Wells, Purcell & Kraatz

Your Crash: It Wasn’t A Wreck

If you or your loved one was hurt in a car crash, others probably called it a “wreck.” The majority of car crashes occur when someone is careless behind the wheel—texting and paying too much attention to their phone conversation instead of their driving.

Nothing is “accidental” about over 100,000 car crashes caused by distracted driving according to the Texas Department of Transportation or the 3,200 fatalities it caused in 2014. In fact, only about 6 percent of crashes are actually caused by “accidental” factors like severe weather or road construction.

What’s more, studies prove that distracted driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, leading legislators and community activists to launch campaigns against cellphone use behind the wheel.

Considering more often than not human error is to blame, it doesn’t make sense to call every crash a “wreck.” It’s an inaccurate and misleading use of language with serious implications for everyone involved. Further, it has an exonerating effect on potentially liable parties after a crash.

The phrase “car wreck” suggests the situation couldn’t be prevented and reduces the accountability for the person that actually caused the wreck. More importantly, though, to a family dealing with the consequences of an injury or death as a result of a car crash, using “wreck” to describe the cause of their pain suggests there is no remedy for their losses.

If you were injured or lost a loved one due to the carelessness of another driver, you have a remedy for your losses. Texas law has recognized and encouraged the concept of individual responsibility for losses caused by negligent behavior in personal injury cases for over 150 years.


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