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Injuries from College Hazing

Our Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

College hazing involves taking action against an individual by forcing them to participate in acts that create a risk of serious injury. Typically, hazing involves initiating the individual into some kind of organization. Hazing is extremely common, but may not be legal. In some cases, individuals are put in harm's way for no reason. In more severe instances, college students are injured during hazing rituals - even killed. For more than three decades, at least one college student has died every year in the United States because of hazing. Over the years, hazing practices have become increasingly popular on American college campuses. While some of these instances may be harmless; others are dangerous and fatal.

Understanding the Risks

Hazing can involve any number of dangerous activities, including:

  • Binge drinking
  • Beating/hitting
  • Branding/tattooing
  • Calisthenics
  • Confinement
  • Drowning/near drowning
  • Consuming non-edible substances
  • Psychological abuse

These practices can be extremely dangerous. Binge drinking can easily result in acute alcohol intoxication, aspiration, and alcoholic coma. Beating may result in surface injuries (such as bruises) or serious blunt-trauma damage. Branding and tattooing are a form of hazing, too. If a student is hazed via branding or tattooing, he/she may suffer 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree burns. In extreme cases, college students have been forced to perform calisthenics under severe conditions. For instance, one student died after performing calisthenics in high temperatures and warm clothes for an extended period of time. Although this practice may not seem innately dangerous, it can easily lead to heat stroke and exhaustion.

Other forms of hazing are not physically dangerous, but involve psychological abuse. Many students are yelled at, sworn at, forced to wear embarrassing clothes, deprived of sleep, deprived of food, or deprived of personal hygiene. These experiences can be extremely trying, embarrassing and disturbing. In other instances, upperclassmen have forced lower classmen to perform personal services or favors for them. Although not physically risky, these experiences can physiologically scarring and may qualify as abuse. In many cases, doctors and authority figures are unable able to identify hazing victims - especially if their injuries are not physically life threatening.

Is hazing illegal?

44 states have passed laws that prohibit hazing - Texas is one of them. Generally speaking, hazing is a misdemeanor offense punishable by fines and jail time. If an individual is hurt or killed during a hazing activity, the crime is punishable by heavy fines and incarceration in a state prison. In 2005, a college student was hazed to death in California. The individual's responsible for his death were charged with felony offenses. If you've been hurt during a hazing ritual, talk to a Dallas injury attorney from Jackson Allen & Williams, LLP today. We are experienced in all kinds of personal injury litigation cases and want to help you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Dallas, TX Personal Injury Attorney

At the firm, we want to help you stand up for your rights in court. College hazing may be common, but that doesn't make it right. In fact, many hazing rituals end in physical injury or abuse. Even actions that place students in harm's way are considered illegal. In severe cases, hazing may result in a wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one because of college hazing, an attorney from our firm is ready to go to bat for you in court. If you've been injured, you may be entitled to damages for you physical and emotional suffering. For more information about college hazing, personal injury and your rights, talk to an attorney from Jackson Allen & Williams, LLP today.

888.811.9747. We are here to help
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