Premises Liability Law

Can a Bouncer Hit Me?

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?

Bouncers Can Use Force in Specific Situations

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:

  • Physical force is now on the table
  • The bouncer can hit you back
  • The bouncer can match whatever force you used against them

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.

Reasonable Force in a Fight

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 Breaking Up Fights

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.

Injury Compensation if a Bouncer Injured You

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.