Experiencing a car accident during college can be life-altering, especially if it results in injuries that hinder a student’s ability to complete a semester they already paid for. In such challenging situations, students may wonder whether they can seek compensation for tuition from at-fault drivers.
Your eligibility to seek tuition reimbursement depends on your degree of fault for causing the accident.
Establishing fault in a car accident
There were 53,644 car accidents in Iowa in 2022, injuring 16,845 people and killing 338. In many of these crashes, more than one driver shared fault.
If the other driver is to blame for causing your accident, you may be able to file an insurance claim. You will need clear evidence demonstrating the at-fault driver’s responsibility for the accident.
In Iowa, car accident negligence laws follow a modified comparative fault system. This means that if you share less than 51% of the fault for the accident, you may seek compensation. However, your degree of fault reduces your potential compensation amount. If found more than 50% responsible, you may not recover damages.
The at-fault driver’s insurance coverage plays a pivotal role. Their insurance policy should cover economic damages resulting from the accident, including medical expenses and property damage. However, seeking compensation for tuition may not be straightforward.
Tuition is a non-economic loss, and seeking compensation for such losses can be challenging. Insurance companies often balk at paying non-economic damages, such as the impact on academic pursuits.
For a student to seek compensation for tuition, they should document the impact of the car accident on their education. This includes providing evidence of the inability to attend classes, complete assignments or fulfill academic requirements due to the injuries sustained.
Carefully consider before accepting an insurance company’s first settlement offer after an accident. Initial offers often fall short of fully compensating for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and lost tuition.
Remember, you have the right to negotiate for a higher payout. Rushing to accept may limit your ability to seek fair compensation for your injuries and overall damages.