Golf cart accidents are a special category of vehicle accidents, but in many ways, they’re just like other traffic accidents. Most golf carts can reach speeds of 15 to 25 miles an hour, which is certainly fast enough for a severe crash with serious injuries.
Many golf carts are street legal in California. This puts them in the paths of other larger vehicles that crush them in collisions. When a car or truck smashes into a golf cart, the golf cart usually gets the worst of it.
A children’s hospital golf cart safety study found that over a decade, more than 150,000 golf cart injuries were serious enough to send people to emergency rooms. During the same period, there were “no meaningful changes” in golf cart design or legislation to limit the risk of severe bodily injuries.
Golf cart accident cases are particularly complicated when numerous parties are involved. As an injured victim, you might be dealing with another driver, a golf cart owner, a rental/leasing company, a golf course, a private club, a city agency, an insurance company, or even the golf cart manufacturer that produced a dangerous machine.
After your golf cart accident, you’ll need the experienced California accident team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to help you sort through the legal issues and pursue the compensation you deserve. We can help you find ways to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Having a golf cart accident lawyer helps you demand the maximum possible value of your claim under the law. You’ll probably never need to go to court if we can arrange a settlement that covers your losses and satisfies the other side. To learn more about your golf cart accident, request a free case evaluation and take a look at the information below.Get Started With A FREE CASE EVALUATION
Some golf cart accidents look a lot like other traffic accidents, but others are fairly unique to golf carts. For example, 40% of all golf cart accidents involve passengers falling out of the golf cart and hitting the ground. By contrast, it’s relatively rare for someone to suddenly fall out of a moving car!
Just like anyone else on the road, a golf cart operator could be drunk, distracted, drowsy, or reckless. Another vehicle could zoom up and set off an accident, or a passing pedestrian could do something to cause the golf cart to crash. All it takes is one dangerous moment and an accident can happen.
Common causes of golf cart accidents include:
Golf carts and other vehicles can also experience preventable equipment failures that put people at risk. When a golf cart or another vehicle on the road isn’t maintained properly, a sudden mechanical malfunction can set off a crash.
Some golf carts are manufactured with dangerous and defective parts that almost make them accidents waiting to happen. Despite issuing safety warnings about a rise in golf cart injuries since 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission still routinely publicizes new recalls and alerts about hazardous golf carts that cause severe injuries and deaths.
People injured in golf cart accidents can seek compensation from the liable party for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. However, your compensation isn’t automatic and you’ll need to take certain steps to secure coverage for your losses. Below are the steps to take after a golf cart accident that will help preserve your path to successful accident compensation.
Save All Medical Records and Bills
One of the most important aspects of a golf cart accident claim is establishing your injuries and medical treatment. There’s a false stereotype that golf cart accidents aren’t as serious as car accidents, so you’ll need plenty of evidence to show otherwise.
Seek emergency medical treatment and/or see a doctor immediately after you’re injured. Save your medical documentation and take photos of your injuries before and after treatment to show their severity.
Follow your doctor’s orders after the golf cart accident and give yourself the best possible opportunity for a full recovery. Keep a journal that describes the impact of your injuries on your life, which could serve as important evidence of your pain and suffering.
Make a Police Report
Contacting the authorities about creating a police report should be a top priority after your golf cart accident. It’s an important step that prevents anyone from alleging that the accident didn’t happen or didn’t take place where or when it actually occurred.
Request a copy of the police report and continue to gather golf cart accident evidence that helps support your case and fill in the details. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including damage to the golf cart, path/road markings, and anything else that seems relevant.
Minimize What You Say
It might be tempting to talk about your golf cart accident and tell your family and friends about what happened. Resist the urge to give others these details. Even in innocent conversation, you or they could accidentally say something that ultimately harms your case.
Limit your statements to the police and insurance company, and don’t discuss your accident on social media. Don’t allow anyone to take a recording of your conversation without your permission, which is your right under California law.
