Car Accident On Campus? Who Is to Blame?

Lou Pendas

Legally reviewed by Lou Pendas on August 29, 2022 Lou Pendas is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

It’s back-to-school season! Late August through early September is an exciting time of year for college students as they leave home and head to school, either for the first time or as returning students.

Along with reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones, students are also met with new experiences and opportunities. Unfortunately, one of these new experiences for some might be a car accident on campus.

Any car accident is stressful, but it can be even more stressful for a student who is far from home and by themselves. The most important thing to remember is this: stay calm. Yes, car accidents are scary, and they can also cause injuries, but keeping a level head is tantamount.

Remember that no issue is more important than your health. If you are injured — even if you feel fine — seeking medical attention is your top priority. Many people avoid getting medical care and try not to make a big deal out of things, but insurers will use it against a victim by claiming they were not injured by the crash and deserve less compensation.

All About How to Handle an On-Campus Car Accident

While it is important to establish fault after an accident, few things are ever as clear as we’d like. Fault is obvious in some accidents, such as a drunk driver drifting into oncoming traffic or a speeding driver running a red light, but without following the correct steps, an insurance adjuster or defense attorney can easily derail a straightforward case.

Follow these steps to ensure you don’t end up taking the blame for someone else’s negligent or reckless driving. Make sure to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to get the help you need in building a case.

Take a Moment

After any type of accident, adrenaline takes hold. It can be difficult to think clearly. However, in the event of a car accident, it is important to take just a few moments to gather your thoughts and assess the situation. This will help you avoid making any rash decisions that could end up hurting your case later on.

Scan your body for injuries, and check in with your passengers to see if they are injured. If anyone is hurt, make sure they stay put if possible until medical help arrives.

Call 911

Calling 911 after a minor accident may seem like overkill, but there is nothing worse than exchanging information with an at-fault driver only to find out days later that they have changed their story and are now denying the facts of the crash.

It is always best to have a police report on file, and you should never assume that the other driver will be truthful about what happened. If they try to convince you not to call the police, be wary — this is a major red flag.

Another, equally important reason for calling 911 is to ensure that EMTs are at the scene to administer care and check for potential injuries.

Exchange Information

Once the police have arrived and are dealing with the aftermath of the crash, you can exchange information with the other driver. However, it is important only to exchange basic information, such as your name, phone number, address, and insurance company.

Do not discuss fault at the scene of the accident or apologize for anything. The other driver’s insurance can use this against you later. Simply state the facts and let the police and insurance companies sort it out.

Document the Scene

No matter how concrete your memories of the accident may seem, it is always important to document as much as possible at the scene. This includes taking photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and any injuries that you or your passengers have sustained. 

It is also important to get the contact information of any witnesses. Their story may provide additional insight into the cause of the accident.

Get Medical Attention

If you or any of your passengers have sustained injuries, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many times, people try to downplay their injuries to seem tough or avoid a commotion, but this can come back to bite you later on.

Insurance companies will use any delay in treatment against you, claiming that you were not injured in the crash or that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. It is always best to err on the side of caution and get checked out, even if you think your injuries are minor.

Consider Hiring a Lawyer

After you take care of the immediate aftermath of the accident, it is time to contact a personal injury attorney. Even if you are confident that the other driver was at fault, insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize their payout. 

Many people forget that insurance companies are in the business of making money. They generate a profit by paying out less than they collect in premiums. Your case is one of the thousands they handle each year with the same goal: settle quickly and cheaply and avoid any further legal action.

A car accident lawyer can level the playing field, working to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate, your lawyer can take them to court and fight for the compensation you deserve.

So Who Is to Blame?

If you know the other driver caused the crash, it might seem like you are already at the finish line. But fault is only the first step in the insurance claims process. If the insurer accepts that their policyholder is 100% to blame, which is typically not the case, they use pure comparative negligence to shift blame onto the victim. They will deconstruct each of the damages you claim in an attempt to pay less for the financial impacts that you have suffered.

Your attorney will go through a series of negotiations to reach a settlement agreement after they have established fault. Even with clear and abundant evidence, they may still be unable to reach an agreement without filing a lawsuit.

Nearly 50% of all personal injury claims are settled before a lawsuit, and almost all personal injury lawsuits are settled before trial. However, you should still count on a fight.

Contact 1-800-Injured To Find an Attorney Near You and Prove Fault

Do not try to handle your car accident case on your own — it is simply not worth the risk. Your attorney can gather the facts and evidence of your case,

Contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to connect with an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation.

1-800-Injured is a medical and legal referral service that can put you in touch with an attorney in your area who can help you navigate the claims process after a car accident on campus. Call 1-800-Injured today to get started on your road to recovery after a car accident on campus.