Attorneys For People Injured In Illinois Golf Cart Accidents
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, retirement communities and at airports. However, these vehicles now can top at speeds of 40 MPH and are used notoriously without reasonable safety precautions, putting riders at risk of 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 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 are 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, and the American National Standards Institute does not require them to have seatbelts. This lack of attention to safety has allowed the manufacturing of these vehicles with low safety standards.
- 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 seatbelts 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 for 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 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 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.
- 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 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, 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.
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 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.