Golf Cart Accident Lawyers in Panama City1240 W 23rd St.,
Panama City, FL 32405
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Golf Cart Accident Lawyers in Panama City
Car accidents are, unfortunately, a fact of life for many drivers. The average driver will get into at least one accident in their lifetime. But while you may be prepared for a car accident, you likely aren’t prepared for a golf cart accident.
Golf carts are extremely common in Panama City. City regulations allow golf carts to be driven on specific streets in the neighborhoods of Sweetbay, Venetian Villa, Cove, and parts of Millvale.
These regulations are supposed to ensure that golf carts are used safely, but that isn’t always the case. And when you are injured by a reckless golf cart driver, you deserve compensation for those injuries.
While you probably know your rights if you are in a car accident, you likely don’t know your rights if you are injured by a golf cart. Golf cart accident lawyers in Panama City from Morgan & Morgan can help you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve after a golf cart accident injury. Contact us today if you’ve been injured in a golf cart accident, and we’ll schedule a free case evaluation for you.
Golf Cart Regulations
Golf carts are recognizable vehicles. But just because something looks like a golf cart, that doesn’t mean it counts as a golf cart per regulations. For something to be defined as a golf cart, it must meet the following standards:
- It must be a motor vehicle
- It must be designed for sporting purposes on a golf course
- It cannot be able to drive at a rate greater than 20 miles per hour
Any vehicle that meets all of these standards must abide by the Panama City golf cart regulations when driven in Panama City. Failure to follow these regulations can result in criminal penalties and will make the driver liable under civil law.
All Golf Cart Drivers Must Have a Valid Driver’s License
State law allows anyone who is 14 years old or older to operate a golf cart without a driver’s license. However, local ordinance overrules state law in this matter. The local ordinance requires that all operators of golf carts within the city limits must have a valid driver’s license.
If you are struck by a golf cart driven by someone without a valid driver’s license, that driver is liable for your injuries. However, when a person doesn’t have a driver’s license, they likely don’t have insurance either. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to cover the costs of that injury with your insurance.
Oftentimes, another party will be liable for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a golf cart. For example, if a golf course allowed an employee or a member to drive a golf cart without ensuring they were licensed, the golf course is liable for your injuries. Golf cart accident lawyers in Panama City will examine the details of the accident and determine who is liable for your injury costs and other expenses.
Golf Carts May Only Be Operated on Streets in Specific Neighborhoods
Unsurprisingly, a golf cart can be operated on a golf course. However, in some neighborhoods, it can also be operated on city streets. Outside of these neighborhoods, though, operating a golf cart on the street is a violation of Panama City regulations.
All Golf Carts Must Have Certain Safety Features
Since golf carts are designed primarily for recreational use at low speeds and in a controlled setting, most golf carts are missing safety features that are found on other vehicles.
For example, few golf carts are equipped with seatbelts or windshield wipers. Panama City, though, requires certain minimum safety features on all golf carts operated in city limits. These safety features are:
- Safe tires
- Working brakes
- Efficient steering system
- A rearview mirror
- Red reflectors on both the front and back of the vehicle
Anyone driving a golf cart without these safety features violates city regulations and creates a dangerous environment for others.
Only Golf Carts With Specific Features Can Operate at Night
All golf carts may be operated in designated areas from sunrise to sunset. However, only a subset of golf carts may be operated after sunset. For a golf cart to be allowed to operate at night, it must have the following features:
- Functioning headlights
- Brake lights
- Tail lights
- Turn signals
- A windshield
If you are struck by a golf cart that is being driven at night and doesn’t have all of these features, contact a golf cart accident attorney immediately. The lack of nighttime safety features represents negligent behavior on the part of the owner of the vehicle, and you will likely be eligible for greater damages.
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What Are Common Types of Golf Cart Accidents?
