What's the difference between a car accident and a car crash?

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Are car crashes and car accidents the same thing?  Absolutely not. A good sign that you’ve hired a good personal injury lawyer is whether he or she tells you from the very beginning to never call the crash an accident.

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Why do crashes happen?

 

Car crashes happen because people are careless.  Careless people are distracted when they drive, they drive too close to the car in front, they don’t pay attention, they are impatient, and the list goes on.  If you were in a car crash, and it was not your fault, it happened because someone else was careless?

What does an accident mean?

The word accident implies that the crash was unexpected, unavoidable, unforeseen, and could not have been prevented.  Accident makes us think that even if the other driver was being extremely careful, the crash would still have happened.  This plays into the insurance industry’s bullying tactics. Insurance defense lawyers whose jobs are to defend the careless car crashers love saying accident over and over again.  

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Why do insurance companies and their lawyers love the word accident?

Insurance companies and their lawyers love saying accident because it plants a seed in jurors’ minds that the crash was no one’s fault. They try to convince jurors that since it was just an accident, they should ignore all of the facts on how careless the crasher was. If it’s just an accident, then a jury shouldn’t hold anyone accountable. Insurance companies also love to put the word accident in their commercials so the public hears the word “accident” over and over again. Insurance companies hope that the more people hear the word accident, the more they think crashes are no one’s fault. What do insurance company commercials have to do with jurors?  Most people in our communities are eligible jurors and commercials are a great way to reach them.

What word does the Texas Department of Transportation use?

 

Police officers in Texas are supposed to fill out a report when a crash happens.  The report is officially called a “CR-3,” and these reports are standard forms issued by TxDOT.  After the report is filled out, it is sent to TxDOT so stats on crashes can be used to, theoretically, make the state safer.  It is important to note that the report does not say accident anywhere.  In fact, the words “Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report” are at the very top of this report. 

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The bottom line on accidents

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If you were hit by a car or truck and the crash isn’t your fault, the crash wasn’t an accident.  Someone – or sometimes more than one person – did something careless that they knew they shouldn’t have done.  They didn’t follow the common sense rules that keep us all safe.  And because they weren’t being safe, you were injured.  Think about that the next time someone calls a crash an accident.