I am attorney Michael Ehline. I am a golfer and golf car accident lawyer. Below, my legal team and I have put together some important information about California golf cart accidents and about receiving a free, no-obligation consultation from one of our golf car accident attorneys. We will also include some bonus information about California’s comparative fault laws and tips on how to get fair compensation from the careless person or persons who injured you.
Golf cart accidents sometimes occur on and off golf courses or country clubs. And when they do, a golf car accident lawyer can help you or a family member bring golf cart accident claims to recover compensation.
While these four-wheeled vehicles are allegedly incapable of reaching speeds above 15 mph, a low-speed vehicle collision can be devastating when these carts lack basic safety equipment. I sometimes eat at the clubhouse and have seen some close calls with golf carts. I also included some pictures I have taken there over the years.
Big Injuries Can Occur
Even with safety features, these vehicles are flimsy compared to larger vehicles that could collide or crash while navigating residential neighborhoods or near schools with your legs hanging off the side and wearing no proper seat belts!
There are usually serious injuries when someone gets hurt while riding in a golf cart or is run over by one during car accidents. But there are also legal options available to these injured victims to recover money for lost wages, hospital bills, and emotional trauma. In fact, there may be more money than just what is covered under regular auto insurance in some situations if an accident happens.
Personal Injury Lawyers Around the Country?
Ehline Law Firm maintains of counsel relations with hundreds of lawyers and law firms nationwide who can bring golf cart accident cases against the golf cart owner, golf cart manufacturer, or another negligent party. Chances are, even if we are not in your state, we can find you a referral golf cart accident lawyer you can trust to help with these more and more common incidents leading to golf cart injuries. Our mission is to place you with someone who can help you get reimbursed for your medical bills as well as any monetary compensation to help you get back on your feet after these auto accidents.
The Rise of Electric Golf Carts and Local Transportation
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says dozens are killed yearly in golf cart accidents. According to a study conducted by the University of Alabama in Birmingham, about 15,000 people are injured each year in golf cart accidents in the US. (Source, June 2008 issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.)
Golf carts are a common mode of transportation in many communities, including those in Los Angeles, California. These small, lightweight vehicles are often used for transportation within gated communities, resorts, and other private properties. However, golf carts can also pose a serious risk to passengers and pedestrians when involved in accidents and golf cart injury cases. In fact, the number of golf cart accidents has been on the rise in recent years, with many resulting in serious golf cart-related injuries or even fatalities.
Suppose you or a loved one has been involved in a golf cart accident in Los Angeles. In that case, seeking legal representation from experienced Los Angeles golf cart accident attorneys is important. At Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, we are dedicated to helping our clients recover compensation for their injuries and losses. Our compassionate injury lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and skill to help you and your loved ones navigate the complex legal process.
What are Golf Cart Accidents?
Golf cart accidents are accidents involving golf carts that result in injuries or property damage. Golf carts are small, electric, or gas-powered vehicles designed to carry golfers and their equipment around golf courses. However, they are also commonly used in other settings, such as resorts, gated communities, and retirement communities.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to golf cart accidents, including:
- Negligent driving: Drivers of golf carts may engage in negligent behavior, such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles.
- Equipment failure: Golf carts may experience equipment failures that can cause accidents, such as brake failures or steering malfunctions.
- Poor maintenance: Golf carts that are not properly maintained may be more prone to accidents, as worn or damaged parts can lead to equipment failures.
- Hazardous conditions: Hazards such as potholes, loose gravel, and uneven terrain can cause golf carts to overturn or crash.
Types of Golf Cart Accidents:
Golf cart accidents can occur in a variety of ways, and can result in a range of injuries or damages.
Some of the most common types of golf cart accidents include:
- Rollover accidents: Golf carts are prone to tipping over, especially when turning at high speeds or on uneven terrain. Rollover accidents can cause serious injuries to passengers, such as head injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
- Collisions with other vehicles: Golf carts can collide with other vehicles, such as cars, trucks, or other golf carts, which can cause serious injuries to passengers and damage to the vehicles involved.
- Collisions with pedestrians: Pedestrians can be seriously injured or killed if a golf cart strikes them. This is especially true if the golf cart is being driven at high speeds or by an inexperienced driver.
- Ejection accidents: Golf cart passengers can be ejected from the vehicle if it overturns or collides with another object. Ejection accidents can cause serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.
Golf Cart Accident Statistics
It is surprising to learn that over 145,000 golf cart accidents occur each year in the US, with around 40% of these involving children under 16. Due to the increasing number of these vehicles across the country, there has been a sharp rise in accidents involving cars and people in neghborhoods.
Common Locations of Golf Cart Accidents
- The Villages and other Retirement Areas
In villages, accidents are frequent. Due to the availability of golf carts on Florida roads, many individuals use them as transportation. In most cases, minors are permitted to ride in these vehicles on public roads. There have been over a hundred cases of golf cart accidents in the Villages within the past year.
Common Injuries in Golf Cart Accidents:
Golf cart accidents can result in a range of injuries, depending on the severity of the accident and the circumstances surrounding how the incident took place.
