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Golf Cart Accident Lawyer in Bradenton
Years ago, golf carts were limited to golf courses and resorts. However, you now see the little electric vehicles practically everywhere. In many Florida towns, such as Bradenton, golf carts are ubiquitous in residential communities and public roads. Golf carts can potentially cause serious accidents with injuries and fatalities, despite being designed for low speeds. Injured individuals often only realize how challenging recovering compensation can be when the worst has already happened.
If someone else caused your golf cart accident, you should not have to carry the financial burden alone. Our experienced golf cart accident lawyers in Bradenton can examine your accident and identify all avenues for pursuing compensation. Contact us now to determine for free whether you have a case.
Florida Golf Cart Regulations
Drivers of standard golf carts in Florida must be at least 14 years old but are not required to possess a driver’s license. Golf carts, unlike motor vehicles, do not need to be registered, have a license tag, or carry insurance.
The use of golf carts in Bradenton is generally restricted to certain golf cart communities, state parks, mobile home parks, and other specially designated public roads. Standard golf carts must not be operated in the dark unless fitted with headlights and other essential safety features.
Crucially, drivers operating a golf cart on a public road must follow all applicable traffic rules and regulations. Under Florida state laws, drivers must not:
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drive distractedly
- Drive dangerously or recklessly
Further, drivers must obey all road signs and signals, yield right of way when required, and follow all other road rules. If you got hurt in a golf cart accident due to another driver not following road laws, you could have legal recourse and pursue damages.
Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV)
Not all vehicles that look like golf carts are golf carts. In Florida, a converted golf cart or similar electric vehicle operating at speeds above 20 mph is classified as a “low-speed vehicle” (LSV). LSVs, unlike true golf carts, require insurance, safety equipment, and a license tag, just like standard motor vehicles. Drivers of LSVs must also possess a valid driver’s license.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents?
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), golf cart accidents are no rarity. In the ten years of 2007 to 2017, no fewer than 156,040 individuals had to seek emergency medical care due to golf cart injuries. Golf carts are often seen as a fun and relaxing way to get around the neighborhood. However, despite being smaller and lighter than cars, serious accidents can occur just the same. Frequent causes for accidents with golf carts include:
Negligent Driving Behaviors
The following negligent and reckless driving behaviors can cause golf cart accidents:
- General dangerous and reckless maneuvers
- Driving while intoxicated
- Disregarding traffic laws and regulations
- Distracted driving, such as texting or eating while driving
- Overloading carts with passengers or cargo
Less frequently, accidents occur due to golf cart defects. Mechanical defects can arise from a lack of maintenance and repair or from irregularities during the manufacturing process.
Golf carts are prone to accidents from external circumstances such as bad weather, road defects, or hazards and objects on the road.
Injuries in Bradenton Golf Cart Accidents
Although anyone riding in a golf cart can potentially get hurt, figures suggest that children and older adults are particularly at risk of suffering golf cart-related injuries. According to figures from the NSC, traumatic brain injuries among children occur at more than three times the rate compared to adults in golf cart accidents. Injuries from golf cart accidents can be anything but harmless and, in some instances, change the lives of victims. Common golf cart-related injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder, neck, and back injuries
- Bone fractures
- Road rash and bruising
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries
Sadly, some victims never recover and pass away from their golf cart accident injuries. If you got hurt or a loved one died in a golf cart accident, you may have legal options for recovering the compensation you need to get your life back on track. We understand that a severe or permanent injury can turn your entire life upside down and cause emotional, physical, and financial turmoil. Our golf cart accident lawyers can advise you and offer a shoulder to lean on.
Compensation for Golf Cart Accident Victims
If someone else is responsible for your golf cart accident and injuries, you could be entitled to compensation, including:
You could receive all costs for medical expenses for injuries sustained in a golf cart accident, including but not limited to:
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical devices
- A home health aide
You could also receive compensation for your future expected medical bills related to the golf cart-related injuries.
A prolonged recovery period could result in long work absences. You could be entitled to past, present, and future loss of income as a result of your golf cart accident injuries.
Individuals significantly injured in golf cart accidents can suffer from reduced life quality. You could be entitled to various so-called “non-economic” damages reflecting your degree of suffering and reduced life enjoyment, including awards for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of life quality
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
No two golf cart accidents are the same, and injuries vary from one individual to another. Therefore, consider consulting with an experienced golf cart accident lawyer in Bradenton who can calculate your damages and estimated future damages accordingly.
