If your child is going off to college at the end of the summer, chances are your mind is filled with thoughts about how to keep them safe as they take the leap into adulthood. Your freshman is likely to be excited about heading to college and everything that life experience entails – like having their own car to drive around campus and town.
Both you and your child should consider some of the consequences of driving a car during college. Now, don’t be discouraged from providing your child with a vehicle during their post-secondary education. However, it’s important to know your rights in the face of an accident so that you and your child can get through the turmoil that may ensue.
If your child is ever involved in a car accident, you’ll want to find a law firm that specializes in personal injury and understands the intricacies of the legal system, so that you and your child can receive the restitution you deserve. In your time of need, you can confide in the Garcia Law Group, PLLC to help guide you through the unexpected and devastating situation involving your child.
A Correlation between College Life and Dangers on the Road
The increased rate of automobile accidents surrounding colleges and universities during peak seasons – or during the regular school semester – is rarely discussed or thought of. Once the semester starts, increased congestion around universities and college campuses means there is a higher incidence of accidents. Traffic, coupled with a new environment, only adds to the anxiety that a new college student might feel on the road. The first year of college also serves, for most, as a period of exploration where testing personal limits is practiced. Many college students explore various social activities that often involve alcohol and the temptation of driving while intoxicated. Balancing schoolwork with a social life leads to less than ideal sleeping patterns that result in drowsy or fatigued driving. On top of all the aforementioned pressures, there is the little screen that can serve as the biggest distraction of all. According to research conducted by King’s College in Pennsylvania, four out of five college students have texted while driving. Click To Tweet Any distraction faced on the road can spark a series of unfortunate events; for a new college freshman, those distractions are many. You and your child should discuss the various dangers on the road and how best to avoid them. By building a sense of responsibility early on, you will help your child be more aware on the road.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A car accident can cause life-changing injuries and even death. The thought of a loved one being in a car accident is difficult to face, even more difficult if that accident results in serious physical injuries. One of the more devastating automobile accident injuries that college students are prone to receive is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This can be caused by a strong and sudden jolt to the head, as well as a fracture, or penetrating force to the skull. TBI is a severe brain injury with long-lasting effects that may disable or hinder a victim’s physical and cognitive abilities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 31.8% of motor vehicle and traffic-related accidents result in deaths by TBI. Click To Tweet That’s not to say that only college-aged drivers can be hurt in traffic-related car accidents. However, the correlations between college activity and traffic-related automobile accidents can definitely be a cause for concern. Other passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians may also be involved in an accident that could lead to TBI or other serious injuries. Neck pain, blunt force trauma, and paralysis are other common injuries that victims of a car accident might suffer. In the face of a devastating accident, your child should be aware of the steps to take in proving who was at fault. Whether your child causes an accident or is a victim of one, the responsible party should bear the burden of compensation.
Know Your Rights
Your child must acknowledge that having a car is a major responsibility in college. A student will be held accountable if he or she causes an accident through negligent driving. The victims of a car accident should be compensated financially, particularly if the accident results in serious physical injuries like TBI. If a victim is involved in a drinking and driving accident, where the responsible party for the accident is under 21 years of age, the injured party might also be able seek compensation from a third party source. The third party would be the party responsible for supplying alcohol to an underage student. In case of an accident not caused by your child, he/she should know how to document the incident in order to make a valid and concrete argument to the insurance company against the responsible party. The following three actions are crucial in developing a personal injury claim or case for compensation:
- Make sure a police report is filed about the incident and obtain a copy as soon as possible.
- Seek medical attention immediately whether you feel pain or not.
- Document the scene by taking photos and eyewitness names if possible.
Whatever the case, should your child opt for driving his/her car during college, having a comprehensive insurance policy and an experienced law firm on your side will give you some peace of mind when your child is on the road. With Garcia Law Group, PLLC on your side, we will help guide you and your child through the best course of action in the aftermath of a car accident. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in your moment of need at (956) 661-800.