Golf Cart Accident Attorney Representing People Injured in Illinois and Beyond
Nearly everyone at some point will ride in a golf cart, even those who do not golf for recreation. These small transporters have graduated from the golf courses to use on many large campuses, parking lots, retirement communities, and airports.
Golf carts can now travel at speeds of 40 MPH or more. Many golf cart operators drive without reasonable safety precautions, putting operators, passengers, and people in the vicinity of operation at risk of serious injury.
A Chicago, Illinois Golf Cart Injury Lawyer Can Help
The Chicago premises liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people injured in accidents involving golf carts across Illinois. Our Cook County golf car accident attorneys have successfully resolved personal injury and wrongful death 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. Our accident lawyers provide potential clients injured in a golf cart and motorcycle accident a free case evaluation to discuss the circumstances of their accident case.
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. Golf carts might look like a small car, and for the most part, they operate the same way.
However, carts are not regulated the same way because they are illegal for road use. Carts are not required to meet the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for highway vehicles, and the American National Standards Institute does not require them to have seat belts or airbags.
Golf cart manufacturers have exploited the regulated low safety standards and do not install standard safety features.
Below are some of the reasons that these recreational purpose vehicles frequently involving severe 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. A lack of restraints could cause 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 jump in and out with ease. The carts have no doors or sideboards to secure the driver or passengers. Unfortunately, the design also allows passengers to be thrown from the vehicle easily.
- 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, contributing 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 using 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
Researchers studied reports on all injuries requiring emergency room medical treatment recorded through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database. The results indicated that over sixteen years, an estimated 148,000 individuals reported golf cart-related injuries.
The study found:
- Falling was the most common cause of injury - Approximately 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 - Nearly 2% of the people injured were children under sixteen years old.
- Injury numbers rising - The number of accidents continued to grow throughout the study period, increasing over 132% over seventeen years.
Injuries Sustained In Illinois Golf Cart Accidents
Golf cart accidents typically result in soft tissue injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tens of thousands of injuries occur every year from golf cart accidents that cause common injuries, including
- 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
Most auto accidents have a police report that clearly shows the insurance company which parties at fault. Alternatively, police rarely investigate golf cart accidents crashes and do not provide insurance carriers with a clear understanding of who is responsible.
Our personal injury lawyers know how to locate significant evidence after a crash and locate all types of insurance coverage 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 Springfield 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 Injuries FAQs
What Happens if You Crash a Golf Cart?
Golf cart crashes can cause the driver and passengers to suffer minor injuries to catastrophic harm and wrongful death. The liability of where you crash the golf cart will determine the extent of your liability and responsibility.
Driving a golf cart on a public road might place liability squarely on your shoulders, compared to golf cart accidents that happen on a public or private golf course. Carts offered by the golf course usually have limited liability coverage to pay for injuries and medical payments.
Who is Responsible for Golf Car Accident?
Every accident, including those in the golf car, is unique and has specific circumstances that identify responsibility. Determining who is at fault might require an investigation to sort out details and gather evidence.
An attorney working on behalf of the golf car driver can use state tort law to help evaluate who might be at fault for causing the accident. The golf course might be negligent for their failure to maintain safe golf pathways and parking lot.
How Dangerous are Golf Carts?
The speed of a golf cart is usually governed by the acceleration limits of the electric motor or gas engine. Typically, the golf cart can reach 35 mph or more.
The speeds can cause significant damage when the impact force of crashing into another golf cart, golfer, or stationary object leaves the victims injured. Many golfers are injured after being thrown from the golf cart at nearly any speed.
What Injuries can a Cart Accident Cause?
The most common injuries associated with a golf car crash include head trauma, fractured ribs, broken bones, organ damage, herniated disc, internal bleeding, knee trauma, and traumatic brain injuries.
Even a minor golf car accident could cause minor injuries, including cuts and lacerations that might require a trip to the emergency room for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Do Golf Carts Tip Over?
Golf cart companies manufacture lightweight vehicles that can be too top-heavy, especially when loaded with one or more golf bags and passengers. Taking a sharp turn while driving too fast can cause them to tip over, resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death.
Can You use a Golf Buggy on the Road?
The rules of driving a golf cart on the road differ between states. However, powered vehicles, including a golf cart (golf buggy), are intentionally designed for private off-road use only.
Drivers operating any powered vehicle on a public road would need an active driver's license and current insurance coverage to pay for the damages of innocent victims.
Hire a Golf Car Accident Lawyer to Recover Compensation for Occupants and Pedestrians
Thousands of accidents involving golf carts happen every year, where victims are injured and lose their life by unsafe use. The premises owner is often legally liable when golf cart accidents occur on commercial properties.
If you or a family member has been injured in gas or electric golf cart accidents, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Your compensation could pay for medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and possibly punitive damages.
Contact our personal injury attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm concerning your golf cart injury remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law office through voicemail, email, or text message. Our attorneys follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).