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The Importance of Seeking Legal Representation for Hazing Incidents

October 1, 2020 / Chip Cooper

Unfortunately, hazing is far too common and often excused as “tradition.”  It impacts victims and their families in many ways. When it results in injury or death, seeking trustworthy legal advice and conducting a full investigation is critical. Every time a perpetrator is held accountable, we take a step towards changing society’s perception of hazing. 

Cultural Views on Hazing

The practice of hazing is typically seen in sororities and fraternities, but it can also occur in high-school and college teams, bands, and police and fire departments. Often, the offenders believe their actions have no consequences—it’s this thought process that perpetuates a dangerous culture requiring legal scrutiny. While perpetrators often fail to see the harm in their actions, we see parents who lost a child to a hazing incident or siblings and friends who lost their loved ones. Guilt often overwhelms family members of victims and can remain unseen until they’ve had a chance to tell their story. 

Victims often experience hazing in their formative teenage years, which can affect their cognition and academic performance, resulting in poor class attendance, lower grades, and delays in educational advancement. Research shows that survivors are more susceptible to developing drug and alcohol dependencies or mental illness. 

Our job is to unveil patterns of harm such as these and find all responsible parties. 

Hazing incidents require representation committed to finding answers, uncovering evidence, and identifying all responsible parties. We investigate all potential channels of liability and recovery. We ask, was there a leadership oversight? Did a gap in supervision occur? Could it have been a systemic breakdown? 

Legal investigation includes a look into the past for issues that existed prior and perhaps contributed to hazing incidents before understanding how, and if, those issues were addressed. Considering future developments is as important as looking at the history. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we thoroughly and creatively investigate all aspects of hazing incidents.

Although our culture often minimizes hazing, its impact is real and harmful. Until hazing is classified as a more serious criminal offense, changing society’s view will remain a challenge. In the meantime, caring legal representation is critical when a hazing incident results in harm or death. We help victims and their families seek justice and embrace opportunities for setting new standards.

Give us a call—we’re here to help.

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The outcome of any client’s case will depend on the particular legal and factual circumstances of the case.

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