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Golf Cart Accident Lawyer in Tampa
There was a time when you would only see golf carts on golf courses. However, the little vehicles have become ubiquitous in Tampa neighborhoods and on roads in recent years. Despite seeming a fun and harmless way to get around, golf carts can cause accidents with severe injuries and even deaths. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, more than 18,000 golf cart-related injuries occur in the US annually.
Getting what you deserve can be tricky ff you got hurt in a golf cart accident in Tampa. Operators are not always insured, and your PIP insurance is unlikely to cover your damages. Working with an experienced golf cart accident lawyer in Tampa can be vital for recovering damages such as wage losses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine whether you have a case and could seek compensation.
Where Do Most Golf Cart Accidents Happen?
Golf cart accidents do not only happen on golf courses. Many Floridians now use golf carts to pick up their groceries at their nearest store, to drop off the kids at school, or to visit neighbors. Therefore, common places for golf cart accidents can include:
Housing communities often allow residents the use of golf carts to get around the neighborhood. In the city of Tampa, for example, Davis Islands is covered by a golf cart ordinance. The use of golf carts is also legal in Temple Terrace, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Golf cart accidents can be more common in housing communities that allow their use.
Since golf carts are still mostly used on golf courses, accidents can commonly occur here. Uneven terrain, reckless maneuvers, or distracted driving can all lead to golf course accidents.
Residents in small towns, where amenities and restaurants tend to be closer together, often prefer to use golf carts rather than cars for getting around.
It has become increasingly common to see golf carts on the road. Since cars tend to travel at a much higher speed, accidents between a golf cart and a motor vehicle can be dangerous for golf cart occupants.
Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
Just like car accidents, golf cart accidents can happen due to various causes, including driver error, bad roads, bad weather, and vehicle defects.
Lack of Safety Features
Golf carts were originally intended for golf courses only. Therefore, most standard golf carts lack the safety features expected in a motor vehicle, such as seatbelts, signal lights, headlights, and many others. Since golf carts are sometimes operated on public roads, the lack of necessary safety features can cause tragic accidents with injuries and even fatalities.
Defective Golf Carts
Golf carts, much like cars, should be adequately maintained and repaired. Accidents can happen due to a lack of maintenance or an inherent manufacturing defect.
Common causes of golf cart accidents involving driver negligence can include:
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Taking turns at high speed
- Overloading the golf cart
Poor Road and Weather Conditions
Much like cars, golf carts can be vulnerable to potholes and other defects in the road. Bad weather, such as heavy rain or fog, can also contribute to golf cart accidents.
Common Injuries in Golf Cart Accidents
Since accidents with golf carts can include rollovers, getting ejected from the vehicle, and colliding with motor vehicles, injuries can be severe. Some of the most common injuries in golf cart accidents claims include:
- Shoulder and neck injuries
- Lacerations, cuts, and scrapes
- Knee and leg injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Back injuries
A catastrophic injury can have devastating impacts on a victim’s home life and career and result in astronomical medical costs. In some cases, a golf cart accident can lead to the tragic loss of life. However, if another caused your injury or your loved one’s death, you deserve justice and compensation. Our seasoned Tampa golf cart accident lawyers can walk you through your options and could help you get the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Liability in Golf Cart Accidents
Liability can be tricky to determine in golf cart accidents, as responsibility can depend on several factors, including where the golf cart was operated, who owns the golf cart, and others. In many cases, a reckless or negligent driver can be responsible for injured victims’ injuries and expenses. However, the owner of the golf cart could also be responsible, for example, if they allowed an irresponsible person to operate the cart or failed to maintain and repair the vehicle.
In addition, the place where the golf cart accident happened can also play a role in determining liability. For example, if a dangerous condition on a golf course contributed to the accident, the property owner could be held accountable. Since determining liability can be challenging, injured victims should seek advice from an experienced golf cart accident lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible after their accident.
You Could Be Entitled to Compensation
If someone else caused your golf cart accident negligently, you could be entitled to compensation, such as:
- All medical expenses connected to your golf cart accident injuries
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages and future lost income
- Pain and anguish
- Household expenses
- Transportation costs
- Property damage
Depending on your specific golf cart accident case, you could recover different or additional damages.
