatory damages?
- 3. Can I get punitive damages?
- 4. Whom can I sue?
- 5. Can I still get damages if I was partially at fault?
- 6. When can I bring my lawsuit?
Also read our informational page on Las Vegas nightclub injuries.
If a bouncer in Nevada has injured you, you have potentially several causes of action, including 1) negligence, and 2) battery:
There are four elements to a negligence lawsuit that you (the victim) have the burden of proving if the case goes to trial:
- The defendant(s) owed you a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused your 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 themself). Consequently, the nightclub owner would be liable to patrons injured by a bouncer’s violence.
A civil battery claim also has four elements that you (the 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 your 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, such as 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
Yes. The purpose of compensatory damages is to “compensate” you for the physical, financial, professional, and emotional harm done to you. Depending on the case, you may recover for your:
- 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 defendant 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 you may recover in a Nevada personal injury case. Punitive damages caps in Nevada are:
- $300,000 when compensatory damages awarded to you are less than $100,000, or
- Three times (3) compensatory damages if the amount is $100,000 or more.4
As a victim of bouncer violence in Nevada, you can typically sue the following people and entities:
- The bouncer(s) who actually caused your 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 your attorney would concentrate on negotiating with the venue to reach a settlement.
Yes, a Nevada court could award damages to you as long as it determines that the bouncer was at least 50% at fault for the incident than you. Though also note that courts award less damages to you if you were partially to blame for your injuries than if you were not at all to blame.5
If bouncers in Nevada injure you, you may bring a personal injury lawsuit no later than two (2) years after the incident.6
- See, for example 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.