Golf Cart Accident Kills Pedestrian in the Villages

A recent golf cart accident in the Villages area in central Florida was just another example of the dangers that can be posed by golf carts in a state where many retirees and seniors may rely on these vehicles as their primary method of transportation. Developers in the Sunshine State have built entire communities, many with golf courses at their center, around the ease of getting around using only a golf cart. While this may be a blessing for those who no longer can drive for medical reasons, the use of golf carts can create dangers for pedestrians out for a walk in such communities if a golf cart operator is particularly aggressive or the pedestrian him or herself can cause an accident if not paying attention.

The Villages is a perfect example of the dangers that golf carts can sometimes pose. The Villages began as a master-planned age-restricted community for those over 55. It contains numerous golf courses and miles upon miles of golf cart trails and golf cart lanes on many of its roads. Therefore, the Villages is the epicenter of Florida when it comes to the use of golf carts; one estimate put the number of golf carts in use in the Villages at 65,000 according to a 2017 New York Times articles.

Both Pedestrians and Golf Cart Drivers Must Exercise Caution

In the recent golf cart accident in the Villages area, a woman died after being struck by a golf cart. The victim, a 68 year old Villages resident, was out walking in a marked golf cart lane. The victim was walking behind one golf cart. A second golf cart was traveling behind the pedestrian and apparently did not see the pedestrian according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)l. As the second golf cart attempted to pass the first, the pedestrian was struck. The FHP further reported the pedestrian was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where she received treatment for her injuries, and where she ultimately died the next day. Although an investigation is ongoing, the FHP has confirmed that alcohol played no role in the crash.

The Applicable Law and Damages Available to Those Injured in a Golf Cart Accident in Florida

Under Florida law, pedestrians are under the same duty when golf carts are present as when other types of motor vehicles are present. Therefore, if a pedestrian is walking in an area or in a manner when he or she is not supposed to, then the pedestrian can be held liable for any injuries caused by his or her actions if that negligence results in injuries to someone riding in a golf cart. For example, under Florida law. pedestrians have a general duty to exercise reasonable caution when crossing roads or interacting with cars and other motor vehicles. In addition, under Florida Statutes Section 316.130, pedestrians have specified laws they must obey. First, pedestrians must obey all laws applicable to non-vehicles. For example, a pedestrian is required to obey any traffic device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedestrians are also required to obey any traffic control signals at all intersections. Therefore, although the FHP have not released any reports of their investigation into the recent accident in the Villages, if the pedestrian, who was killed, was not following the law and caused the accident, then the pedestrian’s estate can be held liable for any injuries caused by her actions.

A victim injured in a golf cart accident in Florida can recover damages for medical treatment for his or her injuries, any lost income (both past and future) the victim suffered as a result of the accident, and any other financial losses. This also includes any pain and suffering, both past and future. Therefore, if the FHP’s investigation concludes that the pedestrian was at fault in the recent accident in the Villages and the driver or occupants of the car that hit the pedestrian were injured, then those person(s) could potentially have a claim against the deceased pedestrian’s estate for those injuries.

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Golf Cart Accident Involving a Golf Cart

At Schwed Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of legal experience representing those injured in a wide variety of scenarios, including those persons injured in golf cart accidents. Although golf carts can be a convenient means of transportation for those who may otherwise not be able to drive or in areas like the Villages where large numbers of seniors live, accidents involving golf carts can and do occur with regularity. If you have been the victim of an accident involving a golf cart in Florida, you may be entitled to substantial damages if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.   Therefore if you have been injured in a golf cart accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.

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