It’s been a week since you helped your son move to George Mason. Although you know he has a lot on plate, you asked him to call you at least twice a week, and so far nothing. Is he okay? Did something happen?
Finally, your phone rings, and it’s his cell.
“Hi sweetie. How are you?”
“Um. Hello. Is this John’s mother?”
You instantly start to panic. “Yes. Who is this?”
“My name is Sean. I’m your son’s roommate. I thought I should let you know, we had a bit of an accident in our dorm. There was a small fire in the kitchen area, and John was burned. I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine, but he was taken to Inova for treatment. He wanted me to let you know.”
As he was talking you were gathering your things and making your way to your car. “Thank you so much for calling, Sean. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
You hang up and make a beeline toward Inova. How could this happen? He’s only been there for a week, and he’s already at the hospital? You thought campus was safe. Were you wrong?
Common College and Campus Dangers That Can Cause Serious Injuries
Accidents and injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. However, many parents worry more about their children when they go off to college than any other time. This increased anxiety mostly stems from the fact that their kids are away from home and forced to deal with hazardous situations by themselves, as well as from the fear that they will attempt to explore dangerous experiences.
Unfortunately, this worry isn’t unjustified. According to a report published in the Washington Post, campus security and safety throughout the United States has been dramatically increased since the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre that left 33 students dead. Although this increase in security has helped students feel safer, the reality is that violent crimes and dangerous accidents still occur regularly on college campuses, potentially putting your child at risk for serious injuries.
These risks include:
- Frat and dorm party violence: Although illegal in 44 states (including Virginia), dangerous and sometimes fatal acts of fraternity hazing can put your child at serious risk. In addition, binge drinking, drug use, and incidents of sexual and physical violence are all alarmingly common at college parties.
- Slip and fall injuries: Campuses have a lot of foot traffic that can cause sidewalks, doorways, steps, and courtyards to quickly fall into disrepair, increasing student risks of falls and trips.
- Dormitory and student housing fires: The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are around 3,800 university housing fires every year.
- Drinking and alcohol injuries: Alcohol poisoning, liver damage, increased violence, dangerous impairment, and poor judgment leading to accidents all accompany underage drinking on campus.
- Assaults: The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that 150,000 students a year are victims of violent acts on college campuses.
- Sexual violence: The National Institute of Justice estimates that approximately 20 to 25 percent of female college students experience an attempted or a completed rape during their college years.
Getting the Justice You Need After a Campus Incident
College should be an unforgettable experience for your child. She should learn the self-reliance, explore new (but safe) experiences, and broaden her mind. She shouldn’t, however, have to worry about getting hurt, abused, assaulted, or killed on campus. This is why it is extremely important to make sure she knows about these risks—and knows how to protect herself—before she moves on campus.
Help her and her friends stay safe by sharing this page on their Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus profiles. College can be overwhelming for new students, so don’t let them forget about the need to stay safe, aware, and smart about their decisions. Share now.
Campus accidents and abuse can have lifelong consequences for your child. Don’t let someone else’s mistake ruin your child’s dreams. Contact us today for a free consultation and case review. We can help her and your family get the justice and compensation you all deserve.