What to Do After Being in a Car Accident on College Campus

Adult Son Moving Out Of Parent's Home To College

Sending your son or daughter away to college in Fort Myers is a huge milestone! They have been preparing for years to get to this point, and now the next chapter in their lives’ is about to begin. They are ready for almost anything. But does your future college student know what to do if they get in a car accident on college campus?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8% of car crashes involved college students between the ages of 21 and 24 and 17% resulted in deaths. Fort Myers campus car accidents are bound to occur, whether it’s two cars, a pedestrian accident or an accident involving a campus shuttle. We want you to feel safe sending your child off to college. 

Our Fort Myers campus car accident lawyers have created this guide to help college students who have been involved in a campus car accident. 

Let’s Learn the Basics

If you find yourself involved in a college campus car accident, there are certain things you need to take care of immediately. These steps are the perfect guide for what to do after a car accident.

  1. Get the name and phone number of the person that hit you. It’s always easiest to snap a picture of their license!
    • You want to make sure that you have accurate information about the defendant that caused the car accident.
  2. Call the Police. They will take down information and create a police report that will help when seeking representation from a campus car accident lawyer.
    • Don’t skip this step! Your college campus car accident lawyer will be able to obtain a copy of that police report for you if you were not given a copy. On the report, car one is always the at fault vehicle! If you were driving car one, you will be held accountable for the accident partially or fully. 
  3. Take photos of ALL vehicles involved. You want to make sure you have accurate documentation of damage to the cars in the accident.
    • Your campus car accident lawyer will use those picture to build your case. Sufficient evidence is key when trying to collect the highest settlement possible. This includes documenting all injuries sustained.
  4. Treating your injuries. Whether you have visible injuries or not, you should always get checked out by a medical professional.
    • Common injuries that occur within car accidents may not be visible injuries. This would include whiplash, bruised ribs and any type of spinal cord pain. These injuries usually become apparent a day or two after a campus car accident.

How is the School Involved?

What happens when a college student gets hit by a campus shuttle at their college in Fort Myers? Well there are a few things to note. Is their college public or private?

  • Public University: These sometimes fall under sovereign, which means they have the same ‘immunity’ as other government agencies do. Read on to understand what this means for you.
    • Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State College are both considered public universities.
  • Private University: These may or may not be under the protection of the state if the college is considered a ‘charitable institution’ which would grant the institution protection under the same sovereign immunity rule as public universities.
    • Hodges University is a private university.

You might be wondering, “what does sovereign immunity mean?” The Florida Statute 768.28 Title XLV prevents the injured student from collecting more than the typical amount of settlement money they would receive if they were suing another citizen or corporation. For example, if the college student was either involved in a car accident on campus with another student or a shuttle bus and sustained the same injuries, the settlement would be about the same amount depending on coverage. 

A lot of students hear the classic campus myth, “getting hit by a shuttle bus on campus gets your tuition paid for.” Sovereign immunity protects institutions from this kind of malice under the Florida Statute 786.28 Title XLV. The damage caused by the accident determines the amount of settlement that can be reasonably obtained.

Were You a Pedestrian on Campus Hit by a Car?

According to the FLHSMV crash reports, in 2017 there were a total of 9,420 pedestrian related accidents and 8,126 pedestrian accidents involving severe injuries. For college students who will be getting around campus by walking, it is very important to make sure they know how to do so safely! 

As a pedestrian on college campus, you should always be exercising safety measures when walking. Following the laws in place for pedestrians is a key factor when determining who would be at fault for a campus car accident. If you are using the crosswalk to cross the road during the allotted time given by the crossing signal and a car hits you, you would not be placed at fault for that car accident. However, if you were to cross the street without using the crosswalk and get hit by the car, you would be placed at fault for the accident since you were not obeying the laws in place. 

If you or your college student were injured in a Fort Myers college campus car accident, call one of our Fort Myers car accident lawyers to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve! We offer a FREE meeting to help you determine how strong your case is and what compensation you’re eligible for. Contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner today.

About The Author

Michael Feiner

Michael Feiner

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

Michael A. Feiner is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001, Michael has devoted his practice to representing plaintiffs throughout Florida in various tort and strict liability cases and has successfully litigated cases against national insurance companies, large public companies, and governmental agencies, resulting in tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He has handled all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of plaintiffs, including automobile negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, dog bites, and sexual harassment. Michael’s product liability case against Microsoft, as well as his representation of victims of sexual harassment and abuse by physicians, has garnered him important media attention at both the local and national levels. Michael is an experienced trial lawyer and successfully argued an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In the reported decision Ortlieb v. Butts, 849 So.2d 1165 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), Michael persuaded the Fourth District Court of Appeal that a directed verdict on liability was appropriate where the defendant did not rebut the presumption of negligence of a rear driver in a rear-end collision.