Many people use the words “crash” and “accident” interchangeably. However, the words can have significantly different meanings depending on the context. Understanding the overlap and differences between a crash and an accident is just one part of comprehending the legal world of car accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a car accident, then understanding the Maine auto injury laws is vital for defending your rights. Read on to learn more about an accident vs. a crash. After that, contact one of our compassionate car accident attorneys in Maine if you would like further legal assistance.
The answer to this question depends on context. Let’s start with basic dictionary definitions first. Merriam-Webster defines “crash” as a “breaking to pieces by or as if by collision.” On the other hand, an “accident” is an “unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance.”
What can you conclude from these two definitions? The first implication revolves around intent. The word crash simply suggests a kind of happening, a collision. It does not suggest who or what is responsible for that collision.
Therefore, a crash could result from many different states of mind. Some crashes might be intentional. Others may be the result of recklessness. And some may be nothing more than the product of bad luck.
The word “accident” is far different. By its very definition, it precludes the possibility that someone acted deliberately. Accidents have to be, well, accidental.
Merriam-Webster also includes a law-specific definition for “accident.” That definition is: “an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured, but for which legal relief may be sought.”
This secondary, legal definition confirms our initial understanding of the word. However, it brings up a new issue: the legal differences between a car crash vs. a car accident.
Answering this question requires an in-depth exploration of Maine’s legal statutes and government documents. First is Maine’s Department of Public Safety website concerning vehicle crash reports. It states that a party must make a traffic crash report if:
In addition, the crash must either cause personal injury or property damage of over $1,000. Notice that this website never states “traffic accident” or “car accident.” Rather, it defines all crashes as collisions. It further states that individuals need only report unintentional or accidental traffic collisions.
Let’s next turn to Maine’s statutes. Unfortunately, things become much more confusing here. There are only four uses of the word “crash” within Maine’s legal code. However, there are far more uses of the word “accident” in the context of car collisions.
For instance, this statute refers to “accident reports” as something a person must make after experiencing a motor vehicle collision. And this other statute is titled “Accidents involving unattended vehicle.”
How is a person to make sense of this overlap of usage? Are accidents and crashes the same, or are they not? There are two explanations. The first explanation is that Maine law supposes that all crashes are accidents.
In other words, Maine law views a car crash as simply one kind of car accident. It may sound far-fetched at first, but it makes sense if you think about it for a minute. For instance, imagine a situation where a cyclist suffers an injury after falling off their bike because they swerved to avoid a car on the side of the road.
However, there’s a simpler explanation as well. Legal statutes are never the product of one productive legislative session. Instead, legislators continually pass laws over the years.
This means that state statutes are patchwork products rather than internally coherent items, so there are often variations and even contradictions in terminology. On top of that, state judges continually interpret statutes over the years through their decisions.
Our journey through the difference between crash vs. accident illustrates just how complicated the legal world can be.
If even a simple comparison of two words is this complex, imagine how difficult it would be to sort out liability after a car accident. Sorting through these obscure legal differences is overwhelming for anyone. That’s why you should consult a qualified Maine car accident attorney to assist you.
A passionate Maine car accident attorney can help you in several other vital ways. First, they can guide you through the intricacies of the Maine legal system. This helps to ensure that you adhere to all procedural nuances and deadlines.
Second, they can collect and review essential evidence to strengthen your claim. This includes things like photographs, witness statements, and video evidence. They can also marshal subject-matter experts to testify on your behalf.
Third, a good attorney can adeptly negotiate with insurance companies, seeking to maximize your rightful compensation while protecting your interests. Fourth, they can represent you in court if necessary, leveraging their legal knowledge to advocate for a favorable outcome.
Finally, having a seasoned Maine car accident attorney provides peace of mind. This helps ensure that your sole focus is recovering from the emotional and physical automobile wreckage.
There are many personal injury attorneys in Maine that represent car accident victims. However, you do not deserve an ordinary attorney. When selecting legal representation, you deserve a team that sees you, hears you, and fights relentlessly for you.
Mann Law is not your ordinary personal injury firm. We are a female-led powerhouse in Maine. Over the years, we’ve consistently defied norms in our unmatched dedication to clients. However, our commitment is not just about overcoming the opposition but about an authentic connection with you.
At Mann Law, you aren’t lost amidst case files or handed off to outside attorneys. We ensure that you remain at the forefront, a vital participant in every step of your personal injury journey. Here, we have an intimate understanding of what it takes to secure victory in court. In addition, our team couples this with a genuine desire to know and understand you.
Our countless satisfied clients stand as a testament to this dedication, and their glowing reviews echo our consistent excellence. In the tumultuous waves of life’s challenges, Mann Law serves as your anchor. Reach out to us today for a complimentary initial consultation.