Golf Cart Injuries: The Many Hidden Dangers of Golf Carts
Here’s a statistic that may surprise you: Each year, there are more than 15,000 golf cart-related injuries that require emergency care. And about 40% of those injuries happen to children under the age of 16. Golf carts are no longer used just on the golf course. In Florida, golf carts have become a primary mode of transportation in many residential neighborhoods, and as a result, we have seen an increase in golf cart accidents on public roads involving cars and other motor vehicles.
The Villages Golf Cart Accidents
In The Villages, golf cart accidents are a common occurrence. Since golf carts are legal to use on many Florida public roads, a growing number of people use them as a convenient method of transportation. There are no age restrictions for operating a golf cart while on the course, but people as young as 14 are legally allowed to operate a golf cart on public roadways.
Due to the size of The Villages and the number of golf carts in use, this community sees many more golf cart-related accidents than most in Florida. According to research, accidents in The Villages comprise an average of 136 crashes, 65 hospitalizations, and 9 deaths per year. 48% of golf cart crashes in The Villages required hospitalization or resulted in death. Nearly all of the crashes analyzed involved golf carts being used on a public roadway, with ejections being the number one cause of injury and death.
What are the Most Common Types of Golf Cart Accidents?
There are four main types of golf cart accidents:
- Single-cart accidents involving only one cart.
- Multiple carts involved in an accident.
- Golf carts colliding with other vehicles while on a public road.
- Golf carts colliding with cyclists and pedestrians.
What are the Most Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents?
As with most vehicle accidents, the most common causes of golf cart accidents are the result of negligence. Children and older people are the most at-risk groups for sustaining severe injuries from golf cart accidents. Awareness of the most common causes of golf cart accidents can help you avoid making the same mistakes:
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Under experienced driving
- Overloaded carts
- Sharp turns
- Weather and roadway conditions
- Poor vehicle maintenance
What are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Golf Cart Accidents?
One majorly contributing factor to golf cart injuries is the fact that they are not required to have seatbelts. So, even if the golf cart is traveling at a relatively low rate of speed, injuries sustained from a crash, rollover, or flying debris can still be quite severe, especially for children and seniors:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Injuries to the joints, such as shoulders, knees, wrists, and elbows
Can I Get a DUI Driving a Golf Cart?
Yes, in the state of Florida, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI if a police officer suspects you are operating a golf cart while under the influence. In many cases, the penalties are the same as if you were driving a car under the influence.
A Car Hit Me While I Was Driving a Golf Car. What Can I Do?
Golf carts sharing the roadways with cars can lead to accidents that result in serious injury, or even death. First and foremost, you should call the police and seek medical care if needed. Injuries sustained in golf cart and car collisions can be devastating due to the lack of protection golf cart drivers have when operating the cart. Once you have obtained medical care, you should contact the experienced accident attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz to learn more about your legal options in your Golf Cart Injury case.
If a Driver of a Car Hits Me While I Was Driving a Golf Cart, Who Is Liable?
Determining who is liable in a golf cart accident depends on multiple factors, such as: Was the driver of the car speeding or distracted? Was the driver of the golf cart obeying traffic rules? What kind of collision was it? In general, drivers of motor vehicles should yield to “recreational vehicles,” however, this is not a golden rule. If you were driving a golf cart and injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, you should consult with the expert golf cart injury case team at Darrigo and Diaz to establish liability.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Golf Cart Injury Claims?
Under Florida law, you have four years to file a golf cart injury claim against the owner and/or the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident. However, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove your claims. Therefore, it is best to contact an attorney immediately after the accident to preserve crucial details.
What Type of Damages Can I claim?
In Florida, the type of damages you can claim are very similar to those sought in car accidents. They can include financial damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to property. Other types of damages you can seek include pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of a caregiver, and others.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Golf Cart Accidents?
In some circumstances, you may be able to make a claim with your auto insurance provider. However, it will depend on the type of insurance coverage you have. If you’re not sure, you can contact your insurer and ask them for more details. However, carrying separate insurance for your golf cart is always preferable to ensure you are covered in the event of an accident.
What if My Golf Cart Accident was Caused by a Defect in the Cart?
To prove that your accident was caused by a defect either from the manufacturer or by professional modifications, you will need to hire an experienced product defect lawyer like the team at Darrigo and Diaz. Our team can reconstruct the circumstances around the defective parts and help you provide proof that the accident was not due to negligence on your part.
Call the Golf Cart Injury Experts at Darrigo & Diaz today
If you or someone you know has been injured in golf car accident involving a driver of a motor vehicle, don’t try to figure out the complicated issues of liability and insurance on your own, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Darrigo & Diaz for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help.
At Darrigo and Diaz, we understand the confusion, frustration, and anger you may be feeling after sustaining an injury in an accident that was not your fault. Led by Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney Nadine Diaz, our firm has secured favorable outcomes for hundreds of clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. In fact, we are an esteemed member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, demonstrating our capability to never back down from a fight.
And, if you prefer to not come into our office, you don’t have to! As Tampa’s e-firm, we offer potential and existing clients the option to meet with us and hire us electronically. Call 813-774-3341 to learn more.