For thousands of college students, living in a dorm room with friends is part of the long awaited college experience. Dorm life is often where they get their first real taste of independence and self-responsibility. In the midst of all the excitement and anticipation, sometimes safety hazards can be overlooked.
On any college campus, it is the duty of the university to ensure dorms are adequately maintained, both inside and out, and free from any safety hazards. Are there electrical hazards? Are there any areas that may cause a person to trip and fall? Are all door locks and card readers properly functioning? These are all questions that any student, or parent, have the right to ask and have addressed.
Universities issue student handbooks that almost always include a section on student safety and security. Here, one can find the expectations of every student regarding campus safety, as well as the liability areas of the university itself. The safety and security guidelines for Penn State students may be found here.
Any person, whether a student or not, who has suffered an injury in a college dorm should speak with a personal injury attorney. If the university failed to properly maintain its property, the laws of premises liability will come into play and you may be entitled to compensation. However, premises liability can be a complex matter. It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after an incident so that he or she can ensure all evidence of fault is preserved.