If I am a security guard at a nightclub and was bitten by a violent patron, can I sue?

UPDATED: Mar 3, 2012

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If I am a security guard at a nightclub and was bitten by a violent patron, can I sue?

If so, how? He was arrested and a police report was filed.

Asked on March 3, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can definitely sue the patron--assault is not merely a crime, it is a also a civil tort, or something you may sue over. Whenever anyone wrongfully causes you personal injury, you may sue. Of course, it may not be worthwhile suing: in a case like this, you can recover your out-of-pocket medical costs and lost wages and, for injuries that cause at least temporary impairment, disablement, or disfigurement, some amount of pain and suffering. If you "only" suffered some pain and maybe one doctor's visit, it's difficult to see how a lawsuit would be worthwhile.

If you want to sue him, you can file an information request to get the police report, which will provide his name, address, etc. You can then file your lawsuit, including possibly suing in small claims court, where you can act as your own attorney. Your local courts should be able to provide instructions and sample or template forms.

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