Why You Might Need a Bradenton Golf Cart Accident Attorney
In a car accident, you could have several avenues for recovering damages, including your PIP insurance and filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance. However, golf cart accidents victims could be left high and dry. Golf carts do not normally require insurance, especially when under private ownership. Therefore, filing an insurance claim may not be an option. Since it can be challenging to get what you deserve, working with a dedicated attorney can be critical, especially if you suffer significant injuries and have high medical costs.
Moreover, there is the question of who is liable for your injuries. It is not always immediately clear who is at fault and what caused the golf cart accident. A seasoned golf cart accident lawyer can work with professional accident investigators and technical experts to analyze your case and determine cause, fault, and liability.
Other golf cart accident circumstances when you need a great attorney by your side include:
- Suffering catastrophic or life-changing injuries
- A loved one dying due to a golf cart accident
- Facing astronomical medical bills after an accident
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
If you recently got hurt in a golf cart accident, our experienced golf cart accident lawyers could walk you through your options and help you move forward with a claim. Our attorneys fight hard for the rights of injured victims and have recovered over $15 billion in damages over the years. We could help you too.
Morgan & Morgan
What Should I Look for in a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer?
A great golf cart accident lawyer will have:
- Experience with handling golf cart accident cases
- An excellent reputation and great client reviews
- Good knowledge of local and state golf cart laws
- A pleasant and trustworthy personality
Meeting your lawyer personally before deciding to hire them can be a great idea. Most golf cart accident lawyers offer free first consultations where you can find out about your legal options and get to know the law firm. A great attorney will be enthusiastic and happy to talk about their past results and track record. On the flip side, consider looking for a better match if your prospective lawyer seems evasive and reluctant to talk about past results or they have overwhelmingly negative client reviews.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Golf Cart Accident Claim?
It can be tough to predict how long your claim takes to settle, as this can depend on various factors. An out-of-court settlement is generally faster than a trial. Therefore, if you can agree on a settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance, your claim could be settled in a few short weeks.
Generally, a case involving severe injuries and complicated liability issues takes longer to settle than a minor accident claim. Insurance companies tend to fight claims with high damages tooth and nail. A highly contested case moving through the court system and ending in a trial could take several months or even years to conclude.
What if I Was Partly Responsible for the Golf Cart Accident?
Florida follows the rule of comparative negligence. Therefore, even if you were partly to blame for the golf cart accident, you could still receive compensation from the other party. However, the damages you can claim will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Who Decides the Degree of Fault?
If your case goes to court, a jury will typically be responsible for assigning each party a percentage of fault. This is where it can be essential to have a skilled attorney by your side who can argue your case and ensure you are treated fairly. If your case does not go to a trial, the parties themselves will have to agree on a percentage of fault and settlement amount. Since this can be challenging, mediation or arbitration is often used to help settle complex claims. Again, having a seasoned golf cart accident attorney in your corner can be essential when fault is contested.
What Are My Best Next Steps After a Golf Cart Accident?
Knowing what to do after your golf cart accident can be tricky in the heat of the moment. However, taking a few simple steps can protect your legal rights and your health. Consider taking the following action after a golf cart accident:
Contact Law Enforcement
Dialing 911 for law enforcement and medical assistance is usually the best first step, especially if there are any injured individuals at the golf cart accident scene. The police will also write up an accident report detailing all the important facts of the accident, such as the time, date, parties involved, and who is suspected to be at fault for the accident. This report can be crucial evidence if you later decide to take the liable party to court for your damages.
Gather Witness Contact Details
If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, make sure they do not leave without first giving you their contact details and, if possible, a brief statement of the accident. Witness testimony can be critical evidence if you later decide to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Document the Accident
Documenting the scene of the golf cart accident can be an excellent next step. Make sure to take pictures of the surroundings, vehicles involved, injuries, and anything else that seems relevant to the accident. For example, if you think a road hazard or pothole caused the accident, ensure to photograph the hazard or road damage. You should also note down how the accident happened and all the details you remember, as memories can fade and change over time.
Call a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer in Bradenton
If you want to protect your rights, speaking to an experienced injury attorney can be essential after a golf cart accident. Your attorney will analyze the accident and determine the legal options available to you, which may include filing a lawsuit to pursue damages. Your lawyer can also move forward and handle all aspects of your case, leaving you free to heal.
We Fight Hard for Golf Cart Accident Victims
We understand that a serious golf cart accident injury can turn your entire life upside down and have devastating impacts on your career and home life. Morgan & Morgan wants you to get the medical care, legal help, and compensation you deserve. Our golf cart accident lawyers in Bradenton can fight tirelessly for the best possible outcome of your case. Our fee is free unless we win and you receive compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine whether you qualify for compensation.