What is the Difference Between a Crash and an Accident?


Words can be powerful. How something is said or what is exactly said can have an entirely different meaning, especially within the court system.

If you are unfamiliar with this, the fact remains that courts are sticklers for the kinds of words that are used. For example, the word shall is viewed by most courts as the same as modest. We may think of that as a rather tame word, but in the judicial system is a way of saying that someone will do this.

Defining “Accident” & “Crash” in a Court Setting

If you have been involved in some kind of vehicle incident, you may be describing an accident that occurred, but accident has a special meaning in the judicial system, one that may not match up to how you would use this in a normal conversation. So, how does the court define these kinds of terms? The two most common words used when you are talking about some kind of vehicle incident are accident and crash.

An accident is described as an unfortunate event that occurs as the result of carelessness or ignorance. For most of us, we would not define accident in this way.

When most of us consider the term accident, we think of something that is beyond our control. It happened because circumstances or fate was against you. However, that is not how the court system views this. In the eyes of the court, a person who has been the cause of an accident is someone who has acted in a careless or ignorant way where it was inevitable that some form of vehicular incident would occur.

A crash, on the other hand, is nothing more than the collision itself. There is no stipulation of fault and no indication of what caused the crash, simply that an incident has occurred.

Someone is at Fault for the Accident

If you have been involved in an accident, it means either you or the other person is the cause of that crash. This will mean that someone is going to be held responsible for the damages incurred, either through their own personal wealth or through the insurance coverage they have.

In Arizona, drivers are required to have auto insurance to cover accidents, whether it is their fault or not. However, the limit on that coverage may not be sufficient to pay medical costs incurred as a result of the accident, meaning that the party who is responsible must pay any remaining costs to compensate the person who has been injured.

If You’re Injured in an Accident, Consult an Attorney

If you are involved in an accident, it is important that you consult a personal injury attorney right away. This is just as true if you are the person injured who was not at fault as it is if you are the person who caused the accident. In fact, it is more important for you if you are injured and not at fault for one primary reason.

Depending upon the severity of injury and the amount of insurance coverage the other driver has, you will likely deal exclusively with their insurance company. Your insurance company may not even be involved at all, meaning you are battling against a huge corporation all on your own.

The person who caused the accident has the insurance company to back them. They don’t need to deal with the matter at all, as long as the amount of damage does not exceed their coverage. This can mean that they basically walk away from the accident with little to no involvement in the negotiations that occur after that.

You, however, are forced to deal with the big conglomeration of lawyers, adjusters, and other professionals who are trying to determine how they can give you the least amount of money possible. They are not interested in the extensive injuries you may have, if you need prolonged care or have suffered a loss of wages. Their job is to pay you as little as possible.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

You need someone who is going to represent your needs and your injuries so that you can get the proper compensation needed. Our personal injury team here at JacksonWhite has helped dozens of Arizona car accident victims receive compensation for their injuries. We understand exactly how insurance companies work, and know all the tricks of the trade so that we can represent you well.

Not only will we deal directly with the insurance company, saving you a lot of stress and anxiety, but we can also ensure that you’re getting the care you need in the meantime.

Often times, settlements in this kind of cases can take months, maybe even more than a year’s period of time. You may need extensive care in the meantime and we can work with hospitals, clinics, doctors, and other medical care professionals to ensure you are getting the care you need in the meantime.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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