The Villages Golf Cart Accident Lawyer
Street-legal golf carts are a common sight on the streets in The Villages and in many Florida communities. Florida law allows for golf carts to be operated on public roads and streets with county or municipality approval, as long as they obey speed limits of 35 mph or less. Because of these allowances, the use of golf carts as daily transportation is popular with residents and tourists alike. When golf carts, passenger vehicles, and commercial vehicles share the streets, however, accidents can and do occur and people are often injured as a result.
Glover Law Firm represents people who have been hurt in golf cart accidents in The Villages and the surrounding areas. If you were adhering to applicable laws and were hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, you could be owed significant financial compensation. Our team has the experience, skill, and resources necessary to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, and we’ll make sure that justice is served. Call (352) 205-4495 or fill out an online contact form to have a Villages golf cart accident lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free consultation.
Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
Golf carts can be deceptively dangerous. Though designed for low speeds on grassy surfaces, their limits are often pushed. When used at their top speeds, golf carts are subject to rollovers and serious collisions. Though not as heavy as a full-sized car, golf carts can trap victims under their weight in rollover incidents. Some of the most common kinds of golf cart accidents include:
- Single-cart accidents
- Multi-cart pileups
- Crashes between cars and golf carts
- Striking a pedestrian
The causes of such accidents may be familiar to any motor vehicle driver: drunk driving, hazardous weather conditions, low visibility and distracted driving. Virtually any cause for a motor vehicle accident can also lead to a golf cart wreck. Though golf carts cannot travel as quickly as a full-sized car and do not weigh as much, they can still cause serious injury and in some cases, death.
Damages for Victims of Golf Cart Accidents
Victims of golf cart accidents may be entitled to compensation. If their accident was caused by another person’s negligence, they may pursue legal action against the person responsible with the help of a Villages golf cart accident attorney. Settlements for golf cart accident victims frequently include compensation for the following:
- Medical bills: This is not limited to the healthcare received immediately after a golf cart accident. Indeed, the settlement can be applied to ongoing costs of treatment.
- Lost wages: In many cases, injured golf cart accident victims need time off work to recuperate from their injuries. The income they lose out on by missing work can be included in compensation.
- Pain and suffering: Money cannot undo the pain endured by the victim, but it can ensure the easiest and quickest recovery process possible.
- Punitive damages: In cases where the person responsible for the wreck was behaving especially recklessly, a judge may choose to award the victim punitive damages to deter the golf cart driver from ever acting negligently again.
The Responsibilities of Golf Cart Operators
Even on streets where golf cart operation is legal, the operator of the cart is still required to follow all applicable traffic laws. Florida state law imposes a 35 mph or less speed limit on all golf carts, for example. Many tourists and others who are unfamiliar with the area often are unaware that they need to follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. An operator of a golf cart who behaves negligently could be held liable for any accidents and injuries they cause.
If a golf cart collides with a car or truck on the street, the operator could be held liable for damages. If a golf cart operator is speeding, driving a cart without a windshield, or does not have lights on after dark and they strike a pedestrian, for example, the pedestrian could sue for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the crash.
The Responsibilities of Other Drivers
All drivers have a responsibility to share the road with other vehicles and drive safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, many accidents are caused by driver negligence. When motorists fail to see golf carts operating legally on city streets, or if the driver was distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly, a severe injury accident could occur.
Drivers in The Villages have a responsibility to be aware of golf carts and to make sure to allow for plenty of following distance, pass carts with caution, and yield the right-of-way according to the law. When they fail to do so and they collide with a golf cart, the occupants of the golf cart are the ones at the greatest risk of severe and possibly fatal injuries.
The sheer size and weight difference between carts and passenger vehicles make these collisions especially dangerous. This is even more pronounced because carts lack many safety features like seatbelts, airbags, automatic braking systems, and an enclosed cabin. If a golf cart operator or a passenger is hurt in a collision with a car or truck, they could be owed compensation from the liable party.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries
A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there were an estimated 147,696 nonfatal golf cart-related injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States from 1990 to 2006. The number of golf cart-related injuries increased 132.3 percent over the 17-year study period. The same 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the most common type of injury suffered in golf cart accidents was soft tissue damage.
The study reported 1,553 soft tissue injuries, 798 fractures, 494 lacerations or amputations, 217 internal organ injuries, 86 concussions, and 264 injuries classified as other. The leg was the body part most frequently injured with 1,226 cases, followed by 856 head or neck injuries, 715 arm injuries, and 539 truck injuries.
Some of the other types of injuries that victims may suffer in these cases may include, but are not limited to:
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries
- Muscle strains
Victims who have suffered these types of injuries in golf cart accidents could be entitled to compensation for all of their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some cases may even result in fatal injuries, and families of such victims may be able to file wrongful death actions.
Under Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), a person has four years to file a legal action founded on negligence. Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(d), however, places a statute of limitations of only two years on wrongful death actions.
These time limits are important because they can impact your ability to recover compensation from a negligent party. For this reason, you should immediately seek legal representation when you or your loved one suffers any kind of injuries in a golf car accident.
Negligent parties will frequently deny liability in these types of cases, and many will even accuse victims of having been at fault for their own injuries. You deserve to have somebody standing up to protect your rights.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will be to conduct an independent investigation of your accident to determine the actual cause of your accident and fight to hold every single liable party accountable. Some cases can involve extraordinarily complex examinations of golf carts in order to determine what parts might have malfunctioned.
Contact a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Serving The Villages
If you or your loved one were hurt in a golf cart accident in The Villages, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. You will want to contact the Glover Law Firm.
Golf cart accidents can quickly become complicated cases that are difficult for the average person to handle on their own. Some victims may be contacted by insurance companies representing the negligent parties in these cases, and you should always refuse to speak to any insurer until you have legal representation.
No matter how friendly or genuinely concerned a representative might seem, all insurance companies are hoping that victims will unknowingly make statements about their accidents that ultimately damage their personal injury claims. When an insurer gets a victim to admit to any degree of personal negligence causing or contributing to an accident, it can make it much more difficult to obtain compensation.
Glover Law Firm can handle all conversations with insurance companies on your behalf so you do not have to worry about anything you say. We will immediately begin negotiating for a fair and full settlement, and our firm will file a lawsuit when an insurer does not make a satisfactory offer.
Glover Law Firm will fight to make sure that you recover every dollar of compensation that you need and deserve. You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (352) 205-4495 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.