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Is it time for language refinement about vehicle accidents?

June 9, 2016 Published in Firm News,Truck Accidents

Language is kind of a funny thing. It’s so important that each culture has its own rules of language use. At the same time, language is not a static thing. It’s dynamic. It changes over time depending on the needs of the day. When’s the last time you heard anyone in Illinois say floppy disk? If someone told you to don your britches, would you even know what they mean?

Words have meaning and because of that they have power. If the right word is used to express something, everyone shares a common understanding of the subject. If a wrong word is used, the waters of understanding can get muddy. Where that possibility exists, it would seem logical that a correction would be in order and that change would occur. But sometimes it takes conscious effort and a long time.

Consider the words “crash” and “accident.” Very often, these are used interchangeably. Actually, most often, we suspect most people default to use of the word accident. If you are involved in a collision on the road, how do you talk about it? Chances are you don’t say, “I was in a crash.” You say, “I was in an accident.”

That might be accurate in some limited circumstances. However, most of the time, someone caused the collision and if you get hurt in such a situation you weren’t hurt in an accident. You were injured in a crash.

Should you have to pick up the costs of recovery for damage you suffer or injuries caused by someone else’s negligence? No. If you lose a loved one as the result of such a crash, shouldn’t the person responsible be held accountable? You would hope so.

Some suggest that it’s time to stop calling crashes accidents. They may have a point, but language change is like an ocean liner on the open water. It can take a lot of effort for that ship to make a turn around.

Those of us with experience seeking compensation for victims of truck accidents know that most people still talk about crashes rather than accidents. Whatever you choose to call it, it doesn’t alter the fact that someone hurt in a crash has a right to recovery. Our firm is prepared to help exercise those rights.