Who Pays For Golf Cart Accidents?
There are approximately 13,000 golf cart-related accidents each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. As the state with the largest number of golf courses, Florida sees a lot of those accidents.
It is becoming a common practice to see golf carts outside the course and on the roads. Golf carts are being used as transportation in gated and suburban communities, at airports, hospitals, college campuses, military bases, parks and more. This brings up the question of who’s responsible when a golf cart is involved in an accident.
What’s Considered a Golf Cart?
There are many types of vehicles on the road today—from scooters and electric bikes to mopeds and ATV’s. It’s important to know what is classified as a golf cart. Florida Statutes define a golf cart as any motor vehicle, “...designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) states that they are not required to be titled or registered, which also means they don’t have to be insured.
Determining Who Is At Fault
As with motor vehicle accidents, the at-fault party is usually responsible for covering any damages. In Florida, golf carts are considered to be “dangerous instrumentalities.” This means anyone operating one must exercise extreme caution. Unfortunately, because anyone above age 14 may drive a golf cart without a driver’s license, accidents often occur due to negligence and improper use. Driving under the influence, taking sharp turns or operating the vehicle at speeds beyond which it is capable can all lead to golf cart accidents.
Who Is Liable?
Golf carts aren’t particularly powerful machines, but they can still cause harm. If you are involved in an accident (as a golf-cart driver, an automobile driver, cyclist or pedestrian), you may be entitled to compensation. In some instances, the person operating the golf cart at the time of the incident isn’t actually the owner. Golf-cart owners are liable for any accidents, even if they were not involved.
If you are involved in an accident with a golf cart, the best way to know what compensation you’re entitled to is to contact the personal injury attorneys at The Lewis Law Group. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation.