Accidents at College/University

Although being at college or university are supposed to be some of the best times of your life, accidents can happen. Before you think about anything like claiming compensation or any embarrassment you feel you might have suffered, if you have an accident and are injured at college or university your health is the first priority.

First Aid

When you have an accident, assess the situation quickly. Are you still in any danger? If so, take steps to remove yourself from the danger, and call the emergency services if necessary. If you are not in immediate danger, assess the extent of your injuries. Minor injuries can usually just be treated at home using over the counter products, whereas more serious injuries may require professional medical attention. If you do need professional medical attention, either make your own way to the closest accident and emergency department or dial 999 for an ambulance if your injuries prevent you from doing that.

If the injuries occur on college or university grounds, a campus first aider may also be able to assess your injuries and advise you about how to proceed. If you have any scratches, cuts or minor open wounds, clean the affected area with an anti-septic wipe, and then cover with a plaster. You may need to change the dressing later to prevent infection.

For light strains and sprains, strap the affected area with a bandage and try not to use it for a few days, to allow the injury to heal.

Follow medical advice

If you do see a doctor, make sure that you follow the advice that they give you, as this can help to speed up your recovery. Failure to follow the advice that they give you can lead to complications in your recovery.

If you have been issued with any medication to take, read the instructions properly and always keep the instruction leaflet for reference. However, if you do start to experience any unusual side effects, stop taking the medication and go back to the doctors.

Accident reporting

If you have an accident and it was not your fault, you should report it to the correct department at your college or university. If you are not sure who to tell, speak to any member of staff who will try to help. Reporting an accident in this way can help to prevent a similar accident from happening to someone else. For example, if you tripped over a broken paving slab, reporting this may result in the slab being replaced, which will prevent others from tripping in the same place.

Reporting the accident is also important if you intend to make a claim relating to your injuries, as this report can help to act as a record of what happened.

Contact your insurers

If you have insurance, contact them as soon as you feel well enough. They will be able to help to arrange any compensation or insurance payouts for you, if the accident was something which was covered by the policy that you hold. In some cases, you may have to submit reports and medical documents to the insurers to help to support your claim. If details of the claim are unclear, this may hold up the claim. Act whilst the accident is fresh in your mind.

Speak to your Tutors

If your injury is going to affect your university work, speak to your tutors as soon as possible, so that they can put contingency plans into place. This may involve giving you extra time to do your essays, support with note-taking at lectures and seminars, and other support to help you to overcome your problems. The sooner that you talk to someone about these issues, the better, because this will help to minimise the effects of the problem.