What happens if you are injured on your way to clinical due to weather?

  1. My nursing school says that weather is not a valid reason to miss clinicals. Well, if it's snowing heavily and there's a big storm, and I get into an accident because they're forcing me to come in, are they legally responsible? I'm talking about damage to my car and any medical bills. I go to a public school in NY state. I'm a student, paying good money to be there, and I expect my school to keep me safe. This is unnecessarily putting me in harm's way. I'm not a paid nurse, going to my shift, whose terms I accepted and receive compensation for. I see no reason to put myself in danger. If they tell me I'll fail or won't finish my necessary hours, and I brave the storm and I get hurt, are they liable? Can I sue?
  2. Visit invitemeplz profile page

    About invitemeplz

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 2

    28 Comments

  3. by   WanderingWilder
    I doubt you can sue, I mean, could you sue a job that said come in or you're fired? I know you say its not the same as a job where you accepted the terms, but you are accepting the terms of the school by going there. Chances are if school is cancelled so is clinical. That's how my school was but if it wasn't bad enough to cancel/delay classes then clinicals were also on.
  4. by   invitemeplz
    Quote from WanderingWilder
    I doubt you can sue, I mean, could you sue a job that said come in or you're fired? I know you say its not the same as a job where you accepted the terms, but you are accepting the terms of the school by going there. Chances are if school is cancelled so is clinical. That's how my school was but if it wasn't bad enough to cancel/delay classes then clinicals were also on.
    You are eligible for worker's comp if you're injured on the job. Nurses/health care providers may be covered during travel to and from work depending on the state. Where I live, the snow is really bad, sometimes 12+ inches in a few hours. There's no way to safely move around in that. I see your point. I'm interested to see if anyone has some legal background and has info
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    We are nurses, not lawyers.
  6. by   NICU Guy
    Quote from invitemeplz
    and I get into an accident because they're forcing me to come in, are they legally responsible? I'm talking about damage to my car and any medical bills. I go to a public school in NY state. I'm a student, paying good money to be there, and I expect my school to keep me safe.
    Nobody is coming over to your house and putting a gun to your head. You are not being forced to go to school, you have a choice and you have potential consequences. They are not expected to keep you safe on your way to school. If a student is a really bad driver, is the school responsible for repairs and medical bills? If there is a 1/16 inch of snow and you slip and fall, is the school responsible because they forced you to go to clinical?

    Quote from invitemeplz
    Where I live, the snow is really bad, sometimes 12+ inches in a few hours.
    If you get that much snow, classes, including clinicals, will be cancelled.
    Last edit by NICU Guy on Jun 17
  7. by   elkpark
    Quote from invitemeplz
    You are eligible for worker's comp if you're injured on the job. Nurses/health care providers may be covered during travel to and from work depending on the state. Where I live, the snow is really bad, sometimes 12+ inches in a few hours. There's no way to safely move around in that. I see your point. I'm interested to see if anyone has some legal background and has info
    Students are not employees.

    I suggest you ask about this at the school, and what the school's policies are about clinical in severe weather.
  8. by   Emergent
    Your car insurance is supposed to cover the things you mention. I certainly hope you were covered! Even if you only have liability, your medical should be covered under the medical portion.

    I learned the hard way once what happens If you drop collision in order to save a few bucks!

    I'm no lawyer but there is no way on God's green earth that you will successfully sue the school for this. This type of litigious mentality is not good for the common good, by the way...
  9. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from invitemeplz
    I'm a student, paying good money to be there, and I expect my school to keep me safe.
    Unreasonable expectation. You could have an accident driving to clinical on completely dry roads. No school can "keep you safe."

    Anyone can sue anyone else. I doubt you'd win, though, because even though you don't like the choices given to you -"come to clinicals or fail the program"-you still have been given the CHOICE. There is no possible way a school can "force" you to do anything you don't want to do.

    Quote from Emergent
    I'm no lawyer but there is no way on God's green earth that you will successfully sue the school for this. This type of litigious mentality is not good for the common good, by the way...
    I agree.
  10. by   Mavrick
    Jeez.

    Your choice, your consequences.

    It's people with the super-can-I-sue-someone-for-anything-that-happens-to-me mentality that makes it tough for all of us.

    More bubble wrap.
  11. by   DowntheRiver
    You should look up Act of God defenses. Seems right up your alley.

    Anytime we have ever had a hurricane, we are still expected to come to work. You know it is coming, so you leave early and then camp out at work to avoid the bad stuff. I'm sure my other Northern friends on here will back me up on this. When you are a nurse, this is what will be expected of you so get used to it.
  12. by   AceOfHearts<3
    I commuted to school and had to travel a particularly bad stretch of highway to get to most of my clinicals. There was a 40 car pile-up one week because of ice. I knew I'd have to travel that stretch in the same type of conditions the week after that happened. I stayed with another student closer to the clinical site the night before to avoid having to travel on the highway during the snowstorm.

    I understand it's frustrating when there is bad weather. I had to drive home in some bad conditions from clinical. I've also had to drive to and from work in some pretty bad conditions from snow AND rain, but you can get into an accident at any time. It was a perfectly clear and dry morning when I was hit by another car.

    When the weather is bad and the roads are bad the best thing to do is to give yourself plenty of time to get to wherever it is that you are going. I always make sure I have boots, my winter coat, hat/gloves, protein and/or granola bars, and water. I keep my ice scrapper and a little travel shovel in my car and I always have a full tank of gas. Make sure your tires are good (consider snow tires if appropriate), keep a good distance between yourself and other cars, and just take it slow. I also have an overnight bag packed in case I get stuck at the hospital.


    ETA: I also think you are overreacting at this point- it's June. At least wait until it's winter before you start talking about suing your school if you get in an accident because of a snowstorm. I did have clinical cancelled when it got really bad and the day I had to go in (storm hadn't hit yet) my instructor cut clinical a little short that day to try to get us home before it got really bad.
    Last edit by AceOfHearts<3 on Jun 17
  13. by   meanmaryjean
    Nursing school is not a retail transaction. And life is risky. Inherently.
  14. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Quote from DowntheRiver
    You should look up Act of God defenses. Seems right up your alley.

    Anytime we have ever had a hurricane, we are still expected to come to work. You know it is coming, so you leave early and then camp out at work to avoid the bad stuff. I'm sure my other Northern friends on here will back me up on this. When you are a nurse, this is what will be expected of you so get used to it.
    Agreed that this will be expected of the OP once working; however, "camping out" at the hospital/facility isn't always an option while a student. Due to course requirements/schedules, transportation, possibly other jobs, this can't always happen. And at some hospitals, there are discounted rooms at hotels, or rooms set aside for workers within the hospital. Students do not receive these "benefits."
    If classes at the university are canceled, so should clinical.
    But the reality of winning any sort of suit against the school in the event of an accident? Not going to happen. In America, you can bring a suit against anyone for any reason; however, you can't win for any reason.

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