Yes, an experienced attorney can put up a strong case that can increase your chances of compensation for your damages. A personal injury lawyer is the best type of attorney to hire following a golf cart accident.
Golf carts travel at lower speeds than other types of motor vehicles. They do not offer the same level of protection as ordinary cars on the road. However, golf carts can be just as, if not more, dangerous than standard cars on the road due to the lack of seat belt restraints, airbags, etc.
Research findings from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicate that 147,696 injuries from golf cart accidents occurred from 1990 to 2006. So far, the numbers have risen because a driver’s license is not needed to operate a golf cart. However, if you plan to drive it on public roadways, you must be over 14 years old.
Reasons to hire an attorney for Golf cart accidents.
Golf carts are increasingly prevalent in Florida due to their small and manageable size. The legal driving age minimum of 14 years has also made golf carts popular in neighborhoods. With the number of golf carts steadily increasing yearly, so has the number of golf cart accidents.
When hiring an attorney, you should look for a personal injury lawyer familiar with golf carts and the laws governing them. For instance, an experienced golf cart accident attorney should know different laws and rules that apply to golf carts, converted golf carts, and other low-speed vehicles.
To ensure that your case is handled professionally and increase the chances of compensation, you need an attorney to:
Obtain Evidence and Investigate the Accident
Evidence gathering should start immediately after the golf cart accident. A lawyer can take the responsibility of investigating and gathering evidence to present a stronger case. Attorneys can obtain proof by:
- Collecting evidence. E.g., photographs of the accident and video surveillance
- Interview other drivers and witnesses
Your lawyer may be able to prove that the other party was at-fault or that the golf cart suffered from mechanical issues. For example, the cart’s brakes may stop working, or the battery may malfunction. In such a case, the golf cart’s manufacturer or dealer may be liable for your injuries.
Refer to the Best Medical Providers
An attorney can assist you in scheduling appointments with the right doctors and medical providers for your injuries.
Determine Case Value
An attorney can help determine the value of your case by examining factors such as the severity of the injuries, your medical expenses, any lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
When personal injury attorneys analyze such factors, they can determine the value of your case and compile the potential compensation you’re entitled to for your injuries.
Negotiate Fair Compensation
If you’re a victim of a golf cart accident, your lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party so that you get fair compensation. The compensation may include the following:
- Medical bills such as costs of treatment
- Lost wages, such as income lost from employment
- Pain and suffering (the pain endured by the accident victim)
- Punitive damages are awarded to the victim to punish the other party at fault and deter them from driving golf carts recklessly.
Litigation if needed
If the other party cannot agree to an out-of-court settlement, your attorney will take the necessary legal steps and file the case in a court of law. A litigation process is long and complex, but an expert attorney will help you in navigating the process.
Types of Accidents Involving Golf Carts
Golf carts are designed for low speeds but can be dangerous when their limits are pushed. More than 18,000 injuries from golf cart accidents occur annually in the US (United States). 48% of all crashes result in hospitalization, acute trauma, or death.
Some of the golf cart accidents include:
- A golf cart crashes into another golf cart
- A car or truck crashes into a golf cart
- A golf cart crashes into a tree or other stationary object
- A golf cart crashes into a pedestrian (e.g., someone playing golf)
Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
Golf carts are common in Florida; you can spot them in apartment complexes, neighborhoods, theme parks, and in golf courses. Their lightweight design and small size make them a convenient means of transport across golf courses or from residential apartments to golf courses.
The common causes of golf cart accidents include:
- Drinking and driving – It’s generally more accepted in Florida to operate a golf cart while drinking or under the influence of alcohol despite it being against the law. However, you can get a DUI if you drive the golf cart in public areas.
- Distracted driving (texting, eating, reaching for objects, etc.)
- Loss of control
- Defective steering or brakes
- Reckless driving
- Overloaded carts (includes overcrowding passengers in the golf cart)
- Sharp turns
- Driving over uneven, muddy, or wet terrain
Injuries sustained from golf cart accidents
Many drivers assume that because golf carts are slow and underpowered, they can’t cause serious accidents or injuries. Unfortunately, any motorized vehicle is capable of causing severe injuries after an accident.
Furthermore, golf carts are prone to accidents due to their lightweight design. The open-air construction and lack of a strong roof expose the occupants to serious injuries.
Some of the common injuries sustained during golf cart accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burn injuries
Severe injuries from golf cart accidents leave victims in emotional, physical, and financial dire straits.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Although golf carts travel at considerably low speeds, they don’t offer the protection that regular enclosed vehicles provide. Golf cart accidents can cause serious injuries that require expensive medical intervention. Such costly medical bills can overwhelm you or your loved ones.
At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, we are committed to providing you with top-quality service that will obtain phenomenal results. Our remarkable results speak for themselves, and so far, our expert attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients throughout Florida.
Get in touch today at (305) 694-2676 and get a free consultation for golf cart accidents in Florida.