Conflicts that escalate in Las Vegas bars, casinos, or during concerts at T. Mobile Arena sometimes lead to people being assaulted by bouncers or security guards who overstep their authority.
Security personnel are allowed to take reasonable action to protect the public but are not allowed to use excessive force against individuals. When a security guard or bouncer crosses the line and administers a brutal beating, the unfairly injured person may have a right to demand compensation for injuries they have suffered in the assault.
An aggravated assault lawyer with Sam & Ash Injury Law in Las Vegas can assist you if you have been harmed by a bouncer or security guard who used excessive force against you. The bouncer or security person who assaulted you and their employer may be held legally liable and compelled to compensate you for the injuries, pain and suffering, and related losses.
Contact us today about an excessive force assault case, such as being brutally beaten by a security guard or bouncer at a public venue in the Las Vegas area. At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we want What’s Right for you.
When Is It Considered Excessive Force?
Bouncers and security personnel at clubs, casinos, and other entertainment venues in Las Vegas are hired to keep order at their establishments by:
- Ensuring patrons pay cover charges or entry fees and are of legal age to drink or gamble
- Refusing entry to obviously intoxicated persons
- Discouraging and defusing aggressive behavior or noncompliance with establishment rules
- Escorting unruly clients from the premises
- Reporting pressing security-related matters to management and/or local law enforcement authorities
Security officers at public venues have the right to physically subdue individuals who are violating the rules and remove them from the premises if necessary. Some situations require the use of physical force to protect venue patrons and property.
However, the amount of force used must be appropriate to the circumstances.
Under Las Vegas law, a bouncer must show restraint when confronting patrons of their establishments. They cannot:
- Use force initially to expel a patron. Instead, a bouncer must ask a patron to leave voluntarily and call the police to assist if necessary.
- Physically strike a patron first. A bouncer may defend himself, others, or property.
- Escalate the use of force against a patron. A bouncer assaulted by a patron is to respond with reasonable force.
Excessive force means using greater physical force against an individual than the situation requires.
What If I’m Assaulted by a Bouncer or Security Guard
Security guards and bouncers cross the line when the amount of physical force they have used cannot be justified in a manner that a reasonable person would find acceptable.
If a venue patron charged that they were subjected to excessive force, the factors that would be considered to assess their claim would include:
- The severity of the patron’s physical injuries and/or psychological trauma.
- Circumstances leading up to the use of force, such as any aggressive or criminal behavior on the patron’s part.
- The patron’s denial of provocation or claim of intent to cooperate.
- Video footage, witness testimony, or other evidence as to the circumstances of the alleged use of excessive force.
Examples of Excessive Force
If a bouncer or security guard uses a restraining hold to break up a fight or forcibly clears people from a defined space, this is generally not considered excessive force if matters do not escalate.
Acts that may be considered excessive force depending on the circumstances include:
- Subduing a patron by repeatedly hitting them with fists, kicking, choking, or bludgeoning them with a weapon or other object.
- Use of a weapon such as a baton, flashlight, Taser, or pepper spray or a restraint device such as handcuffs or zip ties.
- Physical acts designed to injure a patron, such as smashing their head against the ground, kneeling on their neck, kidney punches, or using punishing holds, such as twisting an arm to the point of dislocating a shoulder or breaking a bone.
- Shoving or dragging a patron on the ground.
- Multiple security guards physically beating and injuring a patron.
- Verbal abuse, such as the use of racial or ethnic slurs or epithets.
- Not allowing a patron to leave the premises or confining them.
Common Places Where Excessive Force or Assault May Occur
A Las Vegas resident or visitor to Las Vegas may be subjected to excessive force at any business that disregards its obligations to show restraint when providing security measures.
The excessive force attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you if you have been subjected to excessive force and injured at any of the following places:
- Event venue
- Concert hall
- Shopping mall
- Department store
- Privately sponsored public event
Suing for Excessive Force or Assault
If you were injured in a confrontation with a Las Vegas bouncer or security guard who used excessive force, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, time out of work, pain, suffering, and more.
In a personal injury lawsuit for harm you suffered at the hands of a bouncer or security guard, you would need to demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. (All businesses have a duty of care to legal patrons.)
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach led to your injury.
- Your injury can be mitigated with compensation.
In a claim of injury from excessive force applied by a bouncer – or any employee of a business, venue, or event that invited the public – there are two kinds of lawsuits you could file:
- An intentional tort claim against the bouncer asserting that he intentionally committed an act of assault, which injured you.
- Negligence-based liability claimagainst the establishment that employs the bouncer asserting that you suffered an injury because of the employer’s negligence, which caused or contributed to your injury.
