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Hazing and Bullying Injury Lawyer in Chicago

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Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

Hazing is generally defined as some type of humiliating or dangerous task used as a form of initiation into a group. Bullying is a broader term but defined among the same lines, meaning any types of threats, abuse, or aggression against an individual. According to Stop Hazing, more than half of college students in some type of group experience hazing at some point during their time with them. Meanwhile, the National Bullying Prevention Center reports that almost one out of every four students report being bullied during the school year.

One of the biggest issues America’s youth experiences is the phenomenon of hazing and bullying. However, these are not issues limited to adolescents. Many adults face hazing and bullying with their peers or colleagues in the workplace, too. It can cause various psychological disorders or even physical injuries.

At Mike Agruss Law, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been suffered from hazing or bullying, contact our office today for a free consultation.

Different Forms of Hazing and Bullying

Hazing, although it can apply to any type of group or organization, is often associated with initiation into a fraternity or sorority in colleges. It can take many forms, such as humiliating oneself in public, forcing someone to engage or to not engage in certain behaviors such as sleeping, drink deadly amounts of alcohol, verbal or physical abuse, and tolerating physical pain. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the forms that hazing can take.

Bullying is a more general term that may apply to more people. It is often associated with adolescents being bullied in school. It may consist of verbal abuse, physical abuse, aggressive teasing, public humiliation, degradation, undermining someone, ignoring someone, and spreading rumors about a person.

Common Effects of Hazing and Bullying

Hazing and bullying can be a traumatizing experience for a person, especially if it is experienced in someone’s youth. It can alter the way they behave, act, and think of themselves and others for the rest of their lives. It may also ruin their life if it includes rumors spread about a person or undermining their work, among other things. If it gets bad enough, the victim may even die as a result of relentless abuse. A few common effects of hazing and bullying include the following:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Poorer performance in school or work
  • Decreased self-esteem and confidence
  • Hospitalization due to physical or psychological injury
  • Major weight fluctuations
  • Issues forming relationships or trust in others
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep disorders

Damages That Can Be Recovered

A person may endure bullying over a period of time because they cannot find a way out or no one is there to help them or stick up for them. The victim undoubtedly experiences the ramifications of bullying in the short-term as well as the long-term though. When pursuing a case against a person that has bullied or hazed you or a loved one, you have the potential to be compensated for what you went through and the losses that you endured. Some damages that can be recovered include:

  • Medical expenses from treatments for physical or psychological abuse
  • Lost wages if you were kept from your occupation due to the trauma that you faced
  • Property damage if the bully or hazer destroys or ruins any of your possessions
  • Pain and suffering for the bullying or hazing
  • Emotional distress that was experienced during and following the incidents
  • Punitive damages for the egregious nature of the bully’s or hazer’s conduct
  • Loss of companionship or consortium if the abuse took a toll on your relationship

Punitive damages are given when the court finds that one acted recklessly or maliciously in their offense and it is meant to deter similar future behavior. They are generally not awarded often. However, in a case of abuse such as bullying or hazing, it may be awarded more often due to the very nature of the offense.

If you or a loved one has been injured from someone else’s hazing and bullying, contact our office today for a free consultation.

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Submitted Comments

5 months ago
I believe I was victim of a sexually-related bullying incident that resulted in me suffering from depression, PTSD, and suicidial thoughts over the humiliation. According to a title 9 investigator, this may not pass the standard for sexual harrasment, so I’m reaching out to bullying/hazing lawyers. I was at a social event for a class at the University of Illinois. Two girls (Irene and Snehal) told me that a 3rd girl, Shruthi, had a crush on me and that I should make romantic advances on her. I said “no” that I was not interested in making advances. However, over a period of several hours, Irene and Snehal coming up to me every 15-30 minutes (give or take) and applying pressure on me over several hours to make me make romantic advances on Shruthi. For example, Irene and Snehal made up a story about how Shruthi has to make me make advances on her. In another instance, I stated I wanted to leave the bar because I did not feel comfrotable. In response, Snehal said, “You can’t leave yet. Shruthi is in the bathroom. Let me go get her.” In another instance, Irene pointed at Shruthi, indicating to make moves on her. In another instance, Irene said, “take her home [implying sex].” In other instance, Snehal walked me through how to talk to a girl in a bar to get me to do the same to Shruthi. I eventually fell for the pressure. I ended up taking pictures with my arms around Shruthi. Moreover, I ended up flirtatious text messages to her the following day. However, the night after the social event, Irene and Snehal told me that Shruthi made up the story of how Shruthi had a crush on me in order to mess with me. I felt very embarrassed that they forced / manipualted me into making romantic advances on someone as a part of a joke. I felt so humiliated that I ended up suffering from mental health issues such as depression. I develoepd suicidal thoughts. I lost the ability to focus on school work. I lost out on income. I needed to go to therapy. I talk to Title 9 Investigators at the school. At the moment, they aren’t sure whether this is severe enough to be considered sexual harassment. So, I’m reaching out to a lawyer that works in bully/hazing incidents.
Paige Marie
4 years ago
Hazing and bullying within jurisdiction where i live. I'm injured. Physically mentally emotionally. And now my kids are at risk for suffering. Im going to jail here soon for a failure to appear ive never been served. I have a tixket I can't afford to pay but ive always maintained amd had insurance on my car. I no longer drive or have a car. I have medical appointments for my serious blood infection i have. I have bone/tissue problems and theyre trying to lock me away in jail rather thab solve the damages done to me plus identity theft victim. I have 4 kids who depend on me all alone. I don't know what to do :(
4 years ago
My bullying and hazing experience was placed upon me at my place of work. Is this recognized under your bullyingbor hazing case that I can file a claim under?
4 years ago
Child was abused in state care court appointed attorney sent me email saying don’t shiwnthe abuse pics to authorities. I asked for a medical since they said nothing was wrong with my child and the medical is being refuted by a court expert medical evaluator . Since then the attorney stated she doesn’t want my case or any case she’s been practicing in the court . The attorney claims her computer was hacked but diagnostic expert forensic stated her computer is not compromised and they don’t see any tampering after having the said computer for over a week . I’m not a criminal, I’ve never touched her computer . I need help thanks