When you think of serious motor vehicle accidents, golf carts might not be at the top of your list. But golf cart accidents happen more often than you might think. A study that looked at the prevalence of golf cart-related injuries found that from the 90s to the early 2000s, an estimated 147,696 injuries occurred, with 7.8% requiring hospitalization.
Golf carts can be especially dangerous when driven at high speeds while making turns, as they are prone to rolling and flipping over. Unfortunately, when golf carts flip or roll over, it increases the chances of those involved in the accident sustaining serious and even life-threatening injuries.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a golf cart accident, you’ll need an experienced golf cart accident lawyer to help you win your case. Filing a claim and recovering compensation for a golf cart accident can be challenging, but our team of California golf cart accident lawyers at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers has handled many cases like this and can help you win the settlement you deserve.
How Do Golf Cart Accidents Happen?
Despite the name, golf carts are not only driven on golf courses. You can find people driving golf carts at resorts, in vacation and senior living communities, in townhome complexes, and on job sites. Golf cart use is especially common in areas where the weather is sunnier and nicer year round — which it tends to be in California.
As for how golf cart accidents happen, there can be many reasons. However, the issue almost always comes down to negligence, and if a negligent party is at fault for a golf cart accident, you can file a claim against them to recover compensation for the damages suffered.
Some of the most common reasons golf cart accidents occur include:
- Speeding and taking turns too quickly, leading to rollovers
- People trying to race their golf carts
- Leaving the brakes unlocked after parking a golf cart
- Driving a golf cart while distracted
- Driving a golf cart while drinking alcohol or while drunk
- Too many people riding in one golf cart
- Driving too fast downhill and struggling to brake
- Lack of golf cart maintenance leading to mechanical issues
- Colliding with another object or golf cart
- Passengers falling or jumping from golf carts while they are still moving
- People getting struck or run over by golf carts
Most Common Golf Cart Injuries
Golf cart accidents, like car accidents, can range from a minor fender bender to a severe accident that can put a person’s life at risk. The specific injuries that occur can vary greatly and will depend on how exactly the golf cart accident happened. However, some of the most common injuries that tend to get reported for golf cart accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Hip injuries
- Leg and foot injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lacerations and bruising
The Dangers of Golf Cart Accidents
As mentioned previously, one of the biggest concerns with golf carts is rollover accidents. Golf carts do not have a very balanced center of gravity and the balance in a golf cart can be easily thrown off if the weight is not evenly distributed. For example, if people are sitting only on one side of the golf cart, the cart will be more likely to tip in that direction when making sharp turns at higher speeds. When a golf cart tips or rolls over, there is nothing to protect the passengers from being injured as there are no doors or seatbelts, which can easily lead to golf cart fatalities.
Because of the lack of seat belts in golf carts, it is also common for people to fall out of or be ejected from golf carts. When making a fast turn, for example, this can easily lead to passengers being thrown from the golf cart, which can lead to serious injuries, especially if they fall and hit their heads.
Recovering Compensation From a Golf Cart Injury Lawsuit
In California, golf cart accident victims have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for their injuries and other potential damages. When you file a claim, however, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that proves that someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injuries if you want to win your case. This means that, at the time of the accident, it is helpful if an official incident and/or police report is filed to back up your claim. You should also take photos of the golf cart accident to show what happened.
In addition to gathering evidence, you must retain copies of all medical documents related to the treatment of your golf cart accident injuries. Beyond gathering evidence, make sure you consult a lawyer as well. A lawyer will be able to help you build a strong case and can handle communications and negotiations with the other parties involved to ensure the best possible outcome.
Some of the damages you could potentially recover compensation for after a golf cart accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy or rehab costs
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent impairment or disability
If the golf cart accident leads to death, the family of the deceased can file a claim to recover wrongful death benefits. This can provide compensation for burial and funeral expenses, medical treatments provided before the victim died, compensation for loss of income support, loss of child care support, and more. To fully understand what damages you can expect to be compensated for after a golf cart accident, get in touch with a lawyer to review your case.
We Handle Your Golf Cart Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
If you are injured in a California golf cart accident, our legal team can evaluate your case and help guide you through the process to ensure you recover the settlement you deserve.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our golf cart accident lawyers fight hard to ensure our clients get the fair compensation they deserve to help pay for their damages. For help with your golf cart accident claim, call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.