Reasons for Hiring a Tampa Golf Cart Accident Attorney
If you experience an accident with a golf cart, learning about your legal rights is always a good next step. However, you should strongly consider working with an experienced golf cart accident attorney if:
- You or a loved one suffered significant injuries
- A loved one died in a golf cart accident
- You have high medical bills and other expenses
- Fault is contested in the accident
- The insurance company refused a settlement
- Your insurance claim is minimized or severely delayed
Handling a golf cart claim can be challenging as, unlike in a car accident, there may not be insurance cover, and your only way of getting justice could be filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
You do not have to deal with a potentially complicated golf cart accident lawsuit on your own. Let us determine your next best steps and legal options in a free case review. Our dedicated attorneys have helped many injured clients receive what they deserve and are ready to fight tooth and nail for fair compensation on your behalf. You don’t pay a dime unless we win.
Morgan & Morgan
Do I Have a Golf Cart Accident Case?
The most important question of all, perhaps, is: do I have a case? Unfortunately, simply getting injured does not mean you have a personal injury case. To have a case, you generally must prove:
- Another party negligently or deliberately caused your golf cart accident
- The negligence or wrongdoing of the responsible party caused your injury
- You have incurred damages as a result.
Depending on the circumstances of your golf cart accident, proving negligence can be complicated. Therefore, it can be advantageous to talk your case through with our experienced golf cart accident lawyers to determine your legal options and next best steps.
Who Is Responsible for a Golf Cart Accident?
Just like in car accidents, it is essential to determine who caused the accident so that they can be held accountable for your damages. Golf cart drivers are responsible for observing traffic laws if on public roads. Therefore, drivers could be liable for an accident if they engaged in dangerous or negligent driving behaviors such as:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Ignoring traffic signals or signs
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
However, there could be other liable parties in your accident, such as a golf cart owner or manufacturer. If another is responsible for your golf cart accident, you could hold them legally responsible and receive compensation.
What Should I Do After a Golf Cart Accident?
If you or a loved one got hurt in a golf cart accident in Tampa, knowing what to do is essential for protecting your health and legal rights. Your first step should be seeking medical help immediately after the accident to ensure that any conditions are diagnosed and treated promptly. Your next best steps at the accident scene can include:
- Dial 911, especially if there are injured individuals
- Take photographs or videos of the accident scene
- Gather contact information of other drivers and witnesses
In the days following a golf cart accident, make sure to collect proof of your damages, such as medical reports and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Importantly, if you suffered any injuries, consider contacting our golf cart accident attorneys for advice and help, as you could be entitled to compensation.
What Is My Golf Cart Accident Case Worth?
All golf cart accidents are unique. Since injuries and accident circumstances can vary greatly, there is no average settlement amount in golf cart accident cases. However, speaking to a seasoned attorney can help with understanding what you are entitled to in your specific case.
Generally, golf cart accident victims could qualify for economic and non-economic damages, depending on their accident. Economic Damages can include:
- Healthcare expenses
- Loss of income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
If you suffered considerable injuries in a golf cart accident, you could be entitled to so-called non-economic damages in addition to economic damages, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of life quality
The size of the settlement you could receive will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical bills, and others.
How Long Do I Have for Filing a Golf Cart Accident Lawsuit in Tampa?
According to the Florida Statute of Limitations 95.11, you generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages after a golf cart accident. Filing within the deadline is crucially important as your case could be dismissed otherwise, potentially leaving you unable to receive compensation.
Who Pays for My Legal Fees?
Golf cart accident lawyers usually work on contingency, which means that they only get paid if and when they win the case, and you receive compensation. The attorney’s fees are typically a percentage of the final recovery amount. A contingency agreement can be advantageous for clients as they incur no financial risks and can simply walk away if they lose the case without owing any attorney’s fees. However, not all lawyers work on contingency, and some charge hourly fees or retainers.
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand the emotional, physical, and financial challenges injured individuals face. Therefore, you do not pay a dime out of your own pocket when we take your case. We only get paid if and when you get paid.
Contact Us Now for Help
Injuries from a golf cart accident can impact your career and home life for years to come. If someone else is responsible, Morgan & Morgan could help you fight for the compensation you need to rebuild your life. We can:
- Ensure you receive the medical care you need
- Investigate your accident comprehensively
- Gather evidence supporting your case
- Determine your expenses and future expected damages
- Interview witnesses
- Handle the insurance company
- File a lawsuit and fight for you in court, if necessary
The time after a golf cart crash can be painful and stressful for injured victims. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what your next best steps are. However, you are not alone. Morgan & Morgan can be your shoulder to lean on and help you navigate the legal system.
Our compassionate and motivated golf cart accident lawyers in Tampa are ready to work for you and fight for what you deserve. Contact us now to find out if we could help you get justice and compensation.