Even if you are not a golfer, there is a good chance at one point or another you will take a ride in a golf cart. These small transporters have graduated from the golf courses to being used on many large campuses, from retirement communities to airports. However, these carts now can top at speeds of 40 MPH and are notoriously used without normal safety precautions, putting riders at risk for injury.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represents people injured in accidents involving golf carts across Illinois. Our familiarity with these incidents allows us to determine the most advantageous way to approach the case for each circumstance. Our Illinois golf car accident attorneys have successfully resolved the overwhelming majority of this incidents directly with insurance companies-- meaning these matters can typically be resolved 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 used so frequently and can reach higher speeds, they are not required to have the same type of safety standards as other vehicles. Although they may look like a small car, and for the most part are, they are not regulated the same way since they are not intended for use on roads. In fact, they do not even need to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the American National Standards Institute does not require them even to have seat belts. This lack of attention has allowed these vehicles to be built with low safety standards.
- Tip over. Due to their lightweight and small tires, these vehicles can easily tip over. In addition, they are often used on uneven terrain that can jostle these unstable vehicles and cause unbalance.
- No restraints. Most golf or electric carts do not come equipped with seat belts or restraints for the passengers. This allows riders to easily fall out, the most common reason for injury and death.
- Open sides. These vehicles are meant to be able to jump in and out easily, with no doors or sides to keep passengers in. Unfortunately this also allows for passengers to easily be thrown from the vehicle.
- Insufficient maintenance. Many facilities simply do not have any system in place for the maintenance of their golf carts. Consequently, many crucial parts such as the brakes, parking brake and seats may be worn out which can contribute to some accidents.
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 that were 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. 38.3% of the injuries were due to falling off the golf cart, making it the highest cause of injury.
- Children prone to accidents. 31.2% of the people injured were children under the age of sixteen.
- Injuries rising. The number of accidents continued to rise throughout the study period, increasing over 132% over the 17 year period.
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 2001-2006 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.
- Fatalities. Tragically, the little protection that golf carts offer in terms of protecting their occupants can expose occupants of the carts to extremely serious or even fatal injuries due to a direct collision or when they are thrown from the vehicle.
With thousands of accidents happening every year from golf carts, there are many people who are left injured and even lose their life due to their unsafe use. Since these accidents commonly occur on the premises of a business, there is often liability for the business owner. If you or a family member has been injured in a golf or electric cart accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. This may include coverage of medical costs, wage loss and possibly pain and suffering.
Our team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers 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.