As bullying becomes a bigger problem around the nation, parents are fighting back by pursuing personal injury cases to protect their child. Many of these cases can qualify as battery, a serious personal injury situation that can even be criminal.
Bullying Can Qualify As Battery
The truth about bullying is that more battery or personal injury cases of this type are being pursued. For example, a recent case in Salisbury found an 11-year-old boy being brought in on charges of the battery due to his bullying behaviors. In this case, he was physically injuring other children and causing them both physical and emotional harm.
Before pursuing a case like this, it is important to know if it falls under the heading of the proper battery. Battery requires a personal injury to occur as a result of a child's actions. For example, a child who punches another child has committed battery.
However, taunting behaviors that cause a child to get hurt or to hurt themselves can also fall under the heading of the battery. It is important to note that criminal battery may also be pursued in a tort setting if it qualifies under both headings.
Does It Qualify As A Tort Or A Criminal Offense?
The most difficult question when pursuing a case like this is to decide if it is a tort or a criminal offense. Battery is defined in different ways based on the court. For example, for bullying to be a tort there has to be intent to commit the act, non-consensual contact, and actual harm occurred. Even if the bullying child didn't intend to hurt the other child, it has committed a battery tort.
Criminal battery by a bully differs in the intent. If the child's aggressive bullying behavior was actually intended to do criminal harm to the child then it is a criminal battery. For example, a bully chasing a child around a playground and causing them to trip and injure themselves is likely a tort. However, a bully physically beating another child is a criminal battery.
Defenses The Bully May Try
When it comes to bullying cases tried for battery, there are a few defenses the bully and their family may try. For example, they may claim that they were simply defending themselves from the bullied child. This defense is typically quite hard to execute in a case like this because it requires proving the bullied one was a threat or a perceived threat.
As a result, ideas such as the defense of others, the defense of property, and consent from the bullied child. The latter may be a likely defense, i.e. the child was playing a game or had said it was okay for the bully to behave in that way. Beating these kinds of defenses requires getting eyewitnesses who can state that the bully behaved aggressively.
Any parent who is trying to pursue a battery personal injury case due to bullying has a tough battle to fight. While a growing number of lawyers and courts are taking these cases seriously, some districts may not. Make sure to talk to a personal injury lawyer about this case before attempting it on your own.
Contact a law office that works with personal injury in your area for more information.