Whether you are starting your freshman year at Georgia Tech or your super senior year at Spelman College, universities in Atlanta offer a unique experience. Nearly half a million people live within the city limits, making it one of the larger “college towns” in the country. With entertainment, food, sports and other benefits often within walking distance of students’ dorms, it is no wonder hundreds of thousands of students choose to go to school in Hotlanta (as some out-of-state students might still say).
Yet with so much activity and so many people on Atlanta’s complex road system, injuries are bound to happen. Pair that with the fact that college students are often exhausted and/or simply distracted, and college campuses can be dangerous places.
At Scholle Law, we know how important a great college experience can be to current and future students, as well as alumni. Institutions, therefore, are obligated to take every measure to ensure the safety of their students, faculty, staff and visitors. Yet even with the most effective safety measures in place, injuries can still happen.
Injuries in college can be especially devastating. You may have to withdraw from class, stop extracurricular activities, and generally miss out on the classic college experience. If you are injured on a college campus in the Atlanta area, we are here to help. The personal injury lawyers at Scholle Law have recovered millions on behalf of our clients.
Give us a call at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here 24/7 to discuss your case.
The Injuries You Might Suffer in College
When you attend college in a city like Atlanta, there are any number of ways you may get injured. Pair this with the fact that young college minds are still developing, and mistakes are bound to happen. But when you know the most common causes of injuries on college campuses, you have a better chance of avoiding being hurt altogether.
Some of the most common causes of injuries on Atlanta’s college campuses include:
1. Car and Pedestrian Accidents
Even if you have lived in Atlanta for most or all your life, navigating the one-way streets, highways and construction areas can be difficult, to say the least. And when you mix in tens of thousands of students who have never set foot in the city before coming to college here, car and pedestrian accidents are bound to happen.
Car accidents are a daily occurrence on roadways in and around Atlanta. When there are factors like concerts or sporting events in the mix, roads become exponentially more dangerous. Unfortunately, this means more wrecks involving students in the area.
Fortunately, many of these accidents are minor, resulting in few to no injuries. But when two passenger vehicles collide, the frames of the cars generally do a good job of protecting occupants from serious injury. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of pedestrian accidents. When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, bicyclist or e-scooter rider, severe (if not fatal) accidents are common.
It is vital for everyone on Atlanta’s roads, whether you are in a car, on a moped or walking through Little Five Points, to give their full attention to their surroundings. Though pedestrians do technically have the right of way in crosswalks and other areas when it is safe to enter the road, always wait and make sure it is safe to cross before doing so. For drivers, Atlanta is the ultimate test in defensive driving. Never assume that another driver is going to yield to you or even follow simple driving laws. Stay alert and drive more carefully than you may in other areas.
2. Slips and Falls
No matter what college you attend in Atlanta, you will likely spend a lot of your time walking on linoleum, smooth concrete or other surfaces that can easily become slick. People may spill a drink on the floor, or an especially rainy day may track in water. And that is just indoors.
Outdoors can be even more dangerous when it comes to slips and falls. Though snow is not as common in Atlanta as it is in other locales, we still get plenty of rain, sleet and other weather that can make walking to class or a social event treacherous.
Though Georgia does require property owners and/or managers to keep the premises reasonably safe, slips, trips and falls still happen. When they do, injuries can range from scrapes and bruises to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. If such an injury occurs, it should be reported to campus authority. Victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
3. Drinking-Related Injuries
It is no secret that college is when many people get their first experience with alcohol. In fact, it is one of the most common tropes in American media about college. Though laws in every state set the legal drinking age at 21, it is not difficult for underage college students to get their hands on alcohol. Even without a fake ID, they can drink at house parties, fraternity or sorority events, and more.
Unfortunately, young people and drinking rarely mix well. In fact, the annual estimate of college students who die from alcohol-related injuries is about 1,500. In addition, college students are prone to binge drinking, which can lead to academic issues, mental health issues, alcohol poisoning, drunk driving and other dangerous problems.
While it may be unreasonable to expect college students, especially underage students who are getting their first taste of freedom, to abstain from alcohol, there are steps you can personally take to better ensure your safety:
- Always have a plan for getting home when you are drinking.
- Do not accept a drink from a stranger, especially one you did not order.
- If you lose sight of your drink, get a new one to ensure it is not spiked.
- Know your limits and do not drink to excess.
- Remember why you are in college, and do not let alcohol overshadow your education.
4. Hazing and Assault
Whether you are a hopeful college athlete, a future member of a fraternity or sorority, or a potential inductee to an honors club, the risk of hazing is unfortunately ever-present. In fact, a recent study found that over 50 percent of college students who join organizations, teams, clubs, etc. have experienced hazing.
Hazing includes any activity that subjects a person to humiliation and/or ridicule, such as forced intoxication, public nudity, exposure to the elements, and more. In some cases, it can also include kidnapping, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and other actions that can lead to serious injury – and even death in some cases. Though hazing is outlawed in Georgia, it is still all-too-common on Atlanta’s college campuses.
Even if you do not plan on joining a team or participate in Greek life, the threat of assault on college campuses is still prevalent. Over a quarter of undergraduate women and about 7 percent of undergraduate men report being sexually assaulted. Beyond sexual assault, students face the risk of burglary, aggravated assault and other crimes being perpetrated against them. Victims of these crimes often report severe physical, mental and emotional injury.
Though the blame for assault or hazing of any kind should never be placed on the victim, there are steps college students can take to lessen their chances of being injured:
- Do not walk around alone, especially at night.
- If you think someone is following you, find a well-lit, occupied area and call the police, if necessary.
- Avoid wearing headphones or looking at your phone while you are out and about.
- Do not carry large amounts of money if you can help it.
- If you are assaulted, yell and scream as loudly as you can to attract attention.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help After a College Campus Injury
Though many consider their college years as the best time of their life, your experience could quickly take a negative turn if you are injured. Atlanta can be a dangerous place, and it is important for students to be aware of their surroundings and take precautionary steps to avoid being harmed.
Yet even if you take every possible precaution, there is always the risk that you will be injured by someone else’s actions or negligence. Whether you are half a mile or half a continent from home, if you are injured on a college campus, we can help you figure out your next steps. Our team can provide resources and information about medical treatment, the lawsuit process, what to expect from your case, and more. That way, you can focus on recovery and continuing your college education.
The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Scholle Law have the experience, skill and compassion to recover the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here 24/7 to discuss your case.