Your lawsuit against the bouncer or security would assert that the person overstepped their authority by using excessive force against you, which led to your injuries.
Your lawsuit against the casino, club, or restaurant would assert that the bouncer’s employer had an obligation to protect you from unreasonable harm by their employee and neglected that duty. Your claim would need to demonstrate their negligence, such as the following:
- The employer encouraged or allowed bouncers to treat patrons too roughly. Prime evidence would be other incidents of patrons being harmed at the establishment or testimony of other employees.
- The employer knew or should have known their employee had a propensity toward violence. This might be demonstrated by uncovering the bouncer’s criminal record or other past incidents, which their employer should have known about.
A negligence claim against the employer could also hold them vicariously liable for their employee’s use of unreasonable force.
How To Prove an Aggravated Assault Claim Against a Bouncer
In a lawsuit claiming you were assaulted by a Las Vegas bouncer, you have the burden of proof. A preponderance of evidence must indicate the bouncer’s and their employer’s liability. This is a much lower standard than in criminal cases, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A preponderance of evidence means that the jury must decide it is “more likely than not” that the defendant is responsible for the offense alleged.
The primary points you need to demonstrate in a claim of excessive force against a bouncer are:
- You had a right to be at the establishment. If you had already been told to leave but refused to do so, this might damage your case with a jury. On the other hand, it would not excuse or negate the fact that you were the victim of a violent assault.
- The defendant assaulted you. If you were assaulted in a casino, you can be sure that a surveillance camera recorded it. Casinos are required to keep recordings of detentions and questioning by security personnel for at least 30 days. There are surveillance cameras all over Las Vegas, but retention policies differ. Hiring an excessive force lawyer and seeking potential video evidence quickly before it is lost is crucial to a case.
- The defendant used excessive force. Your medical records and doctors’ statements would explain the extent of your injuries. You might provide a statement about what you have gone through since the attack. It is a judgment call as to what a reasonable person would consider unacceptable physical force against a customer or attendee at an event. But juries, and in most cases, insurers, know that someone out for an evening’s entertainment should not wind up seriously injured at the hands of a bouncer or a security guard.
- The establishment was negligent in hiring or supervising the bouncer. If the bouncer had a history of violence, this would indicate that his boss was negligent in hiring him or continuing to employ him. A criminal record of assault or domestic violence would indicate a violent nature that his employer either knew or should have known about. Employment records that show previous incidents with customers leading to warnings or discipline would demonstrate that the business kept a problem employee on staff.
Settlement for an Assault Committed by a Security Guard or Bouncer
An employee of a Las Vegas entertainment establishment may not have the resources to pay for your medical bills and other losses if you were to sue them for assaulting you. However, their employer is responsible for staff members’ actions, and business liability insurance is required because situations like this can arise.
As your aggravated assault lawyers, Sam & Ash Injury Law would calculate all your costs and losses from the assault you suffered, including your pain and suffering. Our attorneys will present a demand letter to the insurer representing the casino, bar, or establishment where you were injured. This letter would outline our evidence of the establishment’s liability for the assault.
Our demand for compensation would be structured according to your losses and damages allowed in a Nevada personal injury lawsuit, which include compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to your injuries, including initial medical care, hospitalization, medications, and rehab
- Future medical expenses if you suffered disabling injuries and will have future medical needs and costs related to the security guard assault
- Lost wages during hospitalization and recovery
- Lost earning capacity due to permanently disabling injuries
- Incidental expenses related to your injuries, such as the cost of hiring help at home
- Physical pain and suffering endured as a result of injuries
- Mental anguish suffered as a result of your injuries
- Diminished quality of life from disabling injuries
- Loss of financial and/or emotional support your family members have suffered due to your disabling injuries
Most cases of excessive force by an employee that lead to assault injuries can be settled out of court if handled properly. No Las Vegas business wants the publicity of a court case about patrons being assaulted and injured through the use of unreasonable force.
We would present evidence and demands for compensation to the responsible insurance company and negotiate aggressively for full compensation to you. If we are unable to obtain a settlement offer acceptable to you, we would be prepared to file a lawsuit in your name and present a persuasive case in Clark County court.
Contact an Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Las Vegas
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by excessive force by a bouncer, guard, or other security personnel in the Las Vegas area, let Sam & Ash Injury Law help you seek compensation for your losses. The use of excessive force against patrons is a serious breach of conduct. Most employers in Las Vegas know violent conduct by bouncers and security guards should not be tolerated. You can get full compensation for your losses with experienced, local legal help.
Meet with Sam & Ash to understand your legal options and discuss a strategy for your case. The consultation is free of charge. We represent local residents and visitors to Las Vegas. We want What’s Right for you.