Can You Sue for an Injury that Occurred on a College Campus in Massachusetts?
A personal injury lawsuit can result from any number of different injuries sustained in a variety of places. If you believe someone else is responsible for your injuries, you may want to consider a lawsuit to get compensation for your damages. When an institution, like a college or university, is responsible for your injuries rather than an individual person, you might be wondering if it is even possible to sue. Even if a lawsuit is possible, it might be unclear exactly who you should sue.
For injuries that occurred on a college campus, you have the option of suing the school itself in addition to any individual who played a role in causing your injuries. The key issue is determining who was responsible for keeping you safe. On a college campus, the school often has a duty to keep its campus and facilities safe for students, staff, and the public. If this duty is breached or broken, you might have a valid personal injury claim.
If you were injured in an accident on a college campus, you should consult with an attorney about possibly suing the school or anyone else who may be responsible. To schedule a free, confidential legal consultation with our Boston personal injury lawyers, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.
Suing After an Accident on a College Campus in Massachusetts
Accidents and injuries can happen at any time and any place. Depending on where you are and the circumstances surrounding your accident, someone else may be responsible for your injuries. A college or university has a responsibility to keep their campus safe and secure for their students and anyone else who may be visiting. You may sue after an injury on a college campus if the school had a legal obligation or duty to prevent your accident from happening.
You do not necessarily have to be a student to sue a college or university. You could be visiting or simply passing through the campus. Many schools allow the public to walk through their campuses. Also, many campuses are built around or exist within public areas, so non-students are expected to be on campus.
If you want to sue, you must demonstrate that the school was somehow negligent. Negligence involves four critical elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. To put it very simply, if the school had a legal obligation to keep you safe (duty), the school failed to fulfill their obligation (breach), this failure is the proximate cause of your injuries (causation), and your injuries are real and not merely hypothetical (damages), you may be able to sue.
However, not every injury on a college campus may result in a valid personal injury claim. For example, a drunk college student who tripped on a clean, even, well-lit staircase might not have a claim. If your own actions caused your accident, the school might not be held responsible. However, things get tricky if the student became intoxicated at a school-sanctioned event where alcohol was served, especially if that student was underage.
Speak with our Cambridge personal injury attorneys about your situation as soon as possible. We can help you begin the process of suing the college or university for your accident and resulting injuries.
Whom You Can Sue After an Accident on a College Campus in Massachusetts
After an accident on a college campus, you might have several options when determining whom you should sue. First, you may be able to sue the school. As mentioned previously, colleges and universities have a duty to keep their campus and facilities safe. This may include sidewalks, classrooms, libraries, dormitories, and other school property. Because college campuses are often open to visitors and other members of the public, this duty extends beyond staff and students.
You may sue whoever directly caused the accident or injury. The college may bear some responsibility if the accident occurred on their campus, but there could be an individual person who bears responsibility as well. Take the example of a college student assaulted on campus. The college might have breached a duty to provide security on campus, but the individual who assaulted them still clearly shares the blame as well.
It is possible to sue more than one defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, a plaintiff will name all the defendants they believe are responsible and, as the case progresses, defendants who are less accountable may be removed. For help filing your lawsuit, contact our Wakefield personal injury lawyers.
Common Causes of Accidents on College Campuses in Massachusetts
Many kinds of accidents are possible on a college campus, so you could have many different reasons to sue. Car accidents are somewhat common since college campuses tend to be large, with roads and highways running through them. Students must walk along sidewalks and cross streets to get to their classes on a daily basis. With the proliferation of cell phones, distracted driving is a huge issue on college campuses. Pedestrians are sometimes struck by drivers who were not paying attention.
Similarly, college campuses tend to be places where young people like to party and drink alcohol. Drunk driving is a common problem on college campuses and drunk driving accidents can be very serious. It is also possible that the driver is sober but the pedestrian is intoxicated. Alcohol consumption is a big issue on many college campuses and students have been known to leave bars or parties heavily intoxicated.
If your college has fraternities or sororities on campus, you could be injured in a hazing ritual. Although most schools have hard rules against hazing, some fraternities and sororities still do it in secret. Students have been known to get hurt or even killed in hazing rituals gone awry. Depending on the nature of the hazing, the school and other students may be responsible.
Colleges and universities are big places and all kinds of accidents are possible. If you are a student in a science lab, you may be vulnerable to unique accidents involving chemicals or scientific equipment. If a building on campus is older and not up to safety codes, it may pose a safety risk to anyone inside. Dormitories must be made especially safe because students are expected to live there. Campus buildings must be kept clean, healthy, and secure to avoid accidents. Call our Somerville personal injury lawyers to discuss your injuries.
Contact Our Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorneys About Your Injuries on a College Campus
If you were injured in an accident on a college campus, please speak to our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys right away. For a free legal consultation, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.