How Do Golf Cart Accidents Happen And Who Is Responsible?
As a general rule, golf is a relatively safe sport. But it’s not golfing itself that can be dangerous. It’s the golf cart that ends up injuring people, especially when it is used off of the golf course itself.
Golf Carts are Everywhere Nowadays
As you likely know, golf carts today are used for all kinds of purposes. Security guards may use them to patrol a business, people may use them to drive around the neighborhood and young people often use them as a way of going about the neighborhood–or, for recreation and even for “off roading,” a purpose they are not designed to be used for.
However, unlike a car, there is no license needed to drive a golf cart, and no real rules of the road when it comes to golf carts. Golf carts don’t have the safety features that our vehicles do, and the result of all of this is the very real likelihood of an accident while in a golf cart.
How Accidents Happen
There are a number of ways that golf cart accidents happen
Driver negligence – Sometimes, accidents happen because someone doesn’t know how to drive the cart—perhaps they are too young, or they don’t understand the physics, or they are pushing the cart to do more than what it can do. They may overload the cart with too many people. Other times, drivers will treat golf carts like mini go-carts, racing them, making sharp turns, or going too fast over dangerous terrain that the cart is not designed to be able to traverse.
Unsafe surfaces – Just like we can trip and fall when a sidewalk, surface, or ground is not properly maintained, so too can our golf carts get into accidents. Carts may hit holes in the ground, pavement that is jutting up, or unmarked curbs.
Product defects – Sometimes, the cart itself is defective. Maybe it was made improperly, or designed poorly or a safety feature is malfunctioning. An expert can look at your cart to see if there was a manufacturing or design defect on the cart that caused it to malfunction.
Dangers in Golf Cart Accidents
No matter the cause, golf cart accidents can be serious. Carts often drive where people are walking—sidewalks, lawns or golfing greens. Although not as dangerous as when a car hits a pedestrian, a golf cart can injure or even kill a pedestrian.
Additionally, golf cart drivers are usually not seat belted. This means that in an accident—or even if there is no accident, but the cart encounters a condition that causes it to jolt or fly into the air—people inside the cart can be ejected out of the cart and onto the ground.
Who Can Be Sued?
If you were injured in a golf cart or a golf cart hits you because of driver error, you may be able to make a claim against the driver of the golf cart. If the golf cart driver was a minor, you may also be able to make a claim against any business or person that allowed the child to be using or riding the vehicle—that includes the child’s parents, if the cart is privately owned.
Have you been injured in a golf cart? Call the Knoxville personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, today.