In Florida, it feels like golf carts are almost as prevalent as cars. You can spot them on the golf course, in neighborhoods and apartment complexes, even at theme parks. Their small and light-weight design makes them ideal for quick jaunts across large, open spaces.
Unfortunately, some drivers don’t consider these motorized recreation vehicles to be as dangerous as large automobiles. That simply isn’t true. Negligent drivers can pose a significant safety risk to their passengers, other golf cart drivers, and pedestrians. The average golf cart weighs around 1,000 pounds, while the typical passenger vehicle is 4,000 pounds. When these two tangle, serious injuries and even death can be the tragic result.
If you have been seriously injured, or someone you love was killed as a result of a golf cart accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. You need to talk to a golf cart accident lawyer at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience helping Florida residents seek the compensation they deserve.
Why Choose Holliday Karatinos Law Firm for Your Golf Cart Accident Case?
Often, victims in golf cart crashes don’t realize that they have legal rights and may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If negligence contributed to your golf cart accident, talk to the skilled Florida personal injury lawyers with Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. With offices located in Lutz and Brooksville, Florida, our Spring Hill lawyers are dedicated Florida courtroom advocates for injured people. We are familiar with Florida laws that apply to these types of cases. We can be your adovcate in settlement negotiations or in the courtroom. If you have been hurt in an accident in North Tampa, Lutz, or Hernando County, Florida, our firm can help.
For more information on how we may be able to help you recover financially from a serious golf cart accident, call us today or contact us online. Learn more about your rights and talk to a seasoned Florida injury lawyer with Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents?
Golf carts are typically used as a relaxed and convenient means of travel. From the golf course to residential neighborhoods, golf carts are a popular type of transportation vehicle in Florida. Golf carts are smaller and lighter than their motorized cousin, the car, but drivers of golf carts often engage in the same types of behaviors that cause significant car collisions.
Some of the most common causes of golf cart accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Sharp turns
- Overloaded carts
- Improperly loaded carts
- Mechanical defects
Golf cart drivers and passengers are also subject to injuries from rollover accidents. Golf carts can tip over, leading to injuries when taking sharp turns, going up or down steep slopes, or due to uneven terrain. Accidents can also happen when golf carts collide with other carts, objects, or pedestrians.
Golf Cart Vehicle Collisions
Passenger vehicles can collide with golf carts , especially on neighborhood streets. These types of incidents may involve:
- Intersection Collisions: At intersections or driveways, golf carts may collide with cars, trucks, or other vehicles if both parties don't yield the right of way or fail to notice each other.
- Rear-End Collisions: Motor vehicles may strike golf carts from behind when they suddenly stop or slow down.
- Side-impact Collisions: These accidents can happen when a golf cart attempts to cross a road or intersection and is struck on the side by an oncoming vehicle.
- Parking Lot Accidents: In areas with mixed vehicle and golf cart traffic, parking lot collisions can occur, often when drivers of larger vehicles don't see the golf cart.
- Driveway Accidents: When golf carts cross or share driveways with motor vehicles, there's a risk of accidents if both parties are not vigilant.
Safely Sharing the Road With Golf Carts
Motorists in Florida have specific responsibilities when sharing the road with golf carts to ensure safety. It's important for drivers to be aware of local traffic laws and regulations, as they may vary by jurisdiction. Motorist responsibilities include:
- Yielding the Right of Way: Motorists must yield the right of way to golf carts at all times. Golf carts are considered vulnerable road users.
- Safe Passing: When passing a golf cart, motorists should do so at a safe distance and at a reduced speed.
- Obeying Speed Limits: Motorists should adhere to posted speed limits, especially in areas where golf carts are commonly used.
- Stopping for School Crossings: In school zones, motorists must stop for golf carts carrying students when they are stopped and have their stop arm extended.
- Being Alert: Motorists should be attentive and watch for golf carts, especially at intersections, crosswalks, and driveways.
- No Overtaking at Crosswalks: It's illegal for motorists to overtake a golf cart that has stopped at a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross.
- Respecting Golf Cart Lanes: Some areas may have dedicated golf cart lanes. Motorists should respect these lanes and not use them.
Most Common Injuries Sustained in Golf Cart Accidents
Drivers mistakenly believe that because golf carts are low-powered and slower vehicles than cars that serious accidents can’t happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Any form of motorized vehicle, even golf carts, has the potential to cause serious and significant injuries. A golf cart’s open-air construction, lack of a solid roof, and light-weight design make them prone to serious accidents. These same features provide little protection to the occupants inside.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine notes at least 147,696 golf cart-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms during a recent 15-year time span. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically with the rising popularity of these vehicles.
Some of the most common golf cart injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
A personal injury lawyer can provide valuable assistance after a golf cart collision involving injuries or fatalities in several ways. Primarily, they can explain your rights and legal options, helping you understand the steps to take. They can provide advice on matters related to insurance claims, liability, and compensation.
A lawyer will investigate the accident to determine liability and gather evidence to support your case and will help you gather and preserve important documents and evidence related to the accident. They may consult with experts such as accident reconstruction specialists to strengthen your case.
Your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain, suffering, and other losses. They can work to reach a fair settlement out of court to expedite the process. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, they can file a lawsuit and represent you in court to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
In cases involving injuries or fatalities, a lawyer can offer emotional support and guide you through a difficult time, taking the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on healing. A lawyer is your advocate throughout the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected.
Contact Our Golf Cart Accident Attorneys
Golf cart accidents aren’t just minor collisions where everyone can shrug it off and walk away. These accidents can cause serious and significant injuries that may require expensive medical intervention. If a negligent driver caused an accident, our Villages golf cart crash lawyers from the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. We can offer our clients the personal attention of a small firm, yet we still have the financial means to take on even the most complex cases.
If you were hurt in a golf cart accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered. To find out what your legal options are after being involved in a golf cart accident, contact Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today. We can review your situation and advise you of all your legal options. For more information and a free initial consultation, call us or fill out our online form.