Florida is undoubtedly a golf cart state. This is mostly attributable to the yearly influx of tourists, many of whom are retired. They want to venture out and take advantage of everything that Florida has to offer, but they also don’t want to do it while operating a full-sized car. For many, golf carts are the ideal solution.
Initially, golf carts were exclusively intended for use on golf courses. Their use was formerly restricted to resorts and golf courses that were privately owned. These days, because of their enormous popularity, you may also find them running on specific public highways and in specific golf communities. Many individuals are still unsure of the laws that govern golf cart accidents and injuries. Contact a Florida injury attorney if you’re unclear about Florida’s laws regarding golf cart accidents.
They are used on the golf course by players, as well as by various other golf and resort staff, to perform errands and transport clients. General negligence laws in Florida apply to those who use golf carts in this manner. If a golf cart’s operator doesn’t operate the vehicle with due care and harms someone, they may be held legally and financially accountable for the harm they cause.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the basics of Florida golf cart laws and how to determine who is liable in a Florida golf cart accident.
Florida Golf Cart Accidents: Am I the Liable Party?
The answer to this question can be difficult to answer. For your specific scenario, it would be best to contact personal injury lawyers or a Florida injury attorney to look over your specific case to determine liability. However, the following guide can help you understand where, in general, the liability falls on an individual in a golf cart accident in Florida.
Florida Golf Cart Accident Laws
Thousands of significant golf cart injuries are reported each year by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in Florida. Due to their extreme prevalence in Florida, the danger is disproportionate. If your negligence claim is successful, you could be entitled to financial support for your medical costs, lost wages due to your incapacity to work, injuries, scars, trauma, and property damage.
If an employee had an accident while at work, that employee may be eligible for workers’ compensation and have the right to pursue legal action against any parties responsible, such as the golf cart operator or manufacturer.
Florida’s culture has long been associated with golf carts. However, this does not imply that they are street legal, and this may have an impact on culpability if an accident happens.
With few exclusions, the law forbids the use of golf carts on some public roads. These exclusions consist of:
- Operation on stretches of the state highway network that cross paths with a county road and where the Florida Department of Transportation has designated golf carts for usage.
- Using golf carts to cross roads or highways if there is only one mobile home park on either side.
- Operation on a county road made available to golf carts by the relevant authority. That municipality is required to determine whether golf carts can safely cross public roadways before making such a designation, taking into account elements including the nature, volume, and speed of motor vehicle traffic on that route.
Only on public roadways is the use of golf carts prohibited under Florida law. This implies that specific neighborhoods may allow the use of golf carts if they adhere to the internal traffic regulations specified by the homeowners’ association or other organizations.
So Who is Liability in a Golf Cart Accident in Florida?
In general, Florida case law will often place the responsibility or liability for the accident on the owner of the golf cart itself. However, it depends on the actions of the operator of the golf cart in question.
The Florida Supreme Court determined that the owner of a golf cart should be aware that it is a dangerous object since it has the potential to cause injury or perhaps death. As a result, a golf cart owner has to be careful about who they let drive the vehicle, make sure it’s in excellent shape, and be aware that they might be held responsible for anybody hurt while driving the golf cart.
Most businesses that let customers utilize golf carts are aware of their legal responsibility. By using waivers and other tools, they can defend themselves. Someone may be held accountable if they cause an accident while driving a hired golf cart.
If a golf cart driver was inebriated while operating it or went too fast for the road conditions, they may be held responsible. Operators who disregarded the right-of-way for pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, and other golf cart drivers may also be held accountable. It’s good that operators who engaged in risky or unlawful actions and caused an accident will be held accountable.
Injuries to passengers or uninvolved people may be the fault of a careless golf cart driver. Keep in mind that the owner of the golf cart might be held accountable in addition to or instead of the irresponsible driver. If a parent permits their child to use a golf cart and an accident occurs, they may be held responsible.
Additionally, there is the problem of golf cart accidents that involve motor vehicles. Both golf cart drivers and drivers of motor vehicles are required to follow the rules of the road. The careless party may be held accountable when these two different types of vehicles meet.
A golf cart driver may be responsible for the injury of any passengers if they cause a collision with an automobile. If a motor vehicle operator contributed to the collision, they may be responsible for the subsequent damages.
Golf Cart Accidents Caused by Mechanical Defects or Malfunction
When a faulty golf cart results in harm or death, the manufacturer may be held accountable. Who is responsible will depend on what caused the flaw. If there was a flaw in the golf cart when it was new, the manufacturer may be responsible. However, another party, such as a technician, used golf cart salesman, or golf cart owner, may be responsible if a problem results from carelessness or aftermarket mechanical repair.
Were You Injured in a Golf Cart Accident? The Personal Injury Lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
One of the numerous myths surrounding injury claims is the idea that anybody who has been injured has a right to compensation. The truth is that a person only has a claim to compensation for an accident under Florida’s personal injury statutes when another party was at fault for the injury. The injury must also have been brought on by that other party’s carelessness or deliberate action. Accidents involving golf carts and other similar vehicles can result in claims, and this happens often.
The victim may be entitled to compensation for lost income, pain, suffering, loss of pleasure in life, worry, annoyance, and the incapacity to engage in typical activities that they might have done before the accident. In other words, the law does not let someone who is careless to escape responsibility by only covering medical costs while the victim is made to go through a circumstance that will change their life.
Nevertheless, obtaining such compensation might be challenging. For this reason, the personal injury lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet wish to assist you in Florida courts so that you can obtain the damages you are due. Call us at 386-202-1612 right now to discuss your golf cart injury in further detail and find out whether you have a case.
Did you find our guide to golf cart injuries and liability in Florida useful? Remember, you might not be liable for your own injury and could potentially build a case after your Florida golf cart injury. A Florida injury attorney from Zimmet & Zimmet can help. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation.