Campus Injury Attorney Philadelphia
College should be one of the most fun and enlightening times of a young adult’s life, and it usually is. However, college also means newfound independence, which can mean campus-related injuries. When most parents think of campus injuries, they might think of mishaps with a hot plate in a dormitory kitchen or fender benders while driving around campus. Although these are common and easily fixed, some campus injuries, such as those caused by hazing, are much more serious.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our team has dealt with campus injuries that required court intervention. If you and your college student have one of these cases, we can help you prepare for and win it.
Basic Campus Injury Statistics
Statistics for campus injuries vary according to each university. However, the Ciccarelli team is well versed in the injury statistics for universities in our area. For example, Pennsylvania’s Clarion University experienced 19 non-aggravated assaults in 2012 and 18 in 2013. Clarion also experienced two rape cases in 2013 and 25 combined liquor law and disorderly conduct offenses that same year. In 2014, the University of Pittsburgh experienced 11 aggravated assaults, five reported rapes, two instances of arson, and 220 instances of theft.
As frightening as this may seem, campus injuries resulting from accidents are actually more common across the U.S. than rape, aggravated assault, or hazing. However, these injuries can still be serious and should be dealt with accordingly, especially if intentional injury or negligence is suspected. Common campus injuries include but are not limited to:
- Crosswalk injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians. Many of these cause fatalities.
- Sports-related injuries such as concussions, broken bones, or sprains.
- Car accidents; many of these are caused by drunk drivers or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Slips and falls; these often happen on icy sidewalks or wet dormitory floors.
- Chemical burns and other injuries; these often happen in areas like science labs.
When discussing college-related injuries, we need to talk about hazing, which accounts for many campus-related lawsuits. According to the University of Maryland, there has been at least one hazing-related fatality on a college campus each year since 1970. More disturbingly, 95% of the students involved will not report hazing, and 25% of the adults who knew it occurred will not report it, either.
Although hazing is commonly associated with fraternities and sororities, they are not the only guilty organizations. In reality, national statistics indicate that as much hazing takes place on varsity athletic teams as in social fraternities and sororities. Intramural teams, club sports, and performing arts organizations are also often guilty. Even clubs that are not typically associated with hazing, such as honor societies, may participate. Hazing can be physical or mental, and can involve crimes as serious as assault or kidnapping.
Protecting Your College Student
Although we know that lawsuits will occur, the Ciccarelli Law Offices team encourages you to protect your student from campus injuries as much as possible. The scope for negligence in K-12 schools is broad enough; it potentially broadens more when your student is independent and does not have a parent or guardian as an immediate source of help. Protective steps to take include:
- Make sure he or she knows how to use safety apps. Examples include Panic Guard, Guardly, and Circle of 6. These ensure your student always has backup if an assault, rape, or other crime is attempted on campus.
- Remind your student not to carry his or her Social Security card on his or her person. Your student should not allow their SS number to be used as identification or to post grades.
- Advise your student not to stay out late at night. If classes or activities require this, encourage your student to travel home with a group.
- Advise your student to thoroughly vet fraternity, sorority, and club policies. He or she should also report hazing if it is encountered.
If your college student has experienced a campus injury that you believe is grounds for a lawsuit, contact our Philadelphia injury lawyers immediately for a consultation.