Who is Responsible if a Student is Injured in Their Dorm?

One of life’s most valuable experiences is living in a college dorm. Dorm life allows for a college student to begin asserting their independence by taking care of themselves. They will take on a number of responsibilities, from doing their own laundry and making their own food. As a parent, you trust that the college or university that your child is attending will maintain the dorm and keep it safe for students. If your child sustained injuries as the result of unsafe conditions in the dorm, it could be an unintentional accident — or it could be the result of poor building maintenance.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability means that a property owner can be held responsible for injuries that are sustained on their property. This is why it is so important for a property owner to ensure that their property is free from hazards. Property owners should eliminate anything that could potentially injure someone on the property, such as electrical hazards, tripping hazards, and wet floors. A student has the right to sue the university for damages if they were injured in a dorm building because the university failed to maintain the property.  

Proving Premises Liability

It will be important for the student to prove that they suffered injuries because the university did not use reasonable care to maintain the property. Premises liability can be difficult to prove because negligence is key. Property owners aren’t responsible for every hazard on their property; they’re only responsible for exerting reasonable care and fixing problems that they know about (or should have known about). In a dorm injury case, the university might argue that student was injured due to their own lack of care and not because the premises were unsafe.

Furthermore, a successful premises liability case also proves that the victim’s injuries were absolutely caused by the unsafe property conditions and not by something else. This is a key part of proving negligence in any personal injury case.

Premises Liability Lawyer

It will be vital to speak with a premises liability attorney if you are considering filing a premises liability lawsuit against your child’s university. An experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts, should be able to determine whether or not you might win your case concerning premises liability laws. An attorney can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and gather crucial evidence to build a case.

Come prepared to answer questions regarding your case when you meet with a premises liability lawyer for an initial consultation. It will be important to be as detailed and honest as possible with each question your attorney asks you.

In many cases, you have the benefit of accessing an attorney who will work on a contingency basis for a premises liability case. Contingency fees are a payment structure that allows for you to not be required to pay your attorney unless they win your case.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into personal injury cases.