Can Colleges and Universities Be Liable For Crimes?

February 1, 2017 | Category: Inadequate Security, Personal Injury | Share

Can Colleges and Universities Be Held Liable For Campus Crimes - Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.The expectation parents have when sending their children off to college is that they will be receiving an education in a safe environment. Fort Myers Law Firm believes the reality, however, is that a college is no safer than any other place and in some cases can be dangerous for students.  

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, there were 76,380 campus crimes committed in 2014 (latest available data). 

  • Property crimes such as theft of cars and property account for 95.5 percent of those crimes.
  • Violent crimes account for 4.1 percent of campus crime.
  • Of the violent crimes committed, assault and rape account for over 60 percent.  

Aggravated Assault

42.7 percent


22.0 percent

Robbery w/injury

20.0 percent


  0.1 percent


15.2 percent

According to College Factual, whose mission is to help students select the best education and campus for their particular situations, the University of Florida (UF) and Florida State University (FSU) campus property and violent crime rates are on a par with the national average. 

Information on how well colleges and universities address the issue of campus crime is readily available because of legislation known as the Clery Act. This Act was named for Jeanne Clery, a 1986 victim of rape and murder at Lehigh University. The Act requires that all campuses have detailed emergency alert systems in place, as well as comprehensive crime report statistics. 

Liability for campus crime 

Colleges and universities have a duty of due care in premises maintenance, campus housing and activities in which they exercise supervision and control. As landowners, some courts have established this duty of due care to obligate them to provide adequate security to protect students. These security measures are often printed or available on-line in student handbooks and reference material. 

What victims of campus crime should do? recommends: 

  1. Get to a safe place.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Follow the operator’s instructions until help arrives.
  4. Let emergency services guide you through what to do.
  5. Contact a trusted friend or family member as soon as you can.
  6. Take care of yourself and take time to heal. 

Most colleges and universities have adopted such things as safe rides and campus emergency phones as they increase their safety standards for students. 

US News suggests there are 4 ways students can stay safe on campuses. They are: 

  1. Avoid walking on campus by yourself, especially at night.
  2. Know the safety resources your school offers and keep them handy; program them into your phone, and know where emergency phones are located.
  3. Keep your dorm room locked.
  4. Check the back seat of your car before getting in. 

“Being injured as the result of a campus crime can be devastating. We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. are here to assist you. After seeking medical attention, please contact our team of attorneys before the evidence disappears and the particulars of the incident are not remembered,” said Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall Spivey.



Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.


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(239) 337-7483

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