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You’re out on the town with your friends, and a fight breaks out between your group and another. A bouncer comes over and tells you that you have to leave. The bouncer is large and physically intimidating, but your group does not want to go. Your friend starts acting out and saying that you won’t leave.
Could the bouncer, an employee of the bar, actually hit you?
Technically speaking, the bouncer can hit you. However, that doesn’t mean they can just walk up, punch you, and throw you out.
Physical confrontations can only happen in very specific situations. Generally speaking, the most significant rule in these cases is that the bouncer cannot strike first. But if you hit the bouncer:
The bouncer still cannot hit you first. Also, violence or force cannot be used to get you to comply with an order. So, the bouncer cannot hit you for not leaving the bar. But they can use force against anyone in the group that uses violence first.
The force used also has to be “reasonable.” Typically, this means a bouncer can only use force equal to whatever force they are facing. So, if you punch a bouncer in the face, they can punch you back. However, if you slap the bouncer, they can’t pick up a nearby beer bottle and hit you in the head. All force is not legally acceptable, even if the other person started it.
Bouncers can use force to stop a fight or protect others. Even if no one directed violence at the bouncer, they can jump in at any time to protect others.
If your group of friends gets into a bar fight, the bouncer could tackle you or pin you down, even though you didn’t do anything against the bouncer specifically. The rule about “reasonable force” will still apply.
Were you injured by a bouncer who attacked without being provoked? Did you start the fight where the bouncer used unreasonable force? If so, you may want to know your legal rights in the situation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified premises liability lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local premises liability attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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