Bullying is an epidemic that severely affects the lives of countless children across the United States. Bullying injuries aren’t strictly limited to occurrences of bodily harm, as many victims suffer an increased likelihood of developing depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other damages to their mental health. Luckily, in recent years, more states have taken measures towards protecting children by passing anti-bullying laws. However, even with these laws in place, schools may still fail in their duty to protect children from bullying.
If a bully has injured your child, our child injury lawyers can help determine liability and ensure fair compensation is recovered for your child’s suffering. Contact The Galione Law Firm, P.A. today to receive a free case consultation.
Florida Bullying Laws
Florida law defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students and may involve teasing, social exclusion, threat, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, harassment, public humiliation, or destruction of property. Additionally, Florida requires schools to adopt a policy that coincides with the Department of Education’s model in prohibiting bullying and harassment, and they must review the policy at least every three years.
As with many other states, Florida schools are expected to uphold a reasonable duty of care for their students, providing children with a safe learning environment. Allowing a child to be chronically bullied is considered to be a failure of that duty.
Establishing Liability In Bullying Injury Cases
There are a few parties that may be held liable in a bullying case. If the incident took place on school grounds, the school district or staff might be held accountable for failing to uphold a reasonable duty of care. Unfortunately, holding a school district responsible can be difficult due to the sovereign immunity granted to public schools. Additionally, schools may try to downplay instances of bullying to avoid liability, which is another reason why parents must seek the aid of a child injury attorney as soon as the incident occurs.
In other instances, the bully or the bully’s parents may be liable for injuries a child suffers. Parents are particularly liable in cases where they either knew the bullying was happening and took no action to stop it or encouraged the bullying. In either case, the victim will need to provide evidence that they suffered harm at the bully’s hands. Providing evidence is easier in occurrences of physical bullying, but it can be harder to prove if the victim’s suffering was purely psychological.
Seeking Compensation For Bullying Injuries
A bullying victim’s family has the right to seek compensation from the liable parties for their child's suffering. A victim's family may be able to recover compensation for the following due to bullying.
- Physical Pain & Suffering
- Medical Expenses
- Mental Anguish
- Therapy Bills
- Property Damage
- Wrongful Death
Penalties for criminal charges in the assault of a child and negligence of adult parties may include fees/fines, mandatory community service, or being sentenced to serve jail time in more extreme cases.
How We Can Help
The personal injury attorneys of The Galione Law Firm are dedicated to fighting for the safety of your children. Our child attorneys can help families of bullying victims review the details of their case, determine which parties should be held liable, and provide pivotal legal representation amidst litigation to ensure maximum compensation is won.
Bullying cases can be tricky for families to pursue alone. Without the aid of our experienced attorneys, families may be convinced to settle for less than they’re rightfully owed or have their claims dismissed entirely. Don’t compromise when it comes to your children’s safety — contact a child injury lawyer at our trusted Gainesville law firm today!