Although Long Island school officials have anti-bullying measures in place, students continue to suffer physical harm, peer pressure, and emotional degradation from bullies. In some cases, students have committed suicide because of the constant harassment.
The personal injury lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., stand against bullying in Long Island schools. We want to see you and your child free from the physical, mental, and emotional trauma bullies can cause. If your child faces harassment at school each day and school officials have ignored your plea for intervention, call our office at 800-550-0000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your child’s bullying case.
We can help you pursue compensation for your child’s medical bills, physical or mental health therapies, pain and suffering, and other emotional or monetary losses you or your child sustained. Our firm is well-equipped to handle your case and fight for your family.
What Are My Legal Options?
We can help you build a solid case to prove negligence on the part of your child’s teacher or school administrators in failing to stop the bullying. You have an option of filing a claim against the school district’s insurance company or you may file a personal injury lawsuit. We handle all of the paperwork, including sending a notice to the school district of our intentions to pursue a personal injury claim.
Depending on the circumstances of the bullying and the extent of your child’s physical or emotional injuries, you may be able to hold the parents of the student who caused the bullying liable, too.
How Can I Hold Someone Responsible?
Before we can hold someone responsible for your child’s losses, our case must prove negligence and causation. We do this by launching an investigation into the causes of the bullying and the actions the teacher, principal, or superintendent took after they found out the bullying was occurring. We want to know:
- How often was your child bullied?
- Did your child endurephysical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or online bullying?
- How many times did you or your child report the bullying to school authorities?
- What type of supervision or security measures—if any—did school authorities put in place once they became aware of thesituation?
- What physical or emotional injuries did your child suffer?
- Did your child receive medical or mental health treatment because of bullying?
We can hold the school and its representatives liable once we show how it failed to remedy your child’s bullying problem. Our probe would also establish that the school violated its own anti-bullying policy and its responsibility to provide a safe environment for students.
How Can I Prove the School Failed to Protect My Child?
We collect evidence to support your claim. New York requires plaintiffs pursuing compensation for personal injuries to establish four elements of negligence. The elements we must prove are:
- Duty of care: The school owed a duty of care to your child—and other students—to address problems with bullying;
- Negligence: The school violated its duty of care by failing to discourage and remedy the bullying;
- Causation: The school’s negligent actions caused your child’s physical or emotional injuries; and
- Damages: You and your child sustained physical, mental, and financial damages because of the school’s failure to address bullying.
We will gather the evidence we need to show your child’s school violated the district’s anti-bullying policy by allowing the bullying to continue.
Can I Recover Damages on Behalf of My Child?
You may pursue monetary compensation for your child. This compensation pays for losses, such as:
- Medical bills for your child’s physical injuries, if they suffered injuries at school;
- Physical therapy, if necessary as part of medical treatment; and
- Mental health treatment for the psychological injuries your child suffered due to bullying.
You may also pursue non-economic or emotional damages because of what your child has gone through. These intangible damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
What Is the Dignity for All Students Act?
As a way to deter bullying in public schools statewide, New York officials signed the Dignity Act into law in 2010. This law seeks to provide students with a “safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying” at school or online.
The Dignity Act mandates schools to immediately investigate all bullying claims. A special coordinator must interview the victim of the bullying and any witnesses to the event. If your child’s school failed to uphold the terms of the Dignity Act, we can hold it responsible.
How Can I Get Legal Help in My Bullying Case?
As a parent, nothing breaks your heart more than seeing your child suffer at the hands of bullies at school or online. Get help for your child today by calling Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., at 800-550-0000. We can develop a winning legal strategy to help you and your child recover compensation for your damages.