Student Injury & Civil Rights LawyerServices
School should be an engaging environment for students to learn, connect with friends and envision their future. However, some face tragic incidents, suffer severe injuries or even lose their lives due to the institution’s failure to provide a safe environment.
Additionally, some students may face civil rights violations when school officials fail to safeguard them from other students or exhibit deliberate indifference to potential risks. Whether it’s inadequate employee training or actions in bad faith, we are committed to safeguarding our clients’ constitutionally protected rights.
Dealing with Campus Sexual Misconduct?
If you’re a student who has experienced sexual misconduct on campus, discover your Title IX rights and how our team can offer support.
Injured or Bereaved Due to College Incidents?
Whether you or your child has suffered a severe injury or wrongful death on a college campus, a college campus accident lawyer can assist in building your case for compensation. A dedicated attorney can collaborate with you to establish negligence, secure compensation for your losses, and ensure accountability on the part of the university. Our seasoned college campus accident attorneys are available to serve clients nationwide.
Types of Injuries on Campus
Although educational institutions are generally thought to be safe environments, there are a number of events that could cause injury. Some of the most common situations that lead to college campus injures include:
What you should understand:
Protecting Student Civil Rights
Student civil rights actions include claims under §1983, the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, Title IX and grievances related to hazing.
To pursue a §1983 claim, a student must demonstrate that a school administrator, teacher, or school employee violated their federal rights while acting under the “color of state law.” Likewise, to hold a school board accountable, a student must prove that an official policy or custom directly led to, caused, or resulted in the violation of constitutionally protected rights.
To file an Equal Protection Clause claim, a student must allege intentional discrimination or deliberate indifference by school officials due to their protected class membership. There are four generally agreed-upon suspect classifications: race, religion, national origin, and alienage. However, this is not an inclusive list, with gender often classified as a quasi-suspect class. Notably, sexual orientation is not yet considered a suspect or quasi-suspect class under federal or Ohio state law, despite various local governments enacting protective measures for LGBTQ individuals.
Title VI Claim
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race, color, or national origin-based discrimination in federally funded programs. This protection applies to students in public schools receiving federal funding, and the burden of proof is similar to that of an Equal Protection claim.
Title IX is a federal law created as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that protects all students and employees from gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. This law applies to universities, colleges and any educational institution that receives federal funds.
Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. Hazing can violate school policies and the law. State criminal law assigns varying degrees of severity to hazing, depending on the circumstances. It can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, and both individuals and organizations may face civil consequences.
Fighting for Accountability:
Wrongful Death on College Campus
Wrongful death occurs when someone’s negligence results in the death of another. A university could potentially be held liable for a student’s death if there were security lapses on campus, such as not employing enough campus security officers or failing to fix a building’s entry system. If a student reported fearing for their life, or passed along threatening messages from another person, the college may be held responsible for that student’s death if they did not take appropriate action regarding those claims. A college campus accident lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure accountability for a wrongful death event.
Suicide on College Campus
College suicides have been tragically rising in recent years. If a professor or administrator knows a student is depressed or suicidal and fails to reach out to ensure that student’s safety, the institution could be held liable for the student’s death. A parent who lost their child to suicide should contact a lawyer to start an immediate investigation as to whether the administration had a duty to do more to protect their students.
Death and severe injuries as a result of college hazing rituals are also increasing. The local fraternity or sorority chapters, the national organization, and the individual students involved are usually held responsible, while the university itself is generally not. However, the laws regarding responsibility could evolve as states try to put more pressure on schools.
Get More Information:What to do if you've been hurt on campus
Our main goal is to provide broad range tips on what to do if you or your child suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death at college. Considering what to do next can be overwhelming, but these steps are critical when choosing to take action.
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We’re Here to Help:
Consult with a College Campus Accident Attorney after sustaining injuries
When a college student suffers a catastrophic injury or untimely death, the family suffers both emotionally and financially. In many instances, this is the result of a negligent educational institution that had a duty to protect those who attend. If you suffered a serious injury while in the course of your academic experience, or if you are a parent who lost a child due to a dangerous situation, a college campus accident lawyer can represent you and hold the negligent party accountable. Discuss your case by contacting a KJK lawyer.