College, for many young adults, is a time to accumulate eye-opening knowledge and experiences that will set the tone for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many parents and students have learned in recent years that a college campus is not always the safest place, and that those experiences are not always pleasant. College students are just as likely – and at times, even more likely – as other Americans to be injured.
Practically any person could be a victim of a slip and fall accident. While these types of accidents happen frequently, the injuries from a slip and fall can result in severe and long-term injuries. These injuries could range from sprained ankles to serious head injuries. When a slip and fall accident happens on another person’s property, there is always a question of whether the property owner was liable for the accident. If you or a family member suffered a slip and fall injury at Villanova University, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer.
The Reiff Law Firm acknowledges how severely a person could be injured after a slip and fall, and we are prepared to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 791-8939, or contact us online.
Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident occurs when a person slips or tumbles over some type of property hazard. The owners of a property have a duty to ensure their estate is free of dangerous hazards that could injure visitors. If the property owner cannot reasonably correct the issue in a timely fashion, they should at least warn visitors on the property of the possibility of being injured by a property defect.
Slip and fall accidents can happen under a wide range of circumstances. The following is a list of common causes of slip and fall accidents.
Villanova University has a sprawling campus that can become quite dark if precautions are not taken to ensure that every area of the campus is well lit. If an area of the campus does not have adequate lighting, this could lead to a situation where students or other visitors could trip over debris that was not properly cleaned up and end up seriously injured.
If a university does not act quickly to rectify a lighting issue, they could be liable for injuries caused by a slip and fall. Additionally, inadequate lighting could also lead to other serious issues like an increase in crime.
Unplowed Snow or Ice
Unplowed snow or ice is one of the most common causes of slip and fall injuries. After a severe snowstorm on a campus like that of Villanova, there is an urgent need to ensure the campus is fully plowed before restarting classes. However, if the campus reopens before the majority of the snow or ice is plowed, students can trip on their way to class and suffer a serious injury.
Suffering a slip and fall in icy conditions is especially dangerous as a victim could fall and hit their head on a patch of hard ice and suffer a concussion or even a traumatic brain injury.
Wet or Slippery Floors
With the number of people that visit Villanova’s campus and buildings on a typical day, it is necessary to ensure the campus kept tidy. This could involve frequently mopping floors that experience a large amount of pedestrian traffic. After mopping a floor, the university should identify that a certain area could be slippery or wet. Failure to notify visitors could mean the school is liable for injuries that occur in a slip and fall accident.
It is important to note that campus floors could become slippery or wet for several reasons. For example, students could cause floors to become slippery and dangerous after entering a building from a heavy rainstorm. In situations like this, a university must correct the issue once they learn about the issue or warn people about the dangerous condition.
A university like Villanova is bound to have multiple sets of lengthy or winding staircases. It is expected that a property owner will take precautions to ensure that a set of stairs is safe for anyone that would utilize it. That means ensuring that handrails are sturdy and that there are no cracked or unstable steps.
Unfortunately, many slip and fall accidents happen on a stairway because the property owner did not perform routine maintenance on this area of their property. A person that trips when traversing a stairway can suffer serious injuries like broken bones or spinal injuries.
This a limited list of common causes of slip and fall accidents, our firm could help you file a premises liability claim if your slip and fall injury occurred differently.
Assault on College Campuses
Though often a source of warm memories and lifelong friendships, the time students spend at college can also come with a certain amount of pain, or even trauma. Like any publicly-accessible space, college campuses can be vulnerable to unsavory elements from the surrounding area, and the teens and twenty-somethings who attend the school – many of them intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, and hormones – are often no strangers to misbehavior, either.
The combination of unknown variables and known dangers can lead to a number of dangerous situations in which a student can be assaulted. Some kinds of assault are more common than others, however:
Assault and Battery
Two crimes that frequently go hand in hand, assault and battery are essentially opposite sides of the same coin. Although many people equate assault with physical harm – misinformation spread, in part, by police procedurals – assault (in a legal sense) is actually the threat of imminent physical harm. Making someone believe that they are in immediate danger while clearly possessing the capacity to inflict the injury and the intent to carry it out is illegal and can lead to an assault charge.
Battery is a little more clear-cut; it is simply the imposition of unwanted physical contact. The nature of the contact does not make much difference; whether the touch is a straightforward punch to the face or sexual in nature, the fact that a person is forced into physical contact without giving consent constitutes battery.
Studies, polls, reports, and anecdotal evidence in the last few decades have conclusively shown a connection between college and sexual assault. In fact, a women attending college is three times as likely as other women to be the target of a sexually assault. Many of those who are attacked do not report the assault – for a variety of very personal reasons – but those victims are every bit as deserving of justice.
Civil court can often be a place that empowers and vindicates survivors of sexual assault. Unlike criminal proceedings, civil actions place the victim in a position to influence the case and make decisions in terms of possible settlements. The plaintiff can force their attacker into a deposition (under oath, no less) and need only meet the less strict standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This makes favorable outcomes more likely and can help provide a sense of closure.
Though the physical signs of assault and battery are often more obvious, the emotional injuries inflicted by an attack can be just as devastating and take even longer to heal. The list of associated issues is lengthy and includes some very serious conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Difficulty concentrating
Therapy sessions, medication, self-defense classes – the treatments used to address feelings of vulnerability and victimization can be expensive and continue for months or years. On top of that, those who have been targeted deserve compensation for their injuries, both mental and physical.
Proving the infliction of emotional damages after an attack can be tricky, as the signs are often difficult or impossible to show to a judge or jury. Still, if you have been through an ordeal like this, know that there is hope. A knowledgeable attorney can help you establish the facts of your case and get you justice.
Work with Our Trusted College Campus Injury Attorneys
If you or a family member was the victim of a slip and fall accident on the campus of Villanova University, contact an experienced Philadelphia premises liability attorney today. The injury attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm have decades of combined legal experience, and we are prepared to use that experience to help you litigate your injury claim. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 791-8939.