When Do I Need a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer in Naples?2150 Goodlette-Frank Road, Suite 750
Naples, FL 34102
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Golf Cart Accident Lawyer in Naples
The golf cart movement is gaining strength in Florida. A growing number of cities have passed ordinances that allow custom-fitted golf carts to navigate the same roads navigated by other types of motor vehicles. Although Collier County and the City of Naples, Florida have not enacted laws permitting golf carts on area roads, the chances are good that both governments will eventually pass some type of ordinance allowing the slow-moving vehicles to share the roads and streets of southwestern Florida with other motor vehicles.
Golf cart accidents are a problem in Florida, which is the state that has the most golf courses of any state in the United States. With cities and counties passing golf cart-friendly laws, the number of golf cart accidents should increase dramatically. If you sustained injuries caused by a golf cart accident, you need to know when is the right time to contact a golf cart accident lawyer in Naples, FL.
The answer to the timing question is as soon as possible after a golf cart accident. A Florida-licensed personal injury attorney determines whether negligence caused your injuries and which party committed one or more acts of negligence. Did an operator of a motor vehicle hit your golf cart? Were you involved in an accident with another golf cart? Was there some type of malfunction that caused the golf cart to strike a stationary object? You also want to contact a golf cart lawyer in Naples right after an accident to file a persuasive insurance claim and possibly a civil lawsuit.
At Morgan & Morgan, our personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $15 billion in monetary damages since we opened our doors in 1988. Since the number of golf cart accidents has exploded over the past decade, we have assigned some of our personal injury lawyers to work exclusively on golf cart accident cases. If you sustained injuries caused by a golf cart accident, you should act with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of our golf accident lawyers in Naples, Florida.
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How Does Product Liability Factor Into Golf Cart Accidents?
The publicity surrounding golf cart accidents often focuses on a collision between a golf cart and a motor vehicle. However, product liability can play a significant role in causing a golf cart accident. If one of our personal injury attorneys discovers a defective golf cart caused an accident, we conduct an investigation to determine whether the manufacturer of the golf cart should assume some of all of the legal liability.
What Are the Golf Cart Requirements in Florida?
Under Florida law and confirmed by the Florida Supreme Court, golf carts are considered vehicles that require efficient brakes, reliable steering, and safe tires that provide superior traction. Golf carts in Florida also must be equipped with a rearview mirror and red reflective warning devices in the front and back. County and municipal governments can adopt ordinances that require additional equipment, such as horns and other types of vehicle safety devices.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Product Liability Case?
Product liability claims for golf cart accidents in Florida must demonstrate a golf cart is unreasonably dangerous. Far too many golf cart manufacturers fail to conduct the proper tests on their golf carts. If you suffered injuries because of a defective golf cart, one of the product liability attorneys from Morgan & Morgan must demonstrate you suffered a monetary loss that resulted from operating the defective golf cart.
The manufacturer of a defective golf cart also has the responsibility to warn users of their golf carts about any potential issues. To win a product liability case involving a faulty golf cart, your product liability lawyer must prove the defective golf cart caused your injuries. We also must establish that you operated the golf cart as intended by the manufacturer.
What Is Pure Comparative Negligence in Florida?
Every state has passed some type of law that defines negligence for personal injury cases. Florida follows the pure comparative negligence model, which assigns a percentage of blame to every party involved in a personal injury incident. As your legal representation, the first and most important priority of Morgan & Morgan concerns proving the other parties should assume 100 percent of the legal liability for causing your injuries. However, the judge hearing your case might assign a percentage of the blame to you, which means the amount of monetary damages you receive decreases by the amount deducted from your legal judgment.
For example, let’s assume a motor vehicle rolled a stop sign and hit your golf cart at a relatively low speed. You sustained injuries that required medical care, with your medical bills running into thousands of dollars. Your golf cart received considerable damage as well. The judge hearing your case awards you $40,000 in monetary damages to cover the costs of medical expenses and the money required to repair your golf cart. Although the motor vehicle rolled a stop sign, the other party claims you should have equipped your golf cart with brighter signal lights. The judge agrees and decides you should assume 20 percent of the fault for causing the golf cart accident. Your financial award is now reduced by $8,000 to $32,000.
