Golf Cart Lawyers in Bradenton
Golf Cart Lawyers in Bradenton
101 Riverfront Blvd, Suite 600
Bradenton, FL 34205
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Golf Cart Lawyers in Bradenton
Golf carts are easily maneuverable, small vehicles that often appear on the green spaces of a golf course. You may also find golf carts in closed communities, where residents use them to travel from one location to another easily. The four-wheeled vehicles are highly convenient for short trips of less than ten miles.
However, there has been a rise in golf cart accidents over the past decade. According to the Journal of Safety Research, over 156K people received treatment in hospital emergency rooms for injuries relating to golf cart accidents between 2007 and 2017. Approximately 15K people sustain injuries from golf cart accidents each year.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a golf cart accident, you may need assistance recovering compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. Golf cart lawyers in Bradenton can help you with your claim for remuneration. Contact Morgan & Morgan to schedule your free consultation today.
Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
Golf cart accidents can occur anywhere the vehicle is driven, including golf courses, neighborhoods, city roads, and sidewalks. Golf carts are especially popular in Bradenton, where there are numerous country clubs, like Bradenton Country Club and Tara Golf & Country Club. Several gated communities in Bradenton also permit residential travel via golf carts.
A golf cart accident can occur for many different reasons. Drivers can make errors, or the vehicle may have a defect that causes an accident. In the worst cases, motor vehicles like cars or trucks fail to see a golf cart and collide with them directly.
Some causes of golf cart accidents include:
- Reckless driving by the golf cart operator
- Driving the golf cart while under the influence of alcohol
- Overloading the cart with excess weight
- Failure to safely park the golf cart
- Inattentive or distracted driving
- Driving the golf cart offroad through dirt paths or steep inclines
- Malfunction of the golf cart due to a defect
- Poor maintenance, like failure to maintain brakes or tires
- Heavier motor vehicles (i.e., cars or trucks) colliding with the golf cart
Golf carts may have limited speeds, but an accident can result in severe injuries since passengers have little protection between themselves and the ground or other objects.
Types of Injuries From Golf Carts
An injury from a golf cart accident can be devastating. Depending on the cause of the accident, the operator and passengers may face injuries like:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries, like a concussion
- Cuts and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Injuries to the face or neck
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Back injuries
Even the most cautious golf cart drivers may be in an accident. Seeking medical attention is essential to begin your recovery and document your injuries.
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What to Do After a Golf Car Accident?
If you’re involved in a golf cart accident, you’ll want to take specific steps to ensure you get the help you need and retain evidence of the accident.
Call for Help
After an accident, you’ll want to seek help right away. If you’re on a golf course, contact management immediately. Ask the management team to send medical assistance if you or others have injuries.
If the accident occurs outside of a golf course, you should call the police. Ask for an ambulance if anyone in the accident has injuries that need immediate medical attention.
Document the Accident
Document the accident scene while waiting for the golf cart manager or police to arrive. Take photographs of obstacles that led to the incident. If other vehicles are involved in the accident, note their identifying details, like their type, color, and license plate number.
Ask for the contact information and insurance details of anyone in the crash. If there are witnesses, ask them if they will give you their names and phone number. Their statements may help if you file a claim.
Make sure to retain a copy of the accident report. Ask the management team for their insurance information if the incident occurs on the golf course. Individuals who contact the police can obtain the police report by contacting their local precinct.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention, you may not need an ambulance. However, you should still visit your local hospital or urgent care center for a thorough check-up.
Sometimes injuries aren’t immediately apparent after an accident. The shock of a collision can impact your cortisol levels, making you less likely to feel pain. Internal organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, and whiplash often take a few days for symptoms to become apparent.
Note your symptoms and visit a physician. They can evaluate you to determine what help you need.
Call a Lawyer for Advice
Even if you’re unsure whether you will pursue a legal claim, seeking advice is a good idea. Golf cart lawyers in Bradenton can help you understand what your alternatives are. They can determine who is responsible for the accident and what type of compensation you may receive if you take legal action.
Who May Be Liable for a Golf Cart Accident?
