Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer

When is a car crash really an accident?

Collisions occur every day in the state of California. When they do, it is not uncommon for the instance to be referred to as an accident. If safety advocates have their way, that will change and they will instead be called car crashes. Multiple state and local leaders, federal officials and grass roots groups that advocate safety throughout the nation, are waging a campaign to change the words that are used to describe the incident. According to these individuals and groups, the phrase trivializes human error as a cause of the incident. They propose instead using a neutral term- "crash."

History of the use of the word "accident"

The use of the word "accident" in contexts of this nature dates back to the early 1900s. At that time, business owners who were seeking to avoid paying for the injuries of workers that occurred on the job started using the word to describe situations where a worker was hurt. The goal was to make the worker, not the employer, responsible for the incident.

Some successes

The effort is finding success. The departments of transportation in over half the states in the nation have stopped using "accident" in connection with roadway crashes. In addition, earlier this year, The Associated Press changed its policies regarding how the word is used. Now, it should not be used when negligence is either proven or asserted to be a contributing factor.

Taking legal action

When negligence is involved in a collision that leads to injuries it is possible the person who is hurt, or the family of someone who dies, could file a lawsuit. The success of such an action will depend upon a variety of factors. Regardless of the words used to describe the incident, it is generally a good idea to work with a personal injury lawyer to evaluate the fault of parties involved and determine the appropriate action to take. Lawyers at Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer handle serious personal injury cases. To learn how they might help you call 510-832-5411.

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