When you want to claim a financial settlement from a fraternity organization or a college because of hazing, having a skilled personal injury lawyer represent you is essential. If the incident is not a criminal case, it can be difficult to gather enough evidence to convince a college or an insurance carrier to pay a settlement. Also, if you hold some responsibility for what happened to you, this adds another layer of complexity. Contact an injury attorney for a free consultation so you can learn whether you have a good case.
More than 50 percent of college students involved in various clubs and organizations -- not all of them Greek fraternities -- have been subjected to hazing, according to one study. Nearly 75 percent of fraternity and sorority members report having been subjected to hazing.
Between 2005 and 2013, at least 60 fatalities were connected with fraternity activity, according to a 2013 article in Bloomberg Business. However, not all of those deaths were due to hazing. Some, for instance, are related to excessive alcohol use outside of the hazing environment.
These are the types of statistics that can help you in your pursuit of a settlement. Your lawyer may already be familiar with these stats, or will learn about relevant research with assistance from the paralegal staff.
Other Incidents at Your Fraternity & College
Your attorney will seek to discover other harmful incidents that have occurred with your fraternity or with other organizations at your college, indicating that the academic officials look the other way when it comes to hazing. No matter what happened to you, it can help to obtain documentation of other hazing episodes, which might include requiring pledges to:
- drink unsafe amounts of alcohol
- eat food that could be tainted
- not sleep for several days
- snort cocaine
- endure being physically beaten, waterboarded or shot with BB guns
These are the types of incidents that research into hazing has uncovered on college and university campuses in the 21st century.
Contact a personal injury lawyer about your situation. You'll need to explain what the hazing involved, what your injuries were and whether they continue to affect you, and whether you have a certain level of responsibility for what happened. Don't hesitate to call even if you believe you were a willing participant. You may not realize the level of coercion that went on, but your lawyer will get a good sense of how much the other individuals were to blame.