Serious Personal Injury Lawyers
Bullying has been in the news in the last several years. Awareness about the effects of bullying, including an increase in the suicide rate, depression and assaults, has grown in recent years. Personal injury lawyers have taken notice.
If your child has been the subject of bullying, you may consider contacting a personal injury attorney for advice on how to proceed. If the child has been physically bullied, punched, kicked or otherwise assaulted, a claim may exist against the school district for failing to properly protect the child. In some instances, a wrongful death claim can be brought if the bullying leads to suicide or attempted suicide by the child.
Bullying cases carry several challenges for the personal injury attorney. First, there is often no clear evidence of the bullying acts. Bullies are good at conducting their wrongful misconduct outside of the view of adults or other credible witnesses. As a result, the bully can claim that the victim was actually the bully or deny that any bullying took place. It becomes a “he said, she said” controversy that is difficult to resolve in a convincing way during a jury trial. Proof may be further complicated by the fact that bullying may be instigated by a group of children, such that it is difficult to sort out whether each of the individuals engaged in bullying, and to what extent, or whether there was a ringleader who instigated all of the bullying.
In some instances, online bullying can occur. In these cases, it is important to keep copies of social media posts and texts that document the instances of bullying.
Because of the challenges associated with proving bullying, it is important for parents to report acts of bullying as soon as they become aware, so that the school district and its management can be put on notice. Notice creates a duty by the school district to take proactive actions in order to protect the bullied child.
Damages associated with bullying can be difficult to prove, as well. Obviously, physical injuries are easy to prove. It is important, again, to document those injuries by having the child examined by an emergency department physician or pediatrician. The doctor will note that the injuries are the result of abuse caused by bullying from classmates or neighborhood children. This documentation will be useful in the litigation.
Psychological damages are more difficult to prove. The starting point is to have your child evaluated by a psychologist in order to document the onset of the symptoms, including depression or anxiety, but also the source of the stress. In some instances, the bullied child may have suffered other stresses in his/her life, which further complicates the case, such as the death of a parent or parent’s divorce.
In addition to holding school districts liable for injuries caused by bullying, a personal injury lawyer may also seek to hold the parents of the bully responsible for injuries caused by the bully’s acts. Often, however, homeowners insurance will not cover injuries caused by a bully’s intentional misconduct. For more information, consider contacting Cleveland Serious Personal Injury Lawyers from a law firm such as Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. https://www.mishkindlaw.com/.