What to Do after a Golf Cart Accident
While golf carts have become a popular industry, bringing in $200 million annually, are they the safest form of transportation? According to a 2008 June edition of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, injuries from being hit by or falling off of golf carts surged 132% from 1990 to 2006. Nearly 150,000 individuals were injured in a golf car accident between that time period and in 2006 alone, there were 13,411 golf cart accidents.
Golf cart injuries can range from foot and leg injuries, to head and neck injuries. Other injuries include bruises, strained neck or back, cuts, whiplash, broken bones and other crush injuries. Studies have shown that as golf carts are repeatedly being taken off of the golf course and on to the road, more accidents and thus injuries are occurring. According to one fire chief, usually golf-cart drivers are not at fault in accidents, but their vehicle makes them vulnerable. The National Golf Cart Association says that golf carts are more in use today due to climbing gas prices and retiree populations.
Determine Who is Liable While often a golf cart company is too blame- with design issues causing an otherwise preventable accident, at other times drivers or passengers could be at fault. If a driver is driving too fast or swerves, people can be thrown out of the cart. At other times, uneven terrain can also cause an accident. If passengers are "playing around" or not keeping their body inside of the golf cart at all times, they can sustain serious injuries.
Experts insist that one of the most common causes behind golf cart accidents is a failure to abide by safety principles and a tendency to treat a golf cart like a toy. A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the highest rate of injury involves males between the ages of 10 and 19. Florida has deemed golf cart accidents to be such a problem that the state has labeled golf carts a "dangerous instrumentality" and significantly limits the use of a golf cart on a public road. Helpful questions to ask yourself include the following:
- Were you driving recklessly or joyriding?
- Did you underestimate the cart's power?
- Did you overestimate the cart's abilities?
- Were you driving while distracted or inattentive?
- Were you driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Did you drive over uneven ground, such as potholes, slopes or roots?
Understand Texas Laws Regarding Golf Carts
According to the Texas DMV, a golf cart can be operated on roads in various planned communities, public or private beaches, during daytime no more than two miles from where the owner parks the golf cart, for transportation to or from a golf course, and on a road or intersection that has a speed limit of no more than 35 miles per hour. If a city allows a golf cart to be operated on other roads, the golf cart must be insured and have headlamps, tail lamps, reflectors, a parking brake, mirrors and a slow-moving vehicle emblem. Often, golf carts are covered under a driver's home insurance policy. At other times, you will have to file a negligent entrustment claim against a country club that owns the golf cart.
Get a personal injury attorney on your side today!
Regardless of who "could" be at fault, Zinda Law Group can evaluate the details of your case and determine if we can help you fight for compensation. Our firm offers a free case evaluation and can provide you with the counsel and guidance you need. Don't shrug off your accident as "no big deal" or settle for less compensation than you deserve. Call Zinda Law Group today to receive the aggressive legal representation you deserve from a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney.