Lake County Golf Cart Accident Lawyer
Oldham & Smith Defends Golf Cart Accidents in Florida
Golf carts and pedestrians often share the same sidewalk – an issue we do not face driving an automobile – which increases the chances for golf cart accidents involving pedestrians. Golf cart drivers also have to worry about the traffic of other golf cart drivers on very narrow driving paths or walkways. A golf cart accident or collision at just 20 miles per hour could still cause severe injuries to the parties involved.
According to Florida law, a golf cart is “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” While the legal definition of a golf cart is easy to understand, when it comes to golf cart accidents, it is not always so easy to understand who may be at fault.
Golf Cart Safety in Florida
Golf carts have become extremely popular outside of the golf course. Many Lake County residents use golf carts to navigate large university campuses, retirement communities, or ranch lands. While their versatility has increased, their build and safety standards have not. Golf carts are built with an open frame that allows them to be cost-efficient and affordable to just about anyone – unfortunately, our golf cart accident attorneys understand that this also means that they lack certain safety features available in a regular car.
Following is a list of 6 safety tips while driving golf carts:
- Tip #1- Drive slowly: It seems so simple, but it’s the most important safety tip that you can remember. If you want to avoid injury while driving a golf cart, then do not drive fast. A golf cart is road ready and can go up to 35 mph, but you don’t need to operate it at that level. This is especially true if you are driving the cart on slopes or hills. Go very slowly over slopes and hills, as the carts have a tendency to topple over at high speeds. Take it slow. Watch where you are going. Obey traffic laws at your course or on your vacation island.
- Tip#2- Know where to stop: If you are driving a cart on a course, make sure you stop the cart behind a golfer that is hitting. This avoids injury to you and the cart by flyaway balls. Don’t take off while someone is hitting a ball or setting up a shot to avoid startling them and creating a situation where a ball could fly away.
- Tip #3- Put on the brake: Many golf cart injuries and accidents happen when a driver forgets to put on the brake. When you stop, make sure you put the brake on. Also, watch out on the road so that you do not have to brake too quickly — sending you and/or your passengers flying from the open-air cart.
- Tip #4- Wear your seat belts: Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, strapping yourself in is a big part of vehicle safety. It may not seem like a lot of sense to buckle up in a golf cart since you will be exiting the vehicle frequently but accidents can happen at the most unpredictable times. Be smart and buckle up.
- Tip #5- Slow down when turning: One bad habit that is usually developed when driving cars is accelerating through turns. We don’t think much of it because we have a door to keep us inside of a vehicle, but it is best to slow down when turning. If your vision is inhibited because of the sharpness of the turn, or there is something blocking your view, slowing down can help you prepare for a sudden stop. It is always best to do this when driving a golf cart because you avoid the risk of throwing someone out of the vehicle.
- Tip #6- Don't drink while driving: This is a tip that shouldn’t need mentioning, but as long as people choose to drive while drinking, it needs to be said. At no time is it ever a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car while drinking. The odds are high that you will be unable to operate the vehicle responsibly, and this can lead to someone losing is or her life. It may seem safer to drive a golf cart while drinking, but it is no more safe than getting behind the wheel of a car. If you tip the golf cart, or reach a fast enough speed, someone could be seriously hurt.
Accidents can happen, and they can happen fast, so if you plan to use your golf cart often, it may be beneficial to purchase insurance to cover yourself should an accident occur. Contact us to learn more!
Who Is Responsible in a Golf Cart Accident?
Under the Florida motor vehicle law, golf carts are named as a dangerous instrument. Due to this statute, the owner is responsible for any bodily injuries or property damage that occurs while they or someone else that they gave permission to utilizes the golf cart. Many insurance agencies offer coverage for recreational vehicles. This coverage may fall under a person’s homeowner policy.
However, there may be limited liability. Therefore, golf cart owners should consider getting an additional policy to cover medical expenses and uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. The latter usually covers medical bills and lost wages that result from a crash as well as pain and suffering. If a golf cart owner is not insured to cover the asset or the persons utilizing the vehicle, they are subject to lawsuits due to bodily injury or personal property damage.
Golf carts are designed to operate at speeds of 20 mph or less. If a golf cart’s speed is modified, this can be considered unlawful. Golf cart injuries can result from passengers falling or jumping out of the golf cart, a golf cart overturning or a crash with another object or person(s) as well as many other possibilities.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a golf cart accident or have suffered from property damage that resulted from a golf cart accident, the law office of Oldham & Smith may be able to help. Oldham & Smith Attorneys at Law offer their clients a legal team that specializes in personal injury claims. The attorneys are experienced and aggressive in handling their client’s cases in a timely manner. Fill out Oldham & Smith’s contact form for a free consultation to assess your legal needs.
Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
We believe that it is important that you receive compensation for any injuries you sustain from a golf cart accident. Our team can help you receive what you are entitled to. We can help answer any questions you have about the financial burden you may be facing due to your injuries such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
We are experienced in golf cart accident cases involving:
- Collisions between two golf carts
- Overcrowding (too many passengers on a cart)
- Drunk driving
- Golf carts struck by cars while crossing roads
- Pedestrians, bicyclists, and golfers hit by carts
- Sharp turns and reversals
- Wet, slippery roads/environments
- Injuries to children
- Brain and spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death
- Passengers thrown from carts or pinned when carts tip over
- Distractions (such as eating, drinking, texting, or not paying attention to surroundings)
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