Although it can be a pleasant experience for many students, complete with eye-opening experiences and the establishment of lifelong friendships, college can also come with its share of stress. Finals, relationships, drama, and mounting expenses and loans can all put strain on a young adult and their family; unfortunately, these are not the only problems some students face at institutions around the country, and Drexel University is no exception.
Assault is not uncommon in college communities – perhaps not surprising, given the near-constant presence of alcohol and hormones at parties and sporting events. Still, the ubiquity of this problem should not detract from the difficulties it can present for those who are its victims. Assaults can take many forms, but one thing they all have in common is the pain and anxiety that become indelible parts of their aftermath.
If you or someone you know have been the target of a vicious assault, don’t feel like you have to fight all on your own. The legal team at the Reiff Law Firm has 40 years’ experience advocating for the victims of accidents and violence, and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients over the years. Don’t wait; get yourself the experienced legal counsel you deserve. Call us today at (215) 515-3913 to schedule your free consultation.
Common Types of Assault Students Face
In most situations, assault is a general term referring to the threat of physical harm under circumstances where it seems imminent. Battery, on the other hand, is the actual causation of physical harm or unwanted contact, and it is often filed hand-in-hand with an allegation of assault. A number of different types exist under the law, each with its own penalty commensurate with its severity, though criminal penalties and classifications have little bearing on civil proceedings. If you have been subjected to assault, a civil attorney can help you find justice.
Assault + Battery
If you have been physically attacked by someone, whether their intent was to injure you, rob you, or incapacitate you, your attacker has likely committed assault and battery. The difference between the two is simple: assault is the threat of violence, and battery is the realization of that threat. If someone raises their fist in your face in an effort to scare you, that constitutes assault; if they actually hit you, that constitutes battery. Whether this happened in a bar, at a basketball game, or during a party, you may be eligible for compensation from your attacker.
Recent years have seen a significant uptick in public awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. Investigations have shown that as many as one in four women who attend college will be the victims of a sexual assault, often by someone they know; as many as 90 percent of these cases will go unreported, and even those that are reported often go nowhere. However, it is important to note that the burden of proof in civil court is much laxer than in criminal court – just one of many advantages civil actions can offer over criminal proceedings.
Infliction of Emotional Distress
Like battery, this is another charge that is often included with assault. Victims of an attack often report a sharp increase in anxiety and stress following the incident, either of which can make it difficult to walk to class, go out with friends, or concentrate on studies. In extreme cases, an attack can even lead to the development post-traumatic stress disorder. If therapy, medication, or any other form of treatment is required to combat distress after you have been assaulted, you can seek compensation to cover those expenses.
Pursuing a Cause of Action After a Campus Assault
If you have recently suffered an attack, you probably have legal standing to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Keep in mind that any information you can gather – contact information for witnesses, copies of police reports, photographs of the scene – will help to establish your case. In addition, the owner of the property may be liable if it turns out that they should have taken steps to prevent the crime but failed in their duty.
One important thing to note is that the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania is two years, generally speaking. This means that you have to file your suit within that amount of time from when the injury occurred or was discovered. Failure to act by then could cause you to forfeit your case.
Contact Our Drexel University Student Assault Lawyers Today
If you are considering legal action against someone who assaulted you, it is important to have someone on your side who has demonstrated an effective command of the Pennsylvania legal system. The legal team at the Reiff Law Firm has more than 40 years of legal practice under its belt and has recovered millions for clients. Don’t settle for less than the best. Call the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 515-3913 to set up your free consultation and let us fight for you.