Columbia, South Carolina is a bustling education hub, with institutions like the University of South Carolina shaping the city’s vibrant culture. Amidst the energetic flow of students and visitors, the potential for car accidents on college campuses is a genuine concern. If you’re involved in a campus accident, a Columbia car accident lawyer from Joye Law Firm can help you understand your legal options to receive compensation for your injuries.

Whether it’s the crowded intersections near USC’s historic Horseshoe or the busy North Main Street area around Columbia College, navigating these roads can lead to unexpected collisions that cause costly injuries and losses. Read further to learn more about campus accidents.

Can You File a Lawsuit for a Campus Car Accident?

If you’re involved in a car accident in Columbia, you can typically seek compensation from the at-fault driver in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. For accidents on college campuses, your ability to file a lawsuit depends on the specifics of the accident, the individuals or entities involved, and the relevant legal regulations.

  • Circumstances of the accident: The circumstances surrounding your accident determine your ability to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will investigate factors like driver negligence, the damages incurred, and the cause of the accident to determine liability and potential legal avenues for compensation.
  • Parties involved: The parties involved in the accident can influence potential legal proceedings. Whether it’s students, faculty members, visitors, or contractors, their roles and responsibilities within the university environment may impact potential liability and legal actions.
  • Applicable laws: The legal framework governing car accidents can vary based on state and local regulations. Understanding how South Carolina’s legal system treats accidents on university campuses is vital in evaluating the prospects of a lawsuit. For example, if the liable party violated Columbia’s traffic laws, you may be able to file a lawsuit.

University’s status – public vs. private: The university’s status as a public or private institution can impact your legal options after a car accident. Public universities like the University of South Carolina may have some legal immunities due to their governmental affiliation, which makes hiring a knowledgeable attorney all the more important. Private institutions might be subject to different legal standards, impacting their responsibility in a car accident scenario.

Who Might Be Liable for Your Injuries in a Campus Crash?

There may be multiple liable parties when filing a claim or lawsuit for damages after a campus collision. Your attorney can investigate your case to determine the responsible parties and help you file a claim with their insurance company or through a lawsuit in court.

  • At-fault driver: Usually, the primary responsible party in a campus car accident is the at-fault driver. If they are acting negligently by speeding, driving distractedly, or driving under the influence, you can seek compensation through their personal car liability insurance, which is required in South Carolina.
  • The university or college: Universities like USC, as well as private institutions, typically have liability insurance that extends to covering accidents caused by staff, such as professors or maintenance workers, on their campuses. This insurance can compensate you for medical expenses, property damage, and related costs resulting from the accident.
  • Other entities associated with the campus: Entities like contracted maintenance or construction companies could share liability if their actions contribute to the accident. Determining their involvement and potential liability may involve their own liability insurance, which your attorney could file a claim with for compensation.
  • Your uninsured motorists (UM) policy: If the person who caused the accident doesn’t have auto liability insurance, you may be able to file for coverage through your own UM policy. South Carolina requires a minimum of $25,000 in UM coverage for bodily injury to one person. You can receive up to your policy’s limits in a collision with an uninsured driver.
  • Your underinsured motorists (UIM) policy: If the damages from your accident are more than the amount available through the other policies mentioned above, you may be able to file coverage through your own UIM policy. Unfortunately, many South Carolinians do not carry this important layer of coverage since it is optional. Your attorney will review your policies to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to getting you the compensation you deserve.

Navigating the Legal Maze After a College Campus Accident

When you are injured in a collision on a Columbia, SC university campus, skilled legal representation matters. Dealing with intricate issues of liability, insurance, and the legal process, requires a seasoned attorney to help you explore your options and safeguard your interests.

At Joye Law Firm, our auto accident lawyers are well-versed in campus-related incidents. We will carefully evaluate your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and explore potential legal avenues. From medical expenses to lost income, our team will fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.

We represent clients in Columbia and the surrounding region, including Barnwell, Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington, Saluda, Richland, Kershaw, Fairfield, Newberry, Lancaster, Chester, and York. Our firm also has offices throughout South Carolina, so we’re available to help no matter where in the state you’re located.

Don’t tackle your legal problems alone.  Schedule a free consultation today and pursue your rightful compensation.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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