• Oct
    09
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Can Schoolyard Bullying Become a Personal Injury Suit?

    Bullying has always been with us, but in recent years its consequences have become much more lethal, and as a result it has drawn greater attention. Not only does bullying occur in the schoolyard, but it extends off of school grounds into children’s homes via social media, and children have been harmed physically and emotionally. Some children have taken their own lives as a result of the despair that they have suffered.

    Though some instances of bullying have led to bullies being charged criminally, very few have led to significant charges, in large part because the bullies are underage and therefore not held to the same standard for their crimes as they would if they were adults. There is, however, an alternative way to pursue justice, and that is to file personal injury lawsuits against either the schools and school officials responsible for supervising children or the bully’s parents.

    Personal injury lawsuits pursue monetary compensation to reimburse victims for physical injuries, as well as for any damages that they have suffered mentally or emotionally. If a schoolyard bully has been unsupervised or unreported by a teacher or school administrator charged with the safety of all of the children in their care, those employees and the school itself can be charged with neglecting their duty of care. It is rare that an instance of bullying is a one-time event, and in most cases where damage is done, the child responsible for the bullying was already on the radar of those charged with their supervision. Any failure to act to protect the other children from a bully rests on their shoulders, as they either knew or should have known of the dangers and taken appropriate action.

    The compensation that can come from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the school district or individual employees can include the real costs for medical or psychological treatment for the damage done, as well as additional compensatory damages for pain and suffering.  In the worst-case scenario, where a child is so traumatized by having been bullied that they take their own life, the parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Notably, parents can also be held civilly responsible for the criminal actions of their children, so a parent who is aware or should have been aware of their child’s bullying behavior but who does not take action can also be pursued legally for the damage that their minor child has caused.

    For more information, contact our team today! 

     

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