Bullying is a global epidemic that can cause issues such as mental health problems, depression, anxiety and child suicide. Bullying is a dangerous matter all parents and schools should take seriously. If another kid is bullying your child, you may have legal recourse as a parent. The bully’s parents and/or your child’s school may be liable for bullying behaviors that cause physical or emotional injuries.
The foundation of a personal injury lawsuit is negligence. Negligence is a breach of duty of care owed to another person, resulting in injuries or deaths. In a lawsuit based on bullying, the element of proof is the same. You, the plaintiff, or your attorney will have to prove the defendant owed your child a duty of care and breached this duty, resulting in the bullying situation that harmed your child.
If you have evidence that a parent, school or staff member breached a duty he or she reasonably owed your child, and that this breach of duty contributed to the bullying incident, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Duty, breach, damages and causation are the four main elements necessary for a negligence-based claim. A lawyer can help you gather these elements together to file a bullying claim in your county.
Before you or your lawyer can file a bullying claim, you must identify the correct defendant(s). The defendant will be the person or entity most at fault for your child’s injuries or emotional distress. If the bully is another child, vicarious liability may go to the bully’s parents. If the bully is an adult such as a teacher at a school, liability may land on the individual or his or her employer. One or more parties may be responsible for failing to protect your child from bullying, harassment, discrimination or cyberbullying.
Bullying is a significant issue schools and guardians should take extremely seriously. Failing to take the proper steps to prevent bullying or to remedy a known bullying situation before it can cause harm is negligence.
If your child experienced mental health problems, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors, poor performance in school, post-traumatic stress disorder, physical injuries or other harms because of bullying, an experienced Fairfax personal injury lawyer can help you go up against the correct defendant(s). The odds of securing compensation for bullying are higher now than they were in the past thanks to a heightened awareness of this problem.