College is a big step toward independent adulthood. Students are often on their own for the very first time—so when an accident happens, they may not realize that they may have legal options. Who’s responsible for accidents on college campuses, and what’s required to recover compensation?
Premises liability and college campus accidents
Generally, accidents on college campuses are premises liability claims. Premises liability is a type of negligence action, in which property owners have a duty to ensure their property is free of hazards. Slip-and-fall accidents are a common type of premises liability claim. Falling objects, inadequate lighting, faulty wiring, lack of security and elevator accidents can also give rise to a premises liability action.
Other accident types, such as car collisions on campus, may allow for a cause of action against another person.
Who is liable for a college premises liability claim?
Victims of premises liability claims may be able to file a personal injury claim against the school itself. Colleges typically have insurance policies to cover premises liability accidents. However, issues may arise depending on whether the school is public or private, whether the victim had a right to be on the property and whether the victim contributed to their accident.
In normal premises liability claims, the plaintiff must show that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard, failed to fix the hazard or adequately warn visitors and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm. The most common affirmative defense occurs when a plaintiff was trespassing on the property.
However, for accidents on college campuses, determining who is at fault can be complicated. Plaintiffs can sue private universities just as they would any other business. Suing a state school can be more difficult, since they’re funded by the government. Therefore, sovereign immunity may apply: the idea that a government body is immune from lawsuits and claims unless they agree to be sued. There are limited exceptions.
The key to prevailing on a college campus premises liability claim—whether you are suing a private or public university—is to work with the experienced personal injury team at the Law Offices of Tim Misny. When you schedule a consultation, we’ll review your claim and explain your legal options. Because claims against government entities often involve strict time limits and procedural rules, it’s important to call our firm as soon as your medical condition is stable.
Consult an Ohio personal injury attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your premises liability claim. If you suffered an injury on a college campus as a result or someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.