Can I be compensated for missing out on an opportunity for nursing school as a result of my car accident?

I was injured in a car accident a little over a year ago not at fault and was wondering if I can possibly request for future-lost wages? At the time of my accident, I was working as a CNA to earn extra points to use when I applied for my college nursing program. Unfortunately, as a result of the accident, I was no longer able to work and I had to quit my position as a CNA. I was only about 80 hours away from attaining 1,000 working hours which would’ve qualified me for 3 more points towards the nursing program. Unfortunately, without those 3 extra points, I ended up on the wait list for the nursing program and did not make it in about 6 months ago. Since then I re-took the nursing entrance exam and received 10 extra points; I just found out it was enough to get me into the nursing program this fall. With that being said, am I able to ask for compensation for that situation? Although those 3 extra points wouldn’t have been a guaranteed in to the program, I would’ve had a chance.

Asked on May 31, 2016 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are not entitled to this compensation. In a car accident, you are only entitled to compensation for provable and reasonable foreseeble losses: car damage; personal injury and medical expense; even lost wages from a job you currently have, since it reasonably foreseeable that someone injured in an accident might miss work, and the extent of the loss is readily provable.
But it is not foreseeable in any reasonable way that someone might have been in the process of qualifying for a nursing program or that the accident might have cost them "points"; it is further not provable in any way that those points would have been the difference between getting in or not, or that if you got in, you'd successfully complete the program, or if you'd completed it, you have gotten a job for any particular, provable amount of money, etc. What you describe is too unpredictable and speculative to be compensated under the law.

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