Injured in College: Claiming Back Your Lost School Year
Tallahassee is a town that houses a lot of college students– FAMU, FSU, TCC, Kaiser, ITT, Lively Technical, and more. Tuition-paying students face unique challenges when they have suffered an injury. They may find it difficult to attend scheduled classes or study for upcoming tests. They risk lowering their GPA or losing the money they paid for their classes.
Many of my clients work with their teachers to figure out compromises and push back exams; they ask their friends for notes and they study twice as hard to catch up. But what happens when you miss so much schooling you drop out of that class entirely– or even push back your graduation date?
I recently settled a case in which my client paid for her summer classes, but was forced to withdraw halfway through the semester because she had missed too many classes due to her injury. I’ve found that clients are forced to drop classes more frequently during the summer because the material is much more condensed – one day missed during the summer could equal 3 days’ worth of material during a normal school year.
After withdrawing, she was not only out a summer’s worth of classes and materials, but she also was unable to get a refund for the classes she was forced to drop. Through the legal process we were able to make sure that she was financially reimbursed for her classes so she could take them the next semester.
A serious problem can arise if your graduation date is pushed back an extra year or semester due to someone else’s negligence. If you weren’t hurt you would have counted on graduating on time and starting your life in the workforce.
In Florida, the point of the civil legal process is to attempt to compensate for your injures and time missed. If you’re forced to push your life back the court can’t give you that time back, but it can attempt to approximate how much that missed semester or year was worth through a lost wage claim.
Proving that can sometimes be complicated. Unless you already have a job secured after school, with its starting salary determined, a vocational expert may be needed to can approximate how much someone with your age, training and experience could be expected to make if you would have graduated on time.
It can be a difficult process. At Barrett, Fasig and Brooks, these are scenarios we deal with all the time. If you’re injured and have been forced to drop out of your classes or if your school life has been pushed back a year, call us today. We can help you get back on your academic path and pointed towards your future.