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Golf Cart Accident Lawyers

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Golf Cart Accident Attorneys

You’ll be working with lawyers who know that golf cart riders have essentially the same rights as motorists.

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Golf Cart Accident Lawyers Arizona

Whether you are on or off the course, golf carts are a common sight in Arizona. While people typically use golf carts to get from hole to hole while playing golf, many people also use them on the streets. Golf cart accidents in Arizona can result in serious injuries to operators, passengers, and others outside of the vehicles.

People who have sustained injuries in golf cart accidents in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona should consult the experienced injury attorneys at Lamber Goodnow. We have multiple locations across the state, and we can come to you if necessary. Our legal team can review your case and help you understand its legal merits and the options that might be available when you have been injured in a golf cart collision caused by someone else’s negligence. Here is some information you should know about golf cart laws, accidents, and pursuing compensation for your losses.

Arizona Laws Pertaining to Golf Carts

Arizona has similar laws for golf carts to those that apply to other types of motor vehicles. While you are not required to have a driver’s license to operate a golf cart on private property, all operators must have valid licenses to operate golf carts on the road under A.R.S. § 28-3151(A).[1] You also cannot operate a golf cart on a highway or street unless you have registered it with the Arizona Department of Transportation under A.R.S. § 28-3153(A).[2] Like other types of motor vehicles operated on public roads, A.R.S. § 28-4135 mandates motorists who operate them on the roads to have minimum liability insurance of $25,000 bodily injury coverage for one person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage for two or more people, and $15,000 in property damage coverage.[3]

One unique requirement for golf carts operated within Arizona is that they cannot be operated at a speed of more than 25 miles per hour or be driven on roads with posted speed limits of greater than 35 miles per hour under A.R.S. § 28-966.[4]

Since golf carts are equivalent to other motor vehicles when they are operated on the roadways, you must follow all traffic laws when you do so. When you are operating a golf cart, you must also yield the right-of-way under A.R.S. § 28-777 to a vehicle traveling in the same direction that signals its intention to turn right.[5] Under A.R.S. § 28-101(37), golf carts cannot have more than four riders, including the driver.[6] Like other motorists, golf cart operators are also prohibited from operating them while under the influence of alcohol or drugs under A.R.S. § 28-1381, and this prohibition against drunk driving exists whether the golf cart is being operated on public or private property.[7]

Under A.R.S. § 28-904, you can’t drive a golf cart on a sidewalk.[8] In age-reconstricted communities in unincorporated counties with populations of more than three million people, golf carts can be driven on the shoulder of streets under A.R.S. § 28-721(C).[9]

Multiple equipment requirements also apply to golf carts. They must have taillights, brake lights, headlights, license plates, horns, and rearview mirrors. However, they are not required to have windshields.

Common Types of Golf Cart Accidents

Golf cart collisions frequently result when the operator fails to pay sufficient attention or engages in negligence. Some of the common types of golf cart accidents and their causes include the following:

  • Tip overs caused by sudden turns, dips, hills, and difficult terrain
  • Collisions caused by following too closely, speeding, unsafe lane changes, and failure to exercise caution
  • People falling off of golf carts caused by overloading of people and equipment or failing to remain properly seated
  • Collisions caused by distracted driving on the roads or on the golf course
  • Collisions caused by drunk driving on the roads or on the golf course

Some golf cart accidents are caused by other problems, including defective components on the golf cart or poorly maintained roads or courses. In these types of situations, injured victims might be able to pursue compensation from the defective parts manufacturers, the owners or operators of the golf course, or the parties that negligently maintained the roads or courses.

Common Types of Injuries Caused by Golf Cart Accidents in Arizona

Since they have open sides and do not weigh very much, golf carts are prone to accidents while offering minimal protection to riders. The light weight of golf carts makes them easy to tip over. Most golf carts lack safety features that are common in cars, including seatbelts, doors, mirrors, and airbags. Because of the relative lack of protection for golf cart riders, minor accidents can result in severe injuries. The injuries in a golf cart accident can be especially traumatic when the passengers are thrown from the vehicles.

Some examples of common types of injuries in golf cart accidents in Phoenix include the following:

  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Internal injuries/organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
  • Severe lacerations

Injuries from golf cart accidents can be serious. Since golf cart owners must have liability insurance, pedestrians who are struck by golf carts might file claims against the driver’s policy to recover compensation. People who are riding in golf carts that are struck by other vehicles might pursue claims against the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 63,510 children and adolescents were injured in golf cart accidents during the 10 years between 2010 and 2019.[10] Another study that looked at golf cart injuries between 2007 and 2017 found that 156,040 people were injured and had to be treated in the emergency department.[11] These and other studies demonstrate that golf cart accidents and injuries are common occurrences in the U.S.

