When you head off to college you are excited and focused on your future. College is a time of tremendous change in a person’s life. Unfortunately, college is also a place where thousands of people are injured every year. If you have been hurt in a college accident, you need to take steps to protect your rights and make a claim to get the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Common Types of College Accidents
Most colleges have large campuses that offer a variety of services and house many different buildings. But, unlike businesses, colleges owe students a special duty to keep them safe. Here are some of the most common types of college accidents:
- Slip and fall
- Car accidents
- Sexual assault
- Alcohol poisoning
- Food poisoning
- Exercise injuries
- Desk collapse
College injuries can happen anywhere on campus. The dorms, parking lot, and cafeteria are often the scene of many injuries because so many students spend so much of their time in these places. But, even the library and classrooms may be the scene of accidents.
Causes of College Accidents
College accidents can be caused by a variety of different factors. However, many accidents are caused because of the negligence of someone else. School officials are responsible for making sure college campuses are safe places. This includes keeping students safe from each other as well as making sure the facilities are well maintained. Here are some common causes of college accidents:
- Poorly maintained facilities
- Inadequate supervision
- Inadequate security
- Failure to create safe environment
- Poorly lit buildings and walkways
- Failure to follow safety protocols
- Lack of safety training
- Not performing inspections
If you have been injured because someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional act, you have a legal right to be compensated for your injuries. Because colleges should be keeping you safe, sometimes colleges can be liable to you for damages even if it was another student that caused your injuries.
Types of Injuries
Immediately after an injury, you should focus on being safe and getting appropriate treatment. In many cases you will need emergency care. But, even if you do not need to go to the emergency room, you should still speak with your doctor. Some injuries, especially head injuries, may not immediately show any symptoms. But, the sooner you can get evaluated and begin treatment, the sooner you can be getting better.
Here are some of the most common types of injuries in college accidents:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Sexual assault
- Mental trauma
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
Many times students will worry about paying for the cost of medical care. You may have more health insurance than you know. Many students have student health insurance, are covered on a parent’s policy, or may have limited access to health insurance from renter’s insurance or car insurance. If you have been injured and have concerns about your medical bills meet with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can evaluate your case and help you with the claims process.
Special Issues of Underage Drinking and Sexual Assault
Two of the most common issues on college campuses are alcohol poisoning and sexual assault. These are often acts that are not accidents, but are intentional acts. Colleges have a responsibility to warn students of the dangers of alcohol, to make sure underage students are not drinking, that students are kept safe, and are educated about what to do if you feel threatened.
When a school fails in its duty to protect students from these dangers, they may be liable for additional damages. For example, if a school had reason to know a student had a history of violence, but failed to remove the student from campus and the student assaults someone else, the school acted negligently, even though the harm was also caused by intentional acts of a student.
Federal laws give schools specific procedures and responsibilities they have to follow in sexual assault cases. Many states also have special rules for colleges and underage drinking.
Getting Paid for Your Claim
If you have been injured, you only have a limited period of time you can make a claim for damages. If your school is a state school, you may have an even shorter time. The first step is to contact a personal injury lawyer who understands college accident cases.
Your case will most likely be settled out of court. You are entitled to recover damages for your pain and suffering, out of pocket medical expenses, and in some cases your time and gas for traveling to appointments.
Finding a lawyer can be difficult. We can help you. Contact us today and let us help connect you with a lawyer in your area who has a successful track record in college accident claims.