Campus Car Accident Attorneys
College students behind the wheel of a car; on scooter or bicycle; or on foot throughout campuses are often thought of as careless and distracted. When accidents occur on campuses such as Santa Fe College and the University of Florida (UF), many people attribute the cause to an inexperienced or careless student driver. Yet, campuses have a higher density of people and vehicles, both two- and four-wheeled, in one place which raises the risk of car accidents. If you or your college-age student has been injured in a campus car accident, contact a Gainesville personal injury lawyer at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. Our firm has years of experience assisting drivers and pedestrians involved in these types of accidents.
Campus Car Accidents Have Several Causes
A campus car accident may have a singular cause, such as distracted driving, or it may combine any number of these causes. Regardless of what caused your accident, contact a personal injury attorney in Gainesville. The law firm of Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. will assist you through the legal process following a campus accident.
Whether you’re a freshman or transfer student, being new to Gainesville and unfamiliar with traffic at UF and Santa Fe can lead to an accident. Both campuses have one-way roads and although ‘do not enter’ signs mark these streets, unfamiliar drivers may turn onto one. It can take several weeks or months for an unfamiliar driver to become comfortable driving around a new campus.
Cell phones are often the cause of distracted driving, but it goes beyond texting while driving. Though it’s illegal in Florida, many drivers, including scooter drivers, of all ages drive with earbuds or headphones in their ears. Eating, noisy passengers and the vehicle radio are other common distractions for drivers.
Speeding is a factor in car accidents off and on campuses. Though there are posted speed limits and regular campus police on patrol, you’ll still see drivers regularly exceeding these limits.
Distracted Pedestrians & Cyclists
Even if you’re driving distraction-free on campus, pedestrians and cyclists may not be walking and riding without distraction. Headphones, smartphones, conversations with others hold the same diversion for them. Some pedestrians and cyclists ignore traffic signals, posing an accident risk to themselves and drivers on the road. Campuses are also popular places for runners around-the-clock, many of whom use earbuds or headphones and may not be able to hear a nearby car horn.
Drunk driving is a dangerous choice anywhere, but on a campus, it becomes even more dangerous. Santa Fe College is a dry campus for all students, including students over age 21, while UF has a policy against consumption and possession of alcohol “in any outdoor public area of campus.” But, drunk driving still occurs and nearly 50 percent of all fatal car accidents for college-age drivers involve alcohol.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured On Campus
Whether you were injured walking to class, riding a scooter or bicycle to visit friends, or were driving on campus, here are three things to do after any car accident on campus.
Stay At The Scene
Staying at the scene is important for the driver and pedestrian. If it turns into a hit-and-run situation, try to take a photo of the driver’s car and license plate, if possible. Ask any witnesses to remain on the scene also. Get their name, contact information along with a statement of the accident.
File A Police Report
Having a police report, whether from the campus police department or Gainesville police, is beneficial. It's official documentation of the accident and may be needed if filing a premise liability claim against the college. Encourage any witnesses to also give their statements to the police for the report.
Seek Medical Attention
Even seemingly minor injuries at the time of the accident can turn into bigger issues once adrenaline has worn off. The sooner medical attention is sought, and thereby adding to the accident's documentation, the better off you'll be. The next step for a driver or pedestrian involved in a campus car accident is to contact a skilled Gainesville personal injury lawyer.
Gainesville Accident Attorneys
Gainesville, FL is a university town. As enrollments at UF and Santa Fe College increase each year, vehicles, scooters, bicycles, and people are added to the campuses. For students involved in a campus car accident, there can be wide-ranging consequences. Missed classes, extensive medical bills, and possible legal liability can exacerbate their recovery. Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. is a Gainesville, FL law firm with years of experience helping students involved in campus car accidents navigate the complex situation. Our attorneys thoroughly research the accident, gather facts and evidence, and if need be, take on an insurance company for just compensation. If you or your student has been involved in a campus car accident at UF or Santa Fe, contact our Gainesville accident attorneys today.