What Is the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?
One of the points a Naples golf accident lawyer should make is most personal injury cases end up settled out of court. Either the attorney or insurance company representing the other party agrees to a settlement to avoid the costly and time-consuming litigation process. If the Naples golf cart accident lawyer assigned to your case does not agree with a proposed settlement, your attorney will not hesitate to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages.
This means you should learn about the personal injury lawsuit process.
Free Case Evaluation
You should consider working with an attorney that schedules a free case evaluation. During a free case evaluation, the lawyer sitting across from you reviews your case to determine whether you should file a civil lawsuit. The evidence you present to the lawyer is the most important factor in determining the strength of your case. You should present physical evidence such as photos taken at the accident scene, as well as a list of witnesses that confirm your version of events.
File Court Documents
Florida law establishes a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. You have four years from the date of a personal injury incident to file the right paperwork that initiates legal action. One of the most important reasons for hiring a Naples golf cart accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan is to file the right legal documents before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Although four years is plenty of time to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should file the correct documents as soon as you can after a golf cart accident.
Before the trial phase of a personal injury lawsuit begins, your Naples golf cart accident lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement with the other party’s legal counsel. The best opportunity to reach a favorable settlement is during the discovery phase of the civil lawsuit process. Discovery allows the attorneys representing both parties to examine the same evidence and interview the same witnesses. The objective is to find common ground that leads to a legal settlement. If your legal counsel cannot find common ground with the lawyer representing the other party, then the personal injury process moves on to the next phase.
Hearings and Pretrial Motions
The pretrial motions filed during the hearings held before the start of a civil trial can cover a wide variety of legal issues. Your personal injury lawyer might file a pretrial motion that compels the other party to hand over previously withheld physical evidence. Another common pretrial motion asks the judge hearing the case to resolve it in favor of the plaintiff. Called a motion for summary judgment, your Naples golf car accident lawyer files this type of motion to request immediate financial relief.
If the judge hearing your case cannot convince both parties to settle the case, then the trial phase of the litigation process starts. A civil trial attempts to answer two questions. First, is the defendant legally liable for causing the plaintiff’s injuries? If the answer is yes, then the second question determines the amount of monetary damages. Before the start of a civil trial, the Morgan & Morgan attorney assigned to your case explains what to expect and prepares you to answer the questions asked by the other party’s legal counsel.
If either party appeals the decision made by the judge hearing the case, both parties have another opportunity to reach a legal settlement.
What Are the Types of Monetary Damages?
The primary goal of the personal injury attorney representing you is to get you compensation for your injuries.
Special Compensatory Damages
Also called economic damages, special compensatory damages cover tangible expenses such as medical bills and the money required to repair property damage. Your medical expenses can run into thousands of dollars, which you need to recover in the form of special compensatory damages. Submitting the results of diagnostic tests, as well as the cost of treatments and physical therapy sessions, represents a substantial percentage of compensatory damages. You also might qualify for monetary damages that cover lost wages.
General Compensatory Damages
General compensatory damages do not come with a tangible price tag. Your Naples golf cart accident lawyer must calculate a value that covers mental anguish and emotional distress. Maybe the serious injuries you sustained have made you fearful of riding in a golf cart, which can negatively impact the quality of your life. Your personal injury lawyer calculates a reasonable value for general compensatory damages based on the value of special compensatory damages.
Judges have the power to levy punitive damages on defendants, especially for personal injury cases that include an intentional act of negligence. If you sustained injuries because of a defective golf cart and your attorney proves product liability, the judge hearing your case might award a substantial amount for punitive damages. The legal justification for awarding punitive damages in many cases is to deter the defendant from committing the same act of negligence again.
Take Action Today
If you were involved in a golf cart accident that caused one or more injuries, you have the right to recover the costs associated with your injuries. Working with one of the Naples golf accident lawyers from Morgan & Morgan can help you build a strong case for receiving just compensation.
Take action today by scheduling a free case evaluation with a Naples golf cart accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan.