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For decades, fraternities, sororities, and other social organizations have hazed new members. Modern hazing is designed to cause serious injuries and has become more dangerous over the years. Leaders assumed that the more pain or trouble the hazee endured, the better the result. Eventually, hazing got to the point that it became more of a survival test than a rite of passage. Some serious emotional and physical hazing injuries are discussed below.
Hazing injuries usually are not malicious, but they are almost always intentional. Furthermore, the injuring party usually has much more authority than the injured party. In these kinds of situations, the diligent Dallas hazing injury lawyers at Crain Brogdon step into action. We work hard to obtain justice and compensation for these victims. Justice means an organization must take safety issues seriously and not just give them lip service. Compensation refers to the money these victims and families need and deserve, so they can move forward with their lives.
Hazing injuries are a niche area that, quite frankly, many Texas lawyers might not fully understand. When individuals put their trust in organizations, and those organizations betray that trust, the resulting injuries have an impact that’s difficult to fathom.
A proper understanding of hazing injuries begins with a very specific skill set that very few attorneys possess. Some of these qualities include:
Our results speak for themselves. We obtain life-changing results because we have the right combination of experience, accessibility, and dedication. Furthermore, during our years of practice, we have developed proven methods. Although every case is different, we know roughly what to expect, so there are no surprises.
If you were injured due to hazing or lost a loved one due to hazing, call our attorneys at Crain Brogdon today at (214) 522-9404 to discuss your case.
Serious hazing practices that push the limits of human endurance clearly cross the line. Some examples include:
If the victim requires treatment, medical bills skyrocket. Most hazing victims are young people with little or no insurance. Emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, could be even worse than physical injuries. Doctors and therapists can treat the symptoms of PTSD, like hypervigilance and depression. But the injuries themselves are permanent. These injuries are even worse if the victim is in an unfamiliar environment far from home, like an out-of-state college or university.
The legal principles in a hazing injury or wrongful death claim are much like the principles in a swimming pool drowning, negligence security, slip-and-fall, or other premises liability matter. A Dallas hazing injury lawyer can obtain compensation if the victim/plaintiff proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence.
In the Lone Star State, proving negligence in a hazing injury or other premises liability claim is basically a two-step process.
Organizations have a duty of care to keep members, aspiring members, and guests reasonably safe. The duty of care varies, largely depending on the relationship between the owner and the victim.
If a duty of care applied, a Dallas hazing injury lawyer must prove the owner knew, or should have known, about the injury-causing hazard, which in this case is a dangerous hazing ritual.
Many organizational higher-ups intentionally turn a blind eye toward reports of hazing injuries. This response is basically an admission that these leaders knew about the problem and didn’t sufficiently address it.
Instructing someone else to address the problem or otherwise delegating this task to someone else is the same thing as not doing anything about it.
The injury claim resolution process is a long road that usually starts shortly after filing and ends with an out-of-court settlement.
Almost immediately after a case goes to court, defendants usually file procedural motions, seeking to derail the victim/plaintiff’s claim. These motions often cite obscure legal technicalities. Jurisdiction, or the court’s legal authority over the parties in a case, is a good example. As mentioned, most hazing injury claims involve out-of-state holding companies. Defendants often argue that a Texas court doesn’t have jurisdiction over a party that resides outside the Lone Star State.
This argument usually doesn’t hold up in court. Even if a judge sides with a defendant, most judges give most Dallas hazing injury lawyers a chance to amend their pleadings and start over.
Informal settlement negotiations usually heat up once a Dallas hazing injury lawyer clears any pretrial motions hurdles. At this point, defendants know they must get serious and deal with the case on its merits. To negotiate from a position of strength, attorneys must do their homework and collect evidence that supports their clients’ claims and refutes insurance company defenses.
Fraternities and other social organizations, especially on college campuses, brand themselves as safe places for members to make lifelong friends. A high-profile hazing injury lawsuit tarnishes that brand. Therefore, these organizations are often motivated to settle these disputes as quickly and as quietly as possible.
Informal negotiations sometimes stall or break down. If that happens, most judges appoint professional mediators. These individuals review the matter and listen to informal arguments from a Dallas hazing injury lawyer. Then, mediators try to bring the two sides together on acceptable settlement terms. Mediation showcases the abilities our lawyers have. As mentioned, an attorney must properly frame the proceedings with solid legal arguments.
Our attorneys know when to compromise and when to stand firm. So, your settlement isn’t unduly delayed, and you don’t have to settle for less. Call Crain Brogdon today at (214) 522-9404 to discuss your legal options after a hazing-related injury or death.
Hazing injuries create an almost unbelievable amount of chaos. In all this confusion, victims have lots of questions about their legal and financial rights. Our Dallas hazing injury lawyers have gathered some of the more frequently asked questions below.
What kind of injury is hazing?
Initiation rites and other hazing incidents usually cause both physical and emotional injuries. These injuries are usually fatal or permanent.
Forced alcohol consumption is a good example. Small amounts of alcohol spaced apart aren’t too harmful. A large amount of alcohol consumed at once is poisonous. Most people cannot tolerate a BAC above .4, which is about a dozen beers.
Hazing also causes emotional injuries. Aspiring members expect some teasing and discomfort. But they don’t expect an organization they trusted to keep them safe to betray that trust. Such an emotional wound usually has lifelong effects.
What is a hazing incident?
Hazing incidents are also known as initiation incidents. Some hazing is relatively harmless but usually hazing involves violence. Common hazing incidents include forced alcohol consumption, sexual abuse, and physical abuse.
What are my legal options?
Generally, organizations have a duty of care to keep members, and aspiring members, reasonably safe. Hazing injuries clearly breach that duty of care. If a breach of duty caused injury, a Dallas hazing injury lawyer can obtain substantial compensation in court.
These may not be your only questions; our attorneys will discuss your specific concerns in your initial consult.
If you have additional questions, please contact our Dallas hazing injury lawyers at Crain Brogdon to have your questions answered to the best of our ability.
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation, and they do not have to suffer in silence. For a free consultation with an experienced Dallas hazing injury lawyer, contact Crain Brogdon LLP by going online or calling (214) 522-9404.
Quentin Brogdon has over thirty years of experience and expertise in the field of personal injury trial law. He is board certified in both personal injury trial law and civil trial advocacy. Quentin has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating. This rating reflects an attorney’s ethics and abilities according to reviews from fellow attorneys. [ Attorney Bio ]