Bullying in Long Island Schools – How to Fight Back and Win

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.


Can I Sue If My Child Is Hurt In A School Bus Accident?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are the safest vehicles on the road. Your child is much less likely to suffer injuries as a bus passenger than they are riding in a car, walking, or biking to school. Even so, four to six kids die in school bus crashes each year, and dozens of others suffer injuries. A school bus can happen for any number of reasons, but some common causes include:

  • Driver error;
  • Lack of seat belts and other restraints;
  • Inclement weather;
  • Defective buses; and
  • Errors by other drivers.

You may be able to sue if your child is hurt in a school bus accident. However, because a public school system is a state government entity, it is immune from many types of lawsuits. Yours must meet very specific requirements to be viable.

The government protects its various agencies at the federal, state, and municipal levels by granting sovereign immunity from lawsuits. While this is a benefit to the government, it can hurt citizens when the negligence of the government or a government employee causes an accident and they suffer injuries as a result. If you are considering suing the school district for injuries that occurred at school or on a school bus, it is important to consult with a lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., as soon as possible. We can determine if you have a viable case and help you take the next steps in the legal process. Call 800-550-0000 for a free consultation.

What Is Sovereign Immunity and How Does It Affect My Case?

Sovereign immunity grants protection from lawsuits for certain government entities. Sovereign immunity typically applies to federal, state, and municipal government agencies. Its purpose is to protect government budgets—which draw funding from taxpayer dollars—from facing excessive lawsuits.

That means, for instance, if a police officer is chasing down a suspect and sideswipes your vehicle during the pursuit, you may not be able to sue the police department for your injuries or property damage.

The same can be true for a child who suffers injuries in a school bus crash. Assuming your child attends a public school, a government entity probably runs the buses. That makes the driver of the bus a government employee and the bus itself government property. Because the school district and all of its employees fall under the purview of the state and local government, sovereign immunity applies.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Sovereign Immunity Rule?

All 50 states have laws in place that conditionally waive a school district’s sovereign immunity for situations in which an employee’s negligence caused or contributed to a child’s injury.

However, you must follow very specific procedures to take advantage of this waiver. That is where our attorneys can help. The statute of limitations differs for cases against a government entity. In New York, for instance, you must file a Notice of Claim with the district within 90 days of the accident. This notice lets the district know the details of your claim ahead of time, including how you are alleging the accident happened, the nature of the liable party’s wrongful actions, the extent of your child’s injuries, and the amount of compensation you are demanding. You can only file a lawsuit if the district denies your claim or if 30 days pass with no response.

Every state’s rule is different, which is why it is important not to waste any time after the accident. Speak with one of our school bus accident lawyers as soon as possible. We can discuss your legal options and advise you of the best way to proceed in your case.

What If the Accident Was Another Driver’s Fault?

Another possible scenario is that your child’s suffered injuries in a bus accident, but neither the bus driver nor the bus itself played a role in the crash. In some cases, it was another driver who caused the accident.

Because the other driver was not a government employee, sovereign immunity does not protect them from a lawsuit. You can potentially file a claim against them and their insurance company for your damages.

We can investigate the details of the crash, identify all responsible parties, and gather the evidence we need to prove liability. Whether the fault lies with the school district, another driver, or a combination of both, we can help you fight for damages.

Call 800-550-0000 for a Free Consultation With a School Bus Accident Lawyer.

At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our attorneys focus on personal injury law. Our goal is to help victims navigate the complex legal landscape to win the damages they deserve after a school bus accident. For a free consultation with one of our team members, call 800-550-0000 today.

Can You Get Vertigo From a Car Accident?

You can get vertigo from a car accident. Some crash victims develop dizziness as a result of a neck or head injury — a condition known as post-traumatic vertigo.

Vertigo is primarily characterized by dizziness but, unbeknownst to most auto accident victims, it has a variety of other symptoms as well.

This condition illustrates the importance of seeking medical evaluation and treatment immediately after a car accident.

What Are the Symptoms of Vertigo After a Car Accident?

Besides dizziness, vertigo from a car accident may have some or all the following symptoms.

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory lapse
  • Spatial orientation problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty walking

Dizziness can take a variety of forms, including lightheadedness, feeling like the room is spinning, or feeling like you are spinning.

What Causes Post-Traumatic Vertigo from a Car Accident?

If you develop vertigo after a car crash, it originates from one or more potential sources:

Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This condition arises when the fluids in the inner ear responsible for balance move because of a sudden impact. This fluid contains microscopic crystals (known as otoconia) that help orient balance and spatial positioning. If these crystals move from their correct location, balance problems can occur.

Cervicogenic Injury: Cervicogenic injury refers to damage to the neck, similar to whiplash. This damage can disrupt the body’s proprioceptors, which are sensors that govern postural control, by telling your brain where your various body parts are in relation to space and movement. For example, proprioceptors allow you to touch your fingertip to your nose without having to look at either one. If tissue damage in the neck disrupts proprioceptor signals, it can lead to dizziness and disorientation. Neck trauma can also restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to vascular causes of dizziness.

Temporal Bone Fracture: If you suffer a broken temporal or skull bone in a car crash, it can potentially affect your hearing and facial muscle control, and cause dizziness.

Whiplash Injury Syndrome: Vertigo is a common symptom of whiplash and can last as long as you suffer from your whiplash injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury: A brain injury can cause post-concussion syndrome, with headache, vertigo, and mental disturbance.

When Should You Seek Treatment After a Car Accident?

Doctors will treat your vertigo depending on the identified underlying cause. However, the sooner treatment begins, the better your chance of making a full recovery.

For this reason, it is critical for you to seek evaluation from emergency medical technicians at the scene of your accident, as well as a comprehensive follow-up examination. You will likely need treatment from a specialist, depending on the nature of your injuries. This treatment can be expensive.

If you do not seek emergency treatment, but later develop symptoms, the at-fault party’s insurance company may attempt to deny your accident injury claim.

The team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you get the treatment you need after an accident and handle every aspect of your claim. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island car accident lawyer.