Golf Cart Accident Attorneys Serving Injured People Across Illinois
Even if you are not a golfer, there is a good chance at one point or another you will ride in a golf cart. These small transporters have graduated from the golf courses to use on many large campuses, parking lots, retirement communities, and at airports. These vehicles now can top at speeds of 40 MPH and are used notoriously without reasonable safety precautions, putting operators, passengers, and people in the vicinity of operation at risk of serious injury.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people injured in accidents involving golf carts across Illinois. Our familiarity with these incidents allows us to determine the most advantageous approach to each unique case.
Our Illinois golf car accident attorneys have successfully resolved an overwhelming majority of these cases directly with insurance companies to settle the claim quickly. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your golf cart injury case without cost or obligation.
Safety Downfalls Of Golf Carts
Even though golf carts are frequently used and driven at high speeds, they do not follow the same safety standards as other vehicles. Although they may look like a small car, and for the most part are, they have not regulated the same way because they were never intended for road use.
In fact, carts are not required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for highway vehicles, and the American National Standards Institute does not require them to have seat belts.
This lack of attention to safety has allowed the manufacturing of these vehicles with low safety standards. Below are some of the reasons that these recreational purpose vehicles frequently involving serious injuries or even fatalities.
- Tip-over. Due to their lightweight and small tires, these vehicles can tip over easily. Also, they are often used on uneven terrain that can jostle these unstable vehicles and cause unbalance.
- No restraints. Most golf or electric carts are not equipped with seat belts or restraints for the passengers. This allows riders to fall out easily, which is the most common reason for cart accident-related injury and death.
- Open sides. These vehicles are meant to be able to jump in and out easily, with no doors or sideboards to secure the driver or passengers. Unfortunately, this also allows passengers to easily be thrown from the vehicle.
- Insufficient maintenance. Many facilities with carts don't have a system for the maintenance of their golf carts. Consequently, many crucial parts such as the brakes, parking brakes, and seats may be worn out which can contribute to some accidents.
- Alcohol use. While many drivers would never consider drinking when they get behind the wheel of a car on a highway, there is a different approach to the use of alcohol on a golf course. A steady number of these crashes involve drunk drivers.
In addition to low safety standards, the carts do not require a license or other safety training to operate in most states.
Frequency Of Golf Cart Accident Injuries
A study conducted at Ohio State University looked at the frequency of injury from golf carts at a nationwide level. The study looked at all injuries requiring emergency room medical treatment recorded through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database. Between 1990 and 2006, there were an estimated 147,696 injuries reported from golf cart accidents. The study found:
- Falling most common cause of injury.3% of the injuries were due to falling off the golf cart, making it the highest cause of injury. Some of these injuries involve, traumatic brain injury, fractured bones, and other serious injuries requiring extensive medical care.
- Children are prone to accidents.2% of the people injured were children under the age of sixteen.
- Injury numbers rising. The number of accidents continued to grow throughout the study period, increasing over 132% over the 17 year period.
Injuries Sustained In Illinois Golf Cart Accidents
Golf cart accidents typically result in soft tissue injuries, however, they can also be fatal. On golf courses alone, there were 33 golf cart fatalities reported between 2003-2010 to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In another study done in Alabama on golf cart injuries, researchers looked at 48,255 injuries and found that there were many common injuries, such as:
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises. Most lower-body injuries were soft tissue injuries.
- Fractures bones. For the upper torso and shoulder/arm regions, fractured bones were the most common type of injury.
- Brain injuries. For the neck and head region, concussion and subdural hemorrhages were the most common injury. These are the most life-threatening and can lead to long-term disabilities related to traumatic brain injury.
- Tragically, golf carts offer minimal protection for their occupants exposed situations that can cause extremely serious or even fatal injuries when involved in a crash or thrown from the vehicle.
Insurance Coverage for Personal Injury Cases Involving Illinois Golf Cart Collisions and Crashes
Compared to an auto accident, where there is likely a police report clearly showing the insurance company for the at-fault party, crashes involving golf carts are rarely investigated by the police, and insurance coverage is not nearly as obvious.
Our personal injury lawyers know how to locate important evidence after a crash and locate all types of insurance coverage in order for our clients to recover compensation for their injuries. Amongst the golf cart insurance coverage available after a crash includes:
- Automobile liability insurance
- Homeowner's insurance
- Golf cart owners' insurance
- Business or golf course liability insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
Our legal team has uncovered comprehensive insurance policies in most cases so even the most severely injured people may recover full and fair compensation for their injuries.
Golf Cart Accident Lawsuits to Recover Compensation for Occupants and Pedestrians
With thousands of accidents happening every year from golf carts, many people are injured and lose their life by unsafe use. Since these accidents commonly occur on a commercial property, the owner of the premises is often legally liable.
If you or a family member has been injured in golf or electric cart accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. This may include coverage of medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages.
Our team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is here to advise you on your rights to compensation for injuries related to a golf cart accident in Illinois and across the Midwest. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you do. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your options for compensation for your golf cart injury.