Golf cart accident injuries range from mild cuts and scrapes to severe brain injuries and limb loss. Golf carts typically have no seat belts or body-protecting safety features, so injured victims may have surprisingly serious injuries.
Have you ever seen people riding on a golf cart with their arms, legs, or heads hanging out from the sides of the cart? It might seem like a fun way to travel, but this dangerous behavior becomes life-threatening during a golf cart crash.
Some of the most common injuries from golf cart accidents include:
A golf cart safety study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that severe golf cart injuries are much more common in children than adults. For example, brain injuries are three times more likely in children than in adults.
California uses the comparative fault rule for traffic accidents, including golf cart accidents. This means legal liability will be compared and divided according to each person’s responsibility for what happened.
Don’t worry too much if you hold some blame for your golf cart accident. According to California’s comparative fault law, this means your compensation will simply be reduced according to your share of the responsibility. Shared fault is common, especially in golf cart accidents that involve multiple parties.
You could also be shielded from blame completely under California’s emergency doctrine, which releases people from liability when confronted by a danger they didn’t create. For example, if a speeding car caused you to ram your golf cart into other golf carts, you might be blameless for the entire accident. Your lawyer can advise you on whether the emergency doctrine applies to your case.
Your golf cart accident case could involve many factors, including:
You might be surprised to discover that your golf cart accident involves other parties you haven’t even considered. A vehicle that hits you could be part of a commercial trucking company, a delivery company, or Uber. Your accident may have happened on private or government property. Your lawyer can help you sort through all of these confusing legal issues.
An insurance adjuster associated with the golf cart owner, golf course owner, or another party may contact you soon after your accident. They will likely be looking to wrap up your case as quickly as possible at minimal cost to them.
Beware of taking a fast settlement or signing anything before you talk to a lawyer. This could end your chances of securing the full and fair compensation you truly deserve. Below, we’ll explain more about the potential ways to gain monetary compensation from insurance after a golf cart crash.
Talk to your golf car accident lawyer about how to find the best possible options for covering your losses from the accident. In golf cart accident cases, it’s common to explore numerous potential routes to securing compensation from insurance.
Possible sources of compensation include:
In terms of homeowner’s insurance, golf cart accidents are often covered when an accident happens on the insured property listed in the homeowner’s insurance policy. This means if your accident happened on a friend’s property and they have homeowner’s insurance that covers golf cart accidents, you likely have a solid path to compensation. However, this may not be the case if the accident happens on a property without homeowner’s insurance that covers golf cart accidents.
Auto insurance is less likely to cover golf cart accidents unless the golf cart is specifically named as an insured vehicle on the policy. This is a good reason to add your golf cart to your insurance and encourage your friends to do the same if they have golf carts. Then, if anyone in your group ever has a golf cart accident, it’s more likely to be covered.
Golf cart insurance is a type of specialty insurance that’s becoming increasingly common. This is especially true among people who frequently go golfing, have meals at golf clubs, drive golf carts around retirement communities, use golf carts for farming/gardening work, and enjoy their golf carts as a mode of leisure-related transportation around their neighborhoods. When golf cart insurance is involved, there’s an excellent chance that many types of losses will be covered.
Golf cart insurance usually covers at least some level of:
Keep in mind that any vehicle considered a low-speed vehicle (LSV) instead of a golf cart requires registration in California and should be covered by insurance. Certain cities also require registration and insurance for golf carts and/or LSVs. For example, the city of Malibu requires registration, insurance, and a driver’s license for LSVs but not necessarily for golf carts.
Under California’s statute of limitations, there’s a firm deadline for filing golf cart accident claims. The limit is typically two years from the date of the golf cart accident.
Your deadline could be much shorter if your situation involves a city, county, or state agency like a public golf course or a city park. Generally, the deadline for government claims is just six months from the date of the accident.
Accident victims with a lawyer receive an average of 3.5 times more than those who are unrepresented.