Liability in a Golf Cart Accident

Following a serious golf cart crash in which people are injured, the injured victims might be entitled to pursue a claim for damages through a personal injury lawsuit. This type of action allows the victims of negligence to pursue financial compensation for their accident and injury-related losses against the at-fault party. In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim. Determining who is liable for causing a golf cart accident is a critical first step in evaluating the merits of a legal claim.

Depending on what happened, multiple parties might be at fault in a golf cart accident, including the following:

  • The operator of the golf cart
  • The owner of the golf cart
  • Another motorist
  • The manufacturer of defective parts
  • The owner or operator of the golf course

Golf cart operators who negligently operate their golf carts might be at fault when accidents result. For example, if a golf cart operator is impaired while operating the vehicle and causes a crash, the operator can be liable to pay damages to the injured victims.

Golf cart owners might also be liable to pay damages. For example, if an owner failed to maintain a golf cart, and a part failed and caused an accident, the owner might be liable. An owner might also be liable if they negligently allowed a child younger than age 14 to operate the golf cart, and the child subsequently caused an accident.

Golf cart manufacturers might be liable when the golf carts include manufacturing defects that cause accidents. The designers might also be liable when there is a defect in the design of a golf cart that causes it to roll over or other similar problems.

Golf course owners might be liable when a hazardous condition on the premises causes a golf cart accident. For example, if there is a hole in the asphalt on a cart path that causes a wreck, the golf course could be liable for failing to repair it or adequately warn visitors.

If you are injured in a golf cart accident while riding on a road because of a motorist’s negligence, the at-fault driver could be liable. The lawyers at Lamber Goodnow can examine what happened in your case and help to determine all of the parties that might be potentially liable. After determining the liable parties, our lawyers can file a claim to pursue compensation for your losses.

What to Do After a Golf Cart Accident

Following a golf cart accident in which you were injured, you should take several steps to preserve your rights. The first thing you should do is to contact the authorities to report your accident. If your collision occurred with another motor vehicle on the road, the police will respond and investigate what happened. The officers will write a report that you can get. Ask the responding officer how to get a copy of the report.

If your accident happened on a golf course, you should immediately report it to the course’s management. Make sure to get a copy of the incident report the course writes. Report your accident to the police as well.

Make sure to check yourself and others for injuries and provide first aid until help arrives. When you speak to the officer, explain what happened, but do not speculate or admit blame.

Take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to the golf cart, any other involved vehicle, and other relevant details. If anyone witnessed what happened, get their name and contact information.

One of the most important things for you to do following a golf cart accident is to seek immediate medical attention. You should do this even if you are unsure if you are injured. Some types of injuries, including soft tissue injuries or internal bleeding, might not show immediate symptoms but are still serious. Getting prompt medical attention can help to identify injuries and facilitate your recovery. Doing so can also help you prove that your injuries were caused by the accident instead of an intervening event.

Once you have received medical treatment, you should speak to a golf cart accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow. Our lawyers can review what happened and help you understand your next steps and legal options.

Our attorneys can help you in the following ways:

  • Assess your potential claim
  • Document your losses
  • Properly value your losses and case
  • Investigate what happened
  • Interview any witnesses
  • Preserve evidence
  • Work with any necessary experts
  • Negotiate with the insurance company(ies)
  • Work to secure a fair settlement
  • File a formal lawsuit if necessary
  • Fight for your rights through trial

When you have our help, we can handle all of the communication with the insurance company for you so that you can work on recovering from your injuries.

How Much Is a Golf Cart Accident Worth?

The value of a golf cart accident claim will vary based on the facts, your injuries, and other factors. An attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand what it might be worth. The types of recoverable compensatory damages that might be available include the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses for your injuries
  • Past and future wage losses
  • Property losses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement/scarring
  • Disability
  • Reduced ability to enjoy life

Speak to Our Golf Cart Accident Attorneys in Arizona

Golf cart accidents can cause serious injuries. If you have been injured in an accident involving a golf cart because of the negligent actions of someone else, you should speak to the experienced attorneys at Lamber Goodnow. Contact us today for a free consultation so that you can learn about the rights that you might have.

References

[1] A.R.S. § 28-3151(A).
[2] A.R.S. § 28-3153(A).
[3] A.R.S. § 28-4135.
[4] A.R.S. § 28-966.
[5] A.R.S. § 28-777.
[6] A.R.S. § 28-101(37).
[7] A.R.S. § 28-1381.
[8] A.R.S. § 28-904.
[9] A.R.S. § 28-721(C).
[10] https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2021/more-than-6500-children-injured-by-golf-carts-each-year-study-finds/#:~:text=A%20total%20of%2063%2C503%20golf,2017%2C%202018%2C%202019).
[11] https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20884-study-finds-golf-cart-related-injuries-are-common

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