Incidents of fraternity hazing injuries happen more often than what is shown on the national news. According to statistics, at least one hazing death occurs each year at a North American university and over 200 student deaths have been linked to hazing-relating accidents. Hazing is not limited to academic settings only; the military, professional athletes, secret societies, and sometimes workplace groups also engage in hazing rituals as a prerequisite for membership.
Know your rights when it comes to fraternity hazing injuries. Contact the Johnson Attorney Group. We specialize in California personal injury laws that apply to incidents which result from fraternity hazing.
What is Fraternity Hazing Injuries?
More common than death is the personal injury that results from hazing and initiation activities of these groups. Fraternity hazing will generally involve the forceful encouragement of behaviors that involve discomfort, a risk of injury, ridicule or insult, and the destruction of private or public property.
Here are a fraction of the types of injury-causing behaviors that are common to hazing:
- any physical, emotional, or mental torture that results in harm, including humiliation or degradation
- assault or battery, kidnappings, imprisonment, or abandonment leading to injury or loss of liberties
- forced shaving, branding, cutting – even forced walking or running for tortuous lengths of times
- the excessive drinking of alcohol, a taking of drugs or eating of foods that cause injury or emotional hardship
If you or someone you know has been injured or mentally/emotionally damaged due to the initiation practices of a fraternity group, you should contact our California injury or accident lawyer immediately to begin legal proceedings.
Know Your Legal Rights in California
The California penal code 245.6 is the law that makes fraternity hazing illegal when it results in serious bodily injury. This law takes into account not only when specific injuries do occur, but also if the hazing activities are so demanding or dangerous – that they are likely to cause serious bodily harm. In cases where no serious bodily injury has occurred, the law still allows for these activities to be litigated as a misdemeanor with the following possible penalties:
- up to $5,000 fine and/or
- up to one year in county jail
Know When Fraternity Laws Do Not Apply
Fraternity hazing laws have limitations and if you are not sure if your case has resulted in a breach of duty or causation of physical injury, it is even more important to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers. We are skilled in California law and can determine who can be held liable for your fraternity hazing injury.
Embarrassment or emotional injury does not apply under penal code 245.6, therefore understanding what constitutes physical harm is an important ligation factor: Some examples of harm that result from fraternity hazing may include:
- a bone fracture or a concussion
- an injury that causes impairment to an organ or body part
- a serious disfigurement or wound that needs extensive suturing
- loss of consciousness requiring medical attention
California Johnson Attorneys Group Can Help With Your Personal Injury Case
The best way to determine the right legal path for a case of fraternity hazing injury is to speak with our experienced California personal injury lawyer. At Johnson Attorneys Group, we have recovered more than $50 million for our clients over the past few years alone. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case.