Is a College Liable if a Student Is Murdered?

June 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | MARTIN WREN, P.C. | LEAVE A COMMENT

Personal Injury Lawyer in Harrisonburg, Virginia

One of the worst phone calls a parent can receive has to do with something happening to a child. No matter what age, losing a child can have long-lasting and devastating consequences for a family unit. What happens if that death occurs while away at school? Is the college liable for the incident that claimed their life? If your child dies on campus, some things may qualify the death for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Safety Standards Breached

A college is required to establish safety standards on campus. While it is not tasked with ensuring every student upholds these standards, it does bear some of the blame if it ignores warning signs that student safety is at risk. Take, for instance, campus lighting. If school maintenance is aware that the campus is dimmer because some of the lights have gone out, and if it does not replace them within a reasonable time, any incident or death that results in those areas may fall squarely on the shoulders of the school.

Campus Security Response

Criminal activity goes on all over the country, and college campuses are not immune. Many schools have a security department that is responsible for patrolling the area to ensure that student property and lives are safe from harm. intrusions into cars, dorms, and the often resulting theft are the most common crimes on college campuses. However, these breaches may lead to higher-level offenses such as assault, battery, and even murder. If campus security knows that threat levels are increasing, they should increase campus awareness, patrol these areas more often and take further action to make the campus safer.

Campus-Wide Safety Protocols

Each person has the right to feel safe. Some people, however, are more of a target than others. Women or those of smaller stature may become targets of criminals because they may be easier to harm. Colleges can be proactive and present general safety tips to students to help keep them more aware of their surroundings. It can arm students with knowledge about recent campus crime statistics and offer tips on how they can better protect themselves. Services such as security phones, self-locking dorm doors, courtesy campus pickup, and reporting procedures should be presented to all students.

If a student is murdered on campus, while the college may not be directly responsible, it may have overlooked some of the elements that led to the incident. A personal injury lawyer in Harrisonburg, Virginia may be able to help determine whether your child’s death was the result of a college oversight and if there is anything you are entitled to as the victim’s parent.

Contact MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and college liability.

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.


Disclaimer: Using this contact form or any page of MartinWren, P.C.’s website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not submit any confidential, privileged, or other protected information until and unless you have completed a private consultation with a MartinWren, P.C. attorney, the attorney has informed you that no conflict of interest exists, and the attorney notifies you that the firm can take your case. By completing this form you agree that we can follow up with you by phone, email, or by text messaging.

    *Please enter your initials to acknowledge that you have read and understood the Disclaimer above:

    *By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Martin Wren, P.C.. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.

    To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

    latest firm news