The days when you would only find golf carts on golf courses are long gone. Golf carts enjoy increased popularity and are used by many to get around neighborhoods and communities. The convenient little vehicles are easy and fun to drive. However, there is also a darker side to the golf cart boom. Figures from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that older adults and children, in particular, face increased golf cart injury risks.
Getting hurt in a used golf cart accident can have devastating consequences for victims, who might end up with high medical and rehabilitation bills, wage losses, and other damages. Moreover, getting what you deserve when you’re hurt in a used golf cart accident can be tricky as the owner might not have adequate insurance. Having a seasoned lawyer by your side can be essential for recovering a fair settlement. Our experienced golf cart accident lawyers are ready to help. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Common Injuries in Golf Cart Accidents
According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, golf cart injuries are increasing. As used golf carts typically lack seatbelts and other essential safety features, even a minor accident can result in permanent or fatal injuries. There have been multiple reports of people getting thrown from golf carts and suffering considerable head injuries in recent years. Common golf cart accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Facial injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Road rash
- Broken knees
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over 150,000 individuals needed emergency treatment for golf cart injuries between 2007 and 2017.
Suffering a permanent injury can turn your entire life upside down and lead to astronomical medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. A seasoned lawyer could help you get a fair settlement so you can put your life back together.
Common Causes of Used Golf Cart Accidents
While some crashes are caused by reckless driving, the state of the golf cart itself can also contribute to accidents. Unlike new golf carts, used golf carts may have changed hands several times and potentially experienced years of use without inadequate maintenance. These older golf carts could have several significant defects, potentially making accidents more likely. Causes of used golf cart accidents can include:
- Defective brakes
- Overly worn wheels
- Broken steering
- Turning too sharply
- Cramming too many passengers on the golf cart
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Dangerous driving
- Failing to observe traffic signs and signals
- Failure to yield
- Underestimating the speed of traffic
There can be many other reasons for golf cart accidents. However, if you got hurt due to another’s negligence in maintaining a golf cart, or reckless driving, you could be entitled to damages.
Used Golf Carts May Be Unsafe on the Road
While state laws can vary, it is generally permitted to use golf carts on some low-speed roads. The vehicles may also lawfully cross some highways and county roads. However, in particular, used golf carts and older models often lack crucial safety features, such as:
- Side mirrors
- Signal lights
- Windshield wipers
While some newer golf carts can come with bells and whistles, including safety features, older models are generally very basic. However, despite their appearance and simplicity, golf carts are not toys. Drivers must take great care to avoid accidents when operating them on public roads and sidewalks.
Injured Individuals Could Recover Damages
Used golf cart accident cases can differ, and individuals can suffer various injuries. Therefore, there is no such thing as a standard settlement amount. However, you could be entitled to reimbursement for your damages, including but not limited to:
If another causes your accident, you are generally entitled to reimbursement for all your healthcare costs, such as treatments, rehabilitation, medical devices, and others.
If you have suffered a significant injury, you might not be able to return to your job for the foreseeable future. In this circumstance, you could seek damages for loss of income and future loss of income.
Pain and Anguish
If you got hurt in a used golf cart accident and suffered severe or disabling injuries, you could recover significant amounts for pain, emotional distress, loss of life enjoyment, and other damages.
Settlements for Common Golf Cart Injuries
Depending on the severity of your injury, damages could be considerable. For example, traumatic brain injury (TBI), a common head injury in golf cart accidents, could result in a settlement exceeding six figures. If you suffered broken bones in your accident, you could potentially receive a settlement amount of up to several hundred thousand dollars or more, particularly with multiple fractures or complicated bone breaks.
However, it is important to note that each case is unique. Our golf cart attorneys can analyze your claim and determine the value of your case based on your expenses and losses. Morgan & Morgan has helped injured victims receive settlements for decades. We recovered $15 billion in damages for our clients to date and could help you receive a fair payout too.
Who Is Liable for My Expenses?
If you experienced an injury due to a used golf cart, you could have several defendants in a lawsuit, such as:
The Person Owning the Golf Cart
If you got hurt while operating a used golf cart, the owner (whether a private person or a business) could be responsible for your damages.
A Dealership or Private Seller
If you were sold a defective, used golf cart and, as a consequence, experienced an accident, you could have a case against the company or person that sold the cart to you.
The Golf Cart Manufacturer
Some used golf carts may have manufacturing defects or defective parts that only show up after some years. If a used golf cart’s defect caused your injury, you could potentially sue the manufacturer or part manufacturer for damages.
If the driver of another vehicle caused your golf cart accident due to negligent conduct, you could hold them responsible for your damages.
In many cases, the golf cart owner could be held liable. However, it can be unclear who is responsible for your accident and losses. Therefore, seeking legal advice can be vital for determining your legal options when you or a loved one gets hurt.
How to Recover Damages for a Used Golf Cart Injury
Depending on your accident’s facts, you could have several avenues for recovering what you deserve. If you were hurt in a used golf cart owned by another, you could potentially hold the owner of the golf cart responsible. You may be able to file an insurance claim or file a lawsuit against the golf cart owner personally.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
A golf cart accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you move forward with a claim to recover damages for a used golf cart injury. We can:
Assess Your Options
During a free initial consultation, our legal team can assess your case and determine your best course of action, which could be filing an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover damages. Our attorneys can then move forward with the legal process.
Collect Evidence to Prove Your Case
Some evidence, such as traffic camera footage, is highly time-sensitive and should be immediately secured. Our dedicated lawyers can collect the relevant evidence, consult with professional investigators, and build a comprehensive case against the liable party.
Fight for Maximum Compensation
Our attorneys know how to fight for what you are owed, whether negotiating with an insurance company for a fair settlement or fighting vigorously in court. Morgan & Morgan knows that you need a settlement to rebuild your life after a serious injury. As America’s largest personal injury firm, we never settle for less. Our clients are like family, and we want to see them thrive and move on from a stressful and difficult time.
Why You Need a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer
Seeking legal advice can always be a good step with any accident injury. However, if you get significantly hurt, hiring a lawyer can be crucial for a positive outcome of your case.
Your Car Insurance Is Unlikely to Cover Expenses
In a motor vehicle accident, you could file a claim against your own insurance, even if another is at fault for the accident. In some states, motor vehicle accident victims can claim coverage from their personal injury protection insurance (PIP) or file a claim under uninsured motorist coverage. However, these options are generally unavailable when you experience an accident with a standard golf cart.
The Used Golf Cart Owner Could Be Uninsured
Owners of golf carts are not required, by law, to carry any insurance for their golf cart. This generally leaves victims without the option to file a claim. However, the owner may be covered under their homeowners’ insurance in some limited circumstances.
Since used golf cart accidents can involve complex legal issues, working with an experienced lawyer can be critical for financial recovery. Filing a lawsuit might be your only option for receiving what you deserve.