College Liability in a Student Death Case
Personal Injury Lawyer
If a loved one of yours was recently killed on a college campus, it is natural to desire some justice for what happened. You may be wondering if you can hold the college liable. The answer depends on the circumstances. Generally the answer is no, but there are situations where a college really is liable for the death of a student. This guide will go over when you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a college for a student’s death and what your other options are if you cannot. Remember, the best thing you can do if you are considering filing a lawsuit is speak with an attorney right away.
Most cases like this will go to trial. It will be up to a court to decide whether or not the college is liable for the death. The key to determining whether a college is responsible for a death is whether the college took any negligent actions. It can be quite difficult to prove that a college’s negligence caused a student’s death. In general, a better course of action may be to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the specific individual who caused the death. Many people do not realize that they can file a civil lawsuit against someone in addition to the criminal investigation that is happening.
So what does it look like for a college to be negligent in a wrongful death case? The law defines negligence as failing to fulfill an expected duty, and that failure being the direct cause of damage. All colleges have a duty to provide a safe environment for students to live and study. However, this does not mean that all student deaths are automatically a failure to fulfill that duty.
It is possible that a college has done everything that can be expected of them to create a safe environment, but a student still dies. Examples of negligent college actions include not hiring enough security staff or failing to light up dark common areas. If the part of town that the college is located has a reputation for crime, a school may be expected to provide extra security and a failure to do so may be negligent.
As one final important note, you must realize that the failure to fulfill a duty must be the direct cause of death. It can be very difficult to prove that the death would not have happened if the duty was properly fulfilled. It is best to leave the task of proving this to a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into college liability in a student death case.