While they are a widespread and increasingly common form of recreational transportation, golf carts can be dangerous if they are not handled responsibly. Thousands of injuries and even death have occurred because of reckless Golf Cart driving.
The number of Golf Cart Accidents has been increasing steadily every year since 2008. Golf carts are becoming a popular form of transportation, due to fluctuating gas prices and a desire to be more environmentally conscious. Though there are serious benefits to the increase in golf carts, there are also some serious drawbacks. For example, last year there were almost 150,000 deaths that resulted from a golf cart accident and most of those deaths were children from the age of 2 months to 16 years.
Over the past year, there have also been multiple news stories about freak golf cart accidents around the world. Two men recently died in Thailand after their carts collided and subsequently went off track into a nearby river. There have also been casualties a little bit closer to home. On New Year’s Eve, two men died in a collision after a pick-up truck failed to see the dimly lit cart crossing an intersection. Most people don’t anticipate the severity of golf-cart accidents, but they can be deadly if you are not safely operating the machinery and are not careful of your surroundings.
What Causes a Golf Cart Accident or Injury?
Surprisingly, most golf cart accidents occur off of the course, as more and more people in residential communities use these vehicles to get around. However, because most suburban roads are not designed for golf carts, there tend to be more accidents.
Some commonly-reported causes of golf cart accidents are:
- Collisions with cars, trucks, or commercial vehicles
- Rollover accidents
- Distracted driving
- Driving a golf cart under the influence of alcohol or drugs or generally engaging in distracting activities while driving
- Aggressive driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Reversing downhill
- Roundabout accidents
Driving a golf cart can be just as dangerous as driving a car and should be treated as such. Though the age limit to drive a golf cart is significantly lower (as low as 14 years of age), keep in mind that a child engaging in any of the above activities is also in danger of severe injury or death.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt in a Golf Cart Accident?
If you are not at fault for your golf cart accident, there are some legal measures you can take to compensate for any damages that accumulate.
If you were hurt in a golf cart accident caused by someone else’s recklessness, you could be eligible to file a civil claim to recover compensation, known also as a personal injury claim. The conditions for all personal injury claims vary, but most rely on proving negligence and that someone else was at fault for an accident.
If you believe your golf cart accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, the first step that people usually take is to find a lawyer. Lawsuits take a lot of evidence collection and time, making these cases challenging to manage when you are recovering from an injury. In general, injured parties who hire a lawyer will have a better chance of recovering significant compensation than those who choose to pursue a claim on their own.
Once you’ve hired an attorney, your lawyer will determine what damages you are eligible to secure. You could be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages as a result of injuries, emotional trauma, damages to property, disfigurement, or any other fees or harm that prevents you from living a normal life. The more serious the issue or injury, the more money you could be owed for your claim.
The next step is to prove the negligence of another party. Typically, the plaintiff must use eye-witness accounts, video evidence, or police statements and observations to demonstrate the other party’s negligence.
People are often considered negligent if they are driving while distracted, driving under the influence, behaving recklessly, or if they do not maintain their vehicle and this causes the crash.
Another type of golf cart accident case occurs when the golf cart is defectively designed or manufactured. Some common claims made against the manufacturer included engine failure, steering wheel malfunction, faulty brakes, and even circumstances where the golf cart manufacturer did not provide sufficient warnings or instructions for operating the machine.
Filing a defective product claim against a golf cart manufacturer can be challenging without an experienced lawyer. You should seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident to increase the likelihood of compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Cart Accidents
What is a rollover accident?
Due to their construction and relatively lightweight, golf carts are more prone to rolling over than other vehicles. This can happen during a collision while taking a sharp turn, while driving on uneven ground, or due to other circumstances. When this happens, the driver or passengers could be hurt by the impact or could be crushed by the vehicle’s weight.
What kind of injuries are common in golf cart accidents?
Some commonly-reported injuries in golf cart accidents include broken bones, concussions, and scrapes, abrasions, and bruises. More severe injuries include traumatic brain injuries and neck and spine injuries that could include partial or total paralysis in some circumstances.
What if I am partially at fault for the accident?
If you were hurt in an accident, the negligence statutes will vary from state-to-state. In Florida, for instance, those who are hurt in a golf cart accident could be eligible to pursue compensation even if their actions partly contributed to the crash. That’s because Florida subscribes to a pure comparative negligence model, which means that your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Above all else, it is essential that if you believe that another party was responsible for your injuries, you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Filing a personal injury or lawsuit against a manufacturer is almost essential to help you recuperate. Without proper compensation, you may struggle to repay your debts or lose valuable recovery time.
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