It’s no secret that the bar and winery industry in the United States is massive, with many adults going to these locations to unwind after a long week of work. However, the last thing many expect when getting ready for a night out with friends is to end up injured. These circumstances, unfortunately, can occur, making it imperative to understand who can be held liable for damages you endure. If hurt at one of these locations, the following blog and a Prince George’s County personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Can an Injury in a Bar or Winery Happen?
Injuries at bars or wineries are not as uncommon as one might believe. Due to the nature of these locations, there is always the risk of injury, as they are often dark, crowded, and loud. However, injuries are often caused by the negligence of the staff on-site or dangerous property conditions.
For example, if someone drops a glass, causing liquid and glass to litter the floor, it is the responsibility of the staff to remedy the situation to prevent an injury. If employees do not clean the spill and someone slips and falls, it can cause injuries. Additionally, if the building violates local codes, such as failing to ensure safe stairwells or allowing more people inside than the maximum capacity determined by the fire department, injuries can occur.
Wineries are often in open, outdoor locations, but injuries can still occur. Most commonly, this is due to unsafe walkways, failure to alert guests to hazards, or due to equipment left outside. For example, a patron may not see a hose when walking, causing them to trip and fall.
Who Can Be Held Liable for These Damages?
In most instances, the bar’s owner will be held liable for damages incurred by an injured patron. This is because it is ultimately their responsibility to ensure the bar is safe for guests. They must ensure the building is up to code to prevent injuries stemming from violations, make necessary repairs, and take steps to prevent injuries when alerted to a hazard. For example, if a bar stool has loose screws, the owner must fix it or remove the stool from the floor. If they do not and the chair breaks, causing the seated patron to hit their head, the owner can be held liable for their negligence.
However, it is critical to note that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, meaning if you are found even 1% negligent in the accident, you will barred from collecting compensation. As such, the owner of the bar will likely try to claim that your intoxication contributed to the accident to avoid having to cover the damages. That’s why it’s critical to have an attorney on your side to prove your intoxication was not the cause of the accident, but rather the owner’s negligence.
At McCarthy, Winkelman, Mester & Offutt, we understand how devastating it can be to end up injured after what was supposed to be a fun night out at a bar or winery. That’s why we are dedicated to helping you recover as much compensation as possible for the injuries you’ve endured. Our team understands the complexities of premises liability cases, and we will do everything possible to help you receive a favorable outcome. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through this challenging time.