Whether you are sending your first-born off to college for freshman year or you have been through back to school season before, staying abreast of safety concerns can help prevent college campus injuries. No parent wants to think about the potential dangers faced on campus, but having a discussion with your recent high school graduate could save lives.
Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic advocacy to victims and their families. In the event of a campus-related injury, we will conduct an immediate and independent investigation, determine the cause of the accident, and hold all responsible individuals or entities accountable.
Here are some common campus safety issues and tips to prevent injuries and accidents:
Break-ins and sexual assault: Whether living in a dorm or an off-campus apartment, make sure that the locks on doors and windows are secured. Failed maintenance and improperly functioning locks could result in break-ins, theft, or sexual assault. In the event of an injury related to a break-in, a property owner may be held liable.
Bar fights and violent crimes: Students are often targets of bar fights or violent crimes. Unfortunately, injuries can be severe and even permanent. Minimizing alcohol use can reduce the risk, but students should always be aware of surroundings to prevent altercations.
Alcohol-related injuries and accidents: A common cause of injuries relates to alcohol use on campus. Parents should warn their children about the dangers of alcohol, including alcohol poisoning, falls, drinking and driving accidents, as well as the increased risk of sexual assault. In the event of an accident or injury, victims and their loved ones may be able to recover compensation.
While most courts have held that colleges cannot “guarantee” student safety, there are cases where universities may be held liable for an injury or accident. As with any case alleging negligence, a university can be held liable if they had a duty of care and if they knew or should have known that a student was in danger. For example, a campus that fails to fix a broken lock on a dorm room that results in a break-in or assault could be held liable. Similarly, a campus could be held responsible for failure to fix bike paths or potholes in a roadway if the negligent maintenance results in an injury.
Universities and institutions can be held liable when there are foreseeable risks. University faculty and staff are responsible for making efforts to prohibit or discourage underage drinking. A campus can be held liable for knowingly hosting or distributing alcohol to underage students. In any case involving alcohol-related injuries, an experienced attorney can help to determine the cause of the accident, where the alcohol was purchased and who was responsible. If a university isn’t responsible, a local bar that fails to check IDs could also be held liable. In any accident or injury that occurs on or off campus, students and their families should consult with an advocate who can held to recover just compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and additional losses.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
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Scuba Tragedy Highlights Liability, Risks in Broward, Palm Beach Counties, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2012
Boating Accidents in Palm Beach Target of New Watercraft Ban, State Not Happy!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 5, 2012