Like car accidents, golf cart accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Golf carts are small utility task vehicles that golfers and golf course personnel use as a form of transport on a golf course.
Most golf carts seat 2-4 people, they are not seatbelt equipped, and they can reach moderate speeds. Golf carts are responsible for roughly 15,000 emergency room visits each year—some accidents turning fatal.
Many golf carts are modified beyond their stock capabilities, paving the way for much faster, and more dangerous carts, than those rolling off the production line. Teenagers and children account for roughly one-third of all golf cart accidents and injuries.
This high statistic is due in part to the fact that teens in several states are able to operate golf carts at 13 and 14 years of age. Below are a few scenarios in which many golf cart accidents occur:
- Loss of control of the golf cart, resulting in a rollover or collision with an object or person;
- Collision with another golf cart;
- Collision with a golfer or other pedestrian; and/or
- Collision with objects such as a tree, wall, pole, or water feature.
Any one of the above accidents can result in serious bodily injury. Injuries can range from contusions and cuts, to broken bones and head, back, and neck injuries.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Golf Cart Injury?
Golf cart injury liability can extend not only to the driver, but also to the manufacturer of the vehicle, and the golf course owner. If the driver was acting negligently or recklessly while operating the vehicle, they may be held liable. If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred, additional liability can result.
If the accident occurred as a result of faulty mechanical parts, or issues with the brakes or engine, the victim may be able to sue the manufacturer of the golf cart. If the golf course owner knew of the problem cart, and still allowed golfers to use it, they too, could be held liable.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for a Golf Cart Accident?
A victim of a golf cart accident may be able to sue for damages if there is a liable party. Compensatory damages may be awarded to a victim for medical costs and hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If the injury occurred as a result of a product defect or something similar, it may be possible to file a class action lawsuit if other people were similarly affected. A recall for the defective product may also be issued.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Assistance with a Golf Cart Accident Claim?
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident and know that it was due to negligent circumstances from another person and/or the course, then you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your best course of action, build your case, and represent your best interests in court.