Golf Cart-Related Injuries
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Golf carts are slow-moving vehicles, but that does not mean that they cannot cause injuries. In fact, golf car accidents are more common than you might think, and they can result in severe and even life-threatening injuries. If you have been injured while riding or driving a golf cart, you may have a legal claim. Our team can help you understand your options.
Prevalence of Golf Cart Accidents
There are approximately 15,000 golf cart accidents in the United States every year that lead to a trip to the hospital. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that roughly 40 percent of all golf cart injuries occur because the vehicle flips, and nearly one-third of those injured are children. Interestingly, only half of all golf cart injuries occur on golf courses.
Golf carts are “open air” vehicles, which means they have no protection on most of the sides of the car. They also have no seat belts or another restraint mechanism in most models. It is easy for passengers to fly out of the cart, resulting in injuries. Rollovers are common because the vehicles can turn quickly, but are somewhat top heavy. Even uneven ground can cause a driver to lose control of the cart.
Golf cart injuries often result from several common scenarios, including:
- Collisions with other golf carts or objects
- Pedestrians being hit with golf carts
- Being thrown from a golf cart because of driver error
- Being hurt in a rollover accident due to driver recklessness or carelessness
- Injuries resulting from being hit by a car while operating a golf cart
Golf carts are often used a means to get to and from the golf course as well as to other destinations. Children commonly drive golf carts as a means of travel and entertainment as well. Use has also increased in recent years, according to the National Golf Cart Association, because of the increase in gas prices and number of retirees.
Insurance and Golf Cart Injuries
Your insurance policy may cover golf cart injuries. It is important to read policy language carefully to determine coverage. Motorcycle and ATV coverage may include injuries related to golf carts. Homeowners’ insurance may also cover golf carts, but there are often very specific limitations that apply.
When golf cart injuries occur on someone else’s property, their insurance may provide coverage as well. These situations can get complicated, so it is especially important to involve a personal injury attorney in those circumstances.
Common Golf Cart Injuries
Golf cart injuries vary significantly from relatively minor to extremely severe. The most common golf cart injuries include:
- Foot and leg injuries
- Strained neck or back
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries (particularly in rollover accidents)
Head and neck injuries are often the most serious damages that occur after a golf cart accident. They can result in long-term health problems and even death.
Liability for Golf Cart Accidents
Legal responsibility for golf car accidents will vary depending on the cause of the crash. For example, if the accident was due to driver error, then the driver may be liable for your injuries. If the golf cart malfunctioned, then liability may rest with the manufacturer of the cart or anyone that did maintenance work or repairs.
Your attorney will be able to help you determine who may be liable and whether you have a viable legal claim. Contact our firm today for more information.