Golf carts are used on golf courses and city streets in Panama City, so there are several ways you can be injured by a golf cart within the city limits. Some of the most common ways you can get injured are:
- Being provided with a golf cart that lacks required safety features at a golf course
- Getting hit by a golf cart driver who is drunk
- Getting hit by a golf cart driver who is unlicensed
- Getting hit at night by a golf cart that doesn’t have proper lights
- Getting into an accident because a golf cart was illegally driven on the wrong street
Often, a golf cart accident will involve some violation of golf cart regulations. When this happens, you should contact golf cart accident lawyers in Panama City immediately.
How Can Golf Cart Accident Lawyers in Panama City Help You?
If you were injured in a car accident in Panama City, you would know exactly where the compensation for your injuries comes from. Typically, your insurance company would cover all damages, except in some specific cases where an at-fault party might be responsible for additional damages. But golf cart accidents are usually a lot more complicated than a standard two-car accident.
The first step a golf cart accident attorney will take is to determine who is responsible for providing compensation for your case. Typically, the owner of a golf cart is the liable party. Thus, if you were injured on a golf course, the golf course will probably be responsible for compensating you for your injury.
However, even that simple rule doesn’t always apply. For example, if the driver of the cart was drunk or intentionally violating the golf course rules, the driver might be liable rather than the golf course. Your attorney has the experience to investigate your accident to determine exactly what happened and why it happened.
Also, not all golf cart accidents in Panama City happen on golf courses. Because golf carts are permitted on some city roads, it isn’t uncommon for golf cart accidents to take place on city streets. When this happens, you may end up with a much more complicated situation. On a city street, for example, a golf cart accident might be between a golf cart and a traditional motor vehicle rather than between a golf cart and a pedestrian.
If you are involved in a golf cart accident on a city street, your attorney will usually investigate where the golf cart came from, what it was being used for, and whether all city regulations were being followed. There are a lot of potential variables that can affect liability and the compensation you are owed. Without an attorney, you would likely be caught unaware of at least one of those variables.
Once liability is determined, your attorney will begin negotiations with the responsible party (or the insurance company of that party). This process usually takes a few weeks, though it could only take days, depending on how much evidence is available. The goal of this negotiation is to get you fair compensation for your injuries promptly.
Is a Golf Cart a Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV)?
Panama City differentiates between golf carts and low-speed vehicles. An LSV is operated at higher speeds than a golf cart, and the regulations for an LSV are slightly different. If a golf cart has been modified to drive at speeds higher than 20 miles per hour, it is probably regulated under LSV laws.
I Rented an Unsafe Golf Cart and Was Injured. Who Is Liable?
If the company that rented you the golf cart presented it as a safe golf cart, then that company is liable for your injuries. When you rent equipment from a business, you should expect that it is safe to use. If another individual was injured because your golf cart was unsafe, the business that rented you the golf cart is also responsible for compensating that party for their injuries.
How Do I Know What Streets Are Designated for Golf Cart Use?
If a golf cart can legally be driven on a street, there should be signs indicating that. But that won’t always be the case. The best way to be certain whether golf carts may be legally driven on a street is by contacting Panama City and asking for a map of all streets designated for golf car usage.
Can I Get Compensation for Lost Work Hours Due to a Golf Cart Injury?
Yes, you can. If your injury prevents you from working, you are eligible for compensation for the lost wages. This compensation is in addition to any compensation you receive to pay for medical costs due to an injury.
Who Is Liable if a Golf Cart Accident Was Caused by a Mechanical Defect?
and any injuries resulting from it. At Morgan and Morgan, we have defective product liability attorneys who can help you determine whether the defect caused the accident. Between our golf cart accident attorneys and personal injury attorneys that focus on other parts of the law, we can always provide you with a lawyer that will best help with your case.
Golf Cart Accident Lawyers in Panama City Will Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries
Panama City is a beautiful Florida town where you can spend your days enjoying the sun, beaches, and nearby attractions. But beauty and enjoyment don’t protect you from golf cart accidents when someone else is negligent or reckless. When that happens, you need skilled attorneys who will protect your rights and help you get every dollar you deserve for your injuries. Contact Morgan & Morgan immediately if you’ve been injured in a golf cart accident to schedule a free case evaluation.