Even if you’re not a golfer, there’s a good chance you’ve ridden in a golf cart at one time or another. These small, convenient vehicles are commonly used around hotels, airports and college campuses. However, few people realize how dangerous they can be - according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 15,000 golf cart related injuries occur each year in the U.S.
Free Golf Cart Accident Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a golf cart, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the Problem?
Even though golf carts are used as a substitute for cars in many settings and can reach speeds of up to 40 MPH, they are not intended for use on roads or required to have the same rigorous safety standards as other vehicles. In fact, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) do not even require golf carts to have seat belts. These lax requirements have resulted in many golf carts being built with low safety standards.
How Do Golf Cart Accidents Occur?
In cases where the vehicle’s design or maintenance may be to blame, golf cart accidents can be caused by:
- Tip-overs - Because of their light weight and small tires, golf carts can tip over easily. Additionally, they are often used off-road or on uneven terrain that can cause them to become unbalanced.
- No restraints - Most golf carts do not come equipped with seat belts or restraints. This increases the risk that the driver or passengers may fall out, the most common cause of injury and death in golf cart accidents.
- Open sides - Golf carts are designed without doors so they are easy to get in and out of. However, this feature also allows for occupants to be thrown from the vehicle.
- Lack of maintenance - Many companies who own and operate golf carts do not have a vehicle maintenance system in place. As a result, crucial parts such as brakes, seats and engines may become worn out and contribute to accidents.
In cases where the driver is at fault, golf cart accidents may result from:
- Reckless driving / joyriding
- Underestimating the cart’s power / abilities
- Inattentiveness, distraction or negligence
- Uneven ground (potholes, hills or rocks)
- Drinking and driving
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Golf Cart Injury Statistics
Golf cart accidents typically cause soft tissue injuries; however, severe accidents can be fatal. Between 2001 and 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported at least 33 fatalities involving carts on golf courses alone. Other injuries associated with golf cart accidents include:
- Cuts, lacerations and bruises
- Fractured / broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Subdural hemorrhage
What to do if you’ve been injured in a Golf Cart Accident
- Seek medical treatment - Golf cart accidents can cause severe injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
- Take pictures - Use your smartphone to document photographic evidence of the accident scene and any bodily injuries.
- DO NOT speak with an insurance adjuster - Never discuss the details of an accident with an insurance adjuster, as they may record your conversations and use the information against you.
- Seek legal counsel - Contact the Golf Cart Accident Lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, to determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
What is the Statute of Limitations (SOL) for Suing the Owner or Driver of a Golf Cart?
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state; however, the general SOL for an injury resulting from the operation of a golf cart is four years from the date of the accident. This means that your lawsuit against the owner and/or driver of the vehicle must be filed in the correct court within four years of the accident, or else your claim may be forever barred.
Do I Have a Golf Cart Accident Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury & Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Golf Cart Accident Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new golf cart injury cases in all 50 states.
Free Golf Cart Accident Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was involved in a golf cart crash, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Golf Cart Injury Suit and we can help.