Have you been involved in a golf cart accident in Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee or Mississippi? Although an incredibly convenient way to get around in areas where a car may not be needed, golf carts can also be hazardous to operate or ride in. Accidents involving golf carts can and do occur with regularity, particularly in areas where they are a common mode of transport. Deaths can even sometimes occur as a result of golf cart accidents, such as an accident in Pasco County, Florida or the Villages in Central Florida. If you have been the victim of an accident while you were riding as either the driver or a passenger in a golf cart, you may be entitled to substantial damages, including the costs associated with any medical treatment for the injuries you suffered, any lost income you experienced as a result of your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering and any other income or financial loss you may have suffered as a result of the accident.
Settings in Which Golf Cart Accidents Commonly Occur
As some people might expect, golf cart accidents are quite common in areas where golf carts are regularly used as a means of transportation. These include retirement and other planned communities like The Villages in Central Florida, in which residents may either choose not to drive cars due to age or other factors or instead simply use golf carts as a more convenient means to get around. Golf cart accidents are also very common in golf course communities. These communities often have a golf course as their centerpiece and it is not uncommon to see cart paths all over and golf carts whizzing across the roads. All of this can make for a wonderful living arrangement for citizens but can also make for a danger for those on golf carts.
Unique Aspects of Golf Cart Accidents
Most golf carts also lack even rudimentary safety features like seat belts. The lack of any restraints or headgear can put passengers and the drivers of golf carts in a particularly vulnerable situation if the golf cart is involved in a collision. Golf cart accidents can often resemble motorcycle accidents in that occupants are often thrown from the vehicle in golf cart accidents due to the open nature of these vehicles. This can lead to severe head trauma, broken bones and road rash, which are all common injuries in golf cart as well as motorcycle accidents. Persons involved in golf cart accidents also frequently suffer serious injuries which require extensive medical treatment if they are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle or another golf cart.
Motorist Responsibilities when Golf Carts Are Present
Like many states, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi each have their own unique laws regulating the use of golf carts. However, more significantly, motorists are under the same duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and lawful manner when golf carts are present. Therefore, if a motorist driving a car hits a golf cart or otherwise does something to cause an accident with a golf cart, then that motorist can be held liable for any injuries caused by the motorist’s negligent operation of his or her vehicle if that negligence results in injuries to someone riding in a golf cart.
Damages Available to Those Injured in a Golf Cart Accident in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi or Arkansas
A victim injured in a golf cart accident in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi or Arkansas can recover damages for expenses related to 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 the victim suffered. This also includes any pain and suffering, both past and future, the victim may have experienced. Whereas in both Florida and Arkansas, there are no caps on pain and suffering in personal injury claims including golf cart accidents, in Tennessee an award for pain and suffering is capped at $750,000 for most personal injury claims, including golf cart accidents, and $1,000,000 if the victim suffered catastrophic injuries. In Mississippi the recovery of noneconomic damages is limited to $1,000,000 in personal injury actions, including golf cart accidents.
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