Some of the most common injuries in golf cart accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries can occur if the head is struck or jolted during a golf cart accident. These injuries can result in long-term or permanent disabilities like memory loss, cognitive impairment, and personality changes.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can occur if the neck or back is injured during a golf cart accident. These injuries can result in paralysis, loss of sensation or movement, and other long-term disabilities.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are a common injury in golf cart accidents, especially in ejection accidents or rollover accidents. Broken bones can be very painful and can take a long time to heal.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as cuts, bruises, and sprains, can occur in golf cart accidents. While these injuries may not be as serious as traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, they can still be painful and may require medical treatment.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, can occur in golf cart accidents. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Emotional trauma: Golf cart accidents can be traumatic experiences, and victims may suffer from emotional trauma such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of the accident.
Legal Issues in Golf Cart Accidents:
If you have been involved in a golf cart accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. However, pursuing a legal claim can be complex, and working with experienced Los Angeles golf cart accident attorneys who can help you navigate the legal system is important.
Golf Course Liability
The decision is hard to make whenever a golf cart crashes at a golf course. In some situations, the golf course has been liable for damages, but there is another incident where the course is at fault.
Accidents resulting from poorly maintained carts can put the golf course owners at fault in a serious way. For example, negligent drivers operating carts as employees could be held responsible for golf courses.
Some of the legal issues that may arise in golf cart accident cases include:
- Liability: Determining who is liable for a golf cart accident can be complicated. Liability may depend on factors such as the cause of the accident, the actions of the parties involved, and the location of the accident.
- Comparative fault: California is a comparative fault state, which means that each party involved in an accident can be held responsible for a percentage of the damages based on their level of fault. For example, if a golf cart driver was 75% at fault for an accident, they may be responsible for only 75% of the damages.
- Insurance coverage: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, insurance coverage may be available to cover the costs of medical treatment, property damage, and other losses. However, insurance companies may try to minimize the amount they pay out or deny claims altogether, making it important to have experienced legal representation.
- Statute of limitations: In California, a statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a legal claim after a golf cart accident. If you wait too long to file a claim, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
Can I Get a DUI While Driving a Golf Cart?
Yes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a criminally punishable offense. Don’t operate a golf cart drunk. You could get arrested or placed into a challenging situation with the police by drinking and driving behind the wheel of a golf cart down the roadway. You could even kill someone along the path, like a small child walking to school.
Golf Cart Use and Regulations on Golf Courses, Private Roads, Streets, and Golf Cart Injuries
California is famous for the Trump Golf course. But there are over 1155 golf courses in California. Los Angeles County has 19 private clubs and public courses, such as the Wilshire Country Club and Brentwood Academy—the DMV in the state issues rules for LSVs and golf carts. San Francisco has about 22,000 residents, and they use golf carts. The velocity of the vehicles along roadways is the biggest difference.
If you have been involved in a golf cart accident, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and well-being are the most important things. Seek medical attention right away, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, such as spinal injuries, including whiplash or a blown disc, may be present. You may have also suffered a brain injury or concussion and may not show symptoms right away.
- Report the accident: Golf cart injury claims are established by notice.Notify the golf course or property owner where the accident occurred and file a report. Ask for a copy of the report for your records, or snap a picture of it before they snatch it away from you. The country club management or facility owner will need to document the incident and may need to contact their insurance company.
- Document the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the golf cart, property, or injuries. Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. If something was defective, take pictures for later use in court against the golf cart manufacturers.
- Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. They will need to investigate the incident and may provide coverage for medical expenses and property damage.
- Consult with an attorney: If you have suffered injuries in the accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Los Angeles golf cart accident attorney. They can advise you on your legal rights and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your health and legal interests are protected after a golf cart accident. Remember, it is important to seek medical attention first and foremost, and then report the accident and gather evidence to support any potential legal claim.
Why Hire a Los Angeles Golf Cart Accident Attorney?
If you have been involved in a golf cart accident in Los Angeles, seeking legal representation from experienced Los Angeles golf cart accident attorneys is important.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Knowledge of the law: Golf cart accident cases can be complex, and it is important to have an attorney who understands the legal issues involved and can help you navigate the process. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, determine liability, and develop a strategy to pursue compensation.
- Experience with insurance companies: Insurance companies may try to minimize the amount they pay out or deny claims altogether. An experienced attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. They can also advise you on the best course of action if your claim is denied or if the insurance company offers a low settlement.
- Resources: Golf cart accident cases often require expert witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, and other resources. An experienced attorney will have access to these resources and can use them to strengthen your case. Ehline Law Firm has everything you need to win.
- Increased chances of success: With an experienced attorney on your side, you have a better chance of success in your golf cart accident case. They can help you gather evidence, build a strong case, and advocate for your rights in court.
- Reduced stress: Dealing with the aftermath of a golf cart accident can be stressful and overwhelming. By hiring an attorney, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal aspects of your case.
In summary, if you have been involved in a golf cart accident in Los Angeles, seeking legal representation from experienced attorneys is important. They can help you navigate the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.