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Crashed a University Vehicle as a Student? Here’s Why Your Reputation Doesn’t Have to Crash, Too

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 31, 2022 | 0 Comments

When a university allows you to use its motor vehicle, you surely do your best to avoid causing an accident. Who wants to be in an accident, anyway?

Accidents sometimes just happen, though. When your accident involves a university vehicle, the fallout could be greater than an insurance claim.

Accusations of wrongdoing by the university may expose you to discipline. If you find yourself facing any unwanted consequences because of a wreck in a university vehicle, get legal help as soon as possible.

Rigid Policies May Restrict How You Can Use a University Vehicle

Many universities provide students and employees the use of motor vehicles under limited circumstances. At the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), for example, students, faculty, and staff may request a BruinCar to use “for official university business.”

Policies like those governing BruinCar may prohibit:

  • Using a vehicle for anything other than university business
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while possessing drugs or alcohol
  • Allowing someone other than the authorized driver to operate the vehicle
  • Engaging in behavior considered to be dangerous or reckless
  • Driving the vehicle at certain hours or in certain locations

In the case of a crash, a university may claim that you've violated its policies and may take disciplinary action against you as a consequence. In this situation, you may have much to lose.

What Can Happen to a Student or Staffer Who Wrecks a University Vehicle?

The University of South Carolina (USC) provides an example of what you may face after crashing a university vehicle. University policy requires that, following an accident on campus, the driver:

  • Contact law enforcement regarding the accident
  • Turn in an FR-10 accident form to the Director of Parking & Transportation Services
  • Submit a State Vehicle Operators Report of Accident to the proper authorities at USC
  • Have any passengers submit a Supplemental Passenger Statement regarding the accident

If a USC student or faculty member gets in an accident using a university vehicle while off campus, the presiding law enforcement agency will investigate the incident. The university may take subsequent disciplinary action, especially if law enforcement accuses the driver of illegal conduct.

You May Be Facing Discipline for an Accident Involving a University Vehicle

If your accident occurred while you were driving a university-owned vehicle, such as a car or golf cart, you can expect some type of investigation into the incident.

The university may take disciplinary action against you for the accident, especially if university authorities determine that:

  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
  • You did not have proper authority to be operating the motor vehicle at the time of the accident
  • You engaged in a dangerous driving maneuver that caused your accident
  • You broke its rules or policies in any other way that relates to your accident

You may face financial liability for your accident and may also face disciplinary consequences like suspension or even dismissal. An attorney-advisor experienced in student defense issues will seek a favorable resolution to any disciplinary proceedings that lie ahead.

Hire an Attorney-Advisor If You're Facing Discipline for an Accident in a University Vehicle

College students and faculty today can't risk any mark on their record. In competitive academic and professional climates, the smallest of demerits can have great consequences.

Let the Lento Law Firm fight to protect you from unjustified discipline. Call us today at 888-535-3686 or submit the details of your accident online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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