After an emergency vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including collisions involving emergency vehicles in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and more. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.
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Why risk sabotaging your California golf cart accident claim by trying to handle it alone? Get your no cost, risk-free case evaluation. And get peace of mind.
If at any time within the first 30 days of signing with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers you are not 100% satisfied with the quality and care of service you receive from our attorneys, we will cancel your contract at no cost so that you can seek different representation. No questions asked.
Despite your best efforts to drive safely, car accidents happen. When a crash does occur, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights under California law. If you've suffered major injuries from your San Francisco emergency vehicle accident, you really should be looking to hire lawyer, but if you need more time to make this decision, here is our list of what you can do to help build the strongest car accident claim possible.
Get Medical Care ASAP | If you sustained serious injuries, chances are high that you were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General. If not, going to the ER to report your injuries and get them treated is the very first step to building a solid car accident claim. If your injuries weren’t that serious, you should still see a qualified medical professional and follow their instructions on what to do for the best physical recovery.
Gather Evidence | If you don’t have a golf cart accident lawyer yet, you’ll have to do some of the investigative legwork in your case yourself. Ideally, you (or someone) took photos of all vehicles involved and the scene of the accident just after the accident. Also, it’s important to get insurance information from the other driver and any eyewitness contact info. Once you are home from the hospital, you probably want to reach out to witnesses to make sure you have a solid case for fault against the other motorist. Make sure you get a copy of the traffic collision report. Also, take pics of any visible injuries or scarring you may have as a result of the wreck.
Avoid Talking to the Insurance Adjusters | They will try to get your private information [like your Social Security Number] and use your statements to discount any settlement offer they make. It’s much less stressful and way more fun to say “Call my lawyer!” instead of answering endless questions.
Don’t Use Social Media to Announce Your Golf Cart Accident | Avoid this at all costs! Social media posting may seem harmless, but it can provide the other side with more information they can use to minimize your claim’s value. Even the most benign posts can be twisted into a negative for your case.
Let a California Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Take the Wheel | Allowing an experienced SF auto accident attorney handle your case will not only increase the money in your pocket, but it will reduce the stress in your life. Speak with one of the SF golf cart accident professionals at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today.
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Sally did an amazing job settling my personal injury automobile accident case. I was stopped on the freeway and rear-ended by a texting man in a big truck (don’t text and drive). Aside from the wonderful and unexpected settlement, the best part was that instead of dealing with the slimy insurance settlement case worker (who wanted to show up at my work to verify my injury), I dealt with Sally and her knowledgeable and kind staff. It gave me peace of mind to be able to deal with someone with so much integrity who had my interests in mind."
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We only do serious traffic accidents. We limit our practice strictly to major injuries resulting from car, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian, semi-truck, delivery driver, rideshare, and emergency vehicle accidents. This allows the team to focus on developments in a single area of law and develop an unmatched level of expertise.
We don’t take every case. We don’t accept “nuisance claims” from potential clients who are motivated purely by financial gain or revenge. Our clients are people whose lives have been significantly disrupted by their injuries.
We are the perfect lawyers for people who don’t want one. Our clients tend to be people who didn’t want a lawyer or at least never thought they would need to hire one. But, the severity of their accident gave them no choice. We won’t litigate unnecessarily or drag you to a trial you never wanted. We aren’t doing this for our own egos, we are doing this for you! If you’re going to be stuck with a personal injury lawyer, it may as well be us.
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We collaborate with you when big decisions need to be made. It’s your case. We will check with you on important decisions like settlement offers, filing a lawsuit or going to trial.
We increase your “net settlement” value. Not only will we work to get you the highest settlement possible, but we will also negotiate with your healthcare providers to reduce their charges, so you end up with more of your settlement money.
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After an accident in a golf cart, contact us to start the road to recovery and secure compensation for your injuries.
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is an all female team of customer-focused, five-star California personal injury attorneys who exclusively handle traffic accident settlement negotiation. They have California offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland.