Car Crash vs. Car Accident: The Semantics of Collision

If you or a loved one has been hurt in any kind of vehicle collision and you believe someone else’s negligence is to blame, the experienced Phoenix car crash lawyers can help. Contact us as soon as possible.We recently came across an editorial that hit close to home, and we thought our readers might find it interesting too. It’s from Slate blog about the English language, and this particular piece considers whether “car accidents” are really “accidents” at all.

In New York, apparently, a campaign is under way to officially substitute the term “car crash” for “car accident,” in recognition of the fact that most vehicle collisions are not purely accidental in nature. The editorial takes issue with that contention, insisting that the “car accident” phrase serves a purpose.

Longtime readers of our blog may have noticed that we use both terms here, as do most courts of law, not to mention the automotive and insurance industries at large.

To be absolutely clear: the overwhelming majority of auto accidents in Arizona (and the rest of country) are caused by a driver’s negligence. Stated differently, most car crashes are somebody’s fault. If someone is to blame, then, is it really an accident at all?

That all depends on your definition of “accident.” As Phoenix car crash lawyers, we understand that while some people construe “accident” to mean “blameless,” to many others, it simply means “unintentional.”

Consider, for example, a teenager who causes a fatal crash while texting and driving. Did the teen mean to cause a crash? No, and in that sense, it was an accident. Nevertheless, the teen was at fault, and his or her insurance company can be held liable for the damages that result.

The most important takeaway for you, the reader, is this: even when people don’t mean to cause harm, their inattentive or irresponsible behavior can result in unintended injuries. Those damages, no matter how inadvertent, are compensable. That’s true whether you call it an accident or a crash.

One word of warning, though: do be cautious in using words like “accident” when talking to insurance adjustors or the at-fault drivers they indemnify. They may try to use that kind of apologetic language as evidence against you during litigation.

At the end of the day, there’s no reason to get hung up on semantics. If you or a loved one has been hurt in any kind of vehicle collision and you believe someone else’s negligence is to blame, the experienced Phoenix car crash lawyers can help. Contact us as soon as possible.

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