Bullying and Personal Injury – Aronberg, Aronberg & Green

Aug. 15th, 2012   /   ,

When most people thing of “personal injury,” what often come to mind are cases involving auto accidents, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, premises liability, nursing home neglect, dog bites, etc.  Now, these people aren’t necessarily flawed in their thinking—the fact is, the vast majority of personal injury cases do involve one or more of the aforementioned types of personal injury law.  However, times change and so does the application of the law.  We are on the horizon of a new wave of lawsuits—and thus a new era of liability—that revolves around the issue of bullying.

Bullying has surely been around for a very long time—unfortunately, it comprises a considerable amount of human nature.  The feelings of jealousy, greed, malice and hatred are deep-seated in the human psyche, and such emotions often manifest themselves in the form of bullying.  Once upon a time, before the Internet, those with enough “courage” (a word used very loosely and only for lack of a better word) would use bullying and intimidation tactics in person to try to put-down others in an effort to boost their self-esteem.  Now, in this day and age, one that is characterized by technological overhaul, the number of bullies has increased at a rate that is surely disproportionate to increases in population.  People, often teenagers, can now hide behind the screens of their computers, iPhones or Blackberry smartphones, in the security of their own homes, and rail against those who bother them or make them feel inferior.  As a result, bullying has become rampant, and recent cases in this country have detailed just how devastating, and just how deadly, a simple case of bullying can be.

As mentioned above, the newest form of personal injury is injury as a result of bullying—emotional and mental damage, among other types.  The law already has, for years, dealt with the issues associated with bullying such as defamation, libel, etc., but soon personal injury law will be partially composed of “bullying” law.  It doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to realize that the effects of bullying on a child can be just as harmful, degrading, and deadly as the effects of a car accident, slip-and-fall, or any other more “popular” type of personal injury.  While arms and legs will often heal themselves, emotional/mental damage is much more difficult to repair.

Parents, your job is two-pronged.  First, pay attention to what is going on with your children.  If you feel that they have suffered emotional trauma at the hands of another person, it is your right and responsibility to seek help.  One of our attorneys can help sort through your options moving forward.  Remember that, more often than not, children are too unaware or ashamed to come forward if they have been bullied—take the initiative and play a proactive role in helping to keep them safe and stable.  To that end, turning a blind eye to your child’s bullying of others can land you in trouble.  Parental negligence is something that any competent personal injury attorney will be able to argue.  While your child acts on his/her own, your job as a parent is to help mold your child into an adult and establish an environment that fosters responsible development.

If you have any questions about how bullying relates to personal injury law, or about any other scope of this type of law, please contact us at 561-266-9191 or daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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