Several people or entities may be liable for your injuries in a golf cart accident. Potentially responsible parties include:
Golf Cart Manufacturer
Golf cart manufacturers must ensure they comply with laws and regulations concerning their products. Defects in golf carts can result in severe injuries to operators and passengers. Golf cart manufacturers may be responsible if there are problems in the manufacturing of the cart, such as a defective part or machinery malfunction.
A Consumer Product Safety Commission search shows that manufacturers recalled ten different models of golf carts between 2018 and early 2022, including Yamaha, Textron, Garia, and Club Car. The recalls concerned severe issues with the golf carts, including potential failure of brake cables, fuel leaks, and problems with the wheel hubs.
Golf Course, Country Club, or Other Community
Any country club or golf course that rents golf carts must take special care to ensure the vehicles are well-maintained. If the country club or other community fails to maintain the golf carts, they may be liable for your injuries. Golf cart lawyers in Bradenton can help determine whether the golf course or country club is responsible for your accident.
Golf Cart Designer
Golf cart designers provide the blueprint design for the golf cart. They decide how it will work and where to place the parts to ensure the proper efficiency. If the cart's design led to a defective golf cart, the designer might be liable for your injuries.
The Operator of the Cart
In some cases, the driver of the cart is responsible. Drivers who handle their carts recklessly or operate the vehicle while under the influence may be liable for their injuries and those of other passengers. If a driver in a golf cart injured you, you should seek legal advice from golf cart lawyers in Bradenton.
What Are the Florida Laws Concerning Golf Carts?
In Florida, there are several laws concerning golf carts, but the industry does remain largely unregulated.
The first law concerns the speed of a golf cart. Under Florida laws, a golf cart cannot exceed a speed of 20 mph. If the golf cart can travel at higher speeds, the law considers it a low-speed vehicle or LSV.
Anyone 14 years of age or older may drive a golf cart without a driver’s license. However, if the golf cart meets the requirements of being an LSV, the operator must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license.
The second law concerns the appropriate roads for golf carts. Generally, operators can only use golf carts on a golf course unless a community allows golf carts in its residential area. Roads that allow golf carts must include signs that clearly indicate that drivers may operate the vehicle on the road.
State law requires that golf carts only be driven between sunrise and sunset. However, specific communities may allow operators to drive golf carts in the evening.
Golf cart drivers involved in accidents can be held responsible just like operators of other vehicles like cars and trucks. Therefore, if the driver causes a crash while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will face the same repercussions as those of other vehicles.
Golf cart owners aren’t required to carry insurance, but they should. Typically, a driver can add golf cart insurance to their automobile policy. Insurance will cover claims related to injuries and property damage.
If the golf cart qualifies as an LSV, the operator must carry appropriate insurance, including personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. Operators must register LSVs at the DMV.
What Damages Can I Obtain in a Golf Cart Accident Case?
Compensation for golf cart accidents includes coverage for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and household costs during recovery. You may also receive damages for emotional pain and anguish, loss of quality of life, and disability or disfigurement.
You can collect compensation if you file a wrongful death case on behalf of a loved one who died in a golf cart accident. Your damages may include funeral and burial expenses, mental suffering, and loss of companionship or consortium.
How Long Do I Have to File a Golf Cart Accident Claim in Bradenton?
Under Florida law, you have up to four years to file a personal injury claim concerning a golf cart accident. Family members have two years to file wrongful death claims due to the loss of a loved one.
While Florida allows you some time to file a lawsuit, starting the process early is essential. Your attorney will need time to assemble the evidence concerning your case, and if you wait too long, some facts may be impossible to prove.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The value of your claim will depend on the extent of your injuries and who was at fault. When you schedule your consultation with Morgan and Morgan, we’ll evaluate the facts of your case to determine its approximate worth. Every case is different, so the value of your claim may vary significantly from someone else’s.
Morgan & Morgan: Attorneys You Can Trust
Morgan and Morgan is the nation’s largest personal injury law firm. Since 1988, we’ve helped thousands of people collect compensation for their injuries against negligent parties, including cases involving golf carts.
Our golf cart lawyers in Bradenton can help you obtain the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and move forward in your life. To schedule a free consultation with us, fill out our convenient online form.