Golf carts have become a popular mode of transportation at resorts, retirement communities, and even some college campuses. However, these low-speed vehicles can also pose risks, especially to pedestrians. When a collision occurs between a golf cart and a pedestrian, injured parties may consider filing a negligence lawsuit against the golf cart driver and potentially other responsible parties.

Duty of Care on Golf Courses

Golf cart drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner. This includes obeying posted speed limits, yielding to pedestrians, staying on designated pathways, and avoiding distractions like mobile devices. Courses also have a responsibility to implement and enforce appropriate golf cart safety policies. If a course allows overly steep hills or fast corners without posted warnings or speed bumps, it may be found negligent.

Determining Breach of Duty

In a golf cart injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney will attempt to demonstrate that the defendants breached their duty of care. Eyewitness testimony and security camera footage can often show whether a golf cart driver was speeding, distracted, or otherwise operating recklessly at the time of the accident. Investigators may also examine the cart’s brake and acceleration systems to identify any mechanical failures.

Proving Causation

In addition to duty and breach, the plaintiff must prove their injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s actions or failure to act reasonably. A physician will need to conclusively link the plaintiff’s medical issues like broken bones, head trauma, or chronic pain to the initial golf cart collision. If any pre-existing conditions are relevant, the defense might argue the accident only aggravated—rather than caused—certain harm.

Considering Plaintiff Negligence

The doctrine of contributory negligence dictates that an injured plaintiff who was also partly responsible for their own damages may have a reduced claim. A pedestrian who walked out into the path of an oncoming golf cart without looking, for instance, would likely shoulder at least some of the blame. Comparative negligence statutes assign percentages of fault and accordingly reduce rewards. It is critical for each party in a golf cart injury suit to cautiously argue their level of reasonable care and caution exercised.

Additional Liable Parties

Besides golf cart drivers, injury victims might name other negligent entities like the golf course itself, cart manufacturers if mechanical defects are present, and employers if the driver was working at the time. Identifying all potential defendants is key to maximizing compensation through a legal settlement or court award.

Statute of Limitations Issues

Every state has laws limiting the window of time following an accident that a victim may file their golf cart injury claim. These statute of limitations periods often range between 1-6 years depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. Waiting too long could jeopardize one’s legal rights, so promptly consulting an attorney is essential.

Settling Golf Cart Injury Lawsuits

Many golf cart accidents lead to negotiated pre-trial settlements between the involved parties’ insurance companies rather than full-scale litigation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate for fair compensation covering all aspects of harm like past and future medical bills, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, property damage, and emotional distress.

With thorough evidence and effective negotiation tactics, most plaintiffs can reach an acceptable out-of-court settlement.

If you have been involved in an accident with a golf cart, speak to one of our golf cart attorneys today. Visit one of our offices at the following locations:

  • Tampa – 2504 W Crest Ave, Tampa, FL 33614
  • Petersburg – 520 2nd Ave South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • New Port Richey – 5703 Main Street, New Port Richey, FL 34652
  • Brooksville – 1790 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601
  • Seminole – 5290 Seminole Blvd. Suite D, St. Petersburg, FL 33708

Call now for a free consultation on (800) 800-4300.