While golf carts have been used for decades on the many golf courses throughout the Carolinas, in cities like Charlotte and seaside Charleston, they have also become a prime method for getting around. They are great roadway vehicles to go short distances, and they’re also easy to take to the beach (perhaps with specialty tires). Because golf carts travel at relatively low speeds, many assume they are safe methods of transportation, especially in areas without much car traffic.
Unfortunately, golf cart accidents do happen, and when they do, they can result in serious injuries. Golf carts have a tendency to flip when the driver takes a turn at high speeds, and passengers can be tossed out of the vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident in North or South Carolina, you have legal options.
Depending on the nature of the accident, there are a few different people who can be held liable for your injuries. For instance, if you are riding as a passenger in a golf cart and the driver makes an unsafe turn, causing you to fall from the vehicle, the driver may be held liable. In other cases, the manufacturer of the cart could be responsible for the injuries you sustained if the cart wasn’t designed properly.
At Auger & Auger, we have helped victims of golf cart accidents get the compensation they deserve for over 26 years. We know the ins and outs of these types of cases, and what it takes to win. Speak with an experienced golf cart accident today for free by calling (800) 559-5741 or by filling out our handy online contact form.
In 2015 alone, there were almost 18,000 golf cart accidents nationwide that required emergency hospital care. This may be a surprising statistic when you consider the fact that golf carts are designed to travel under 20 miles per hour. So why do so many accidents happen? The number one cause is inexperience.
Under both North Carolina law and South Carolina law, anyone who operates a golf cart on a public road must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license. In addition, they must follow all traffic laws that apply to any vehicle on the road. They are only allowed to travel on roads on which the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less, unless they are crossing a road with a higher speed limit. While these laws are enforced, many golf cart accidents happen on private property, such as in a gated community or on a golf course.
When inexperience isn’t an issue, alcohol may be a major contributing factor. It’s not uncommon to have a few drinks while you’re playing a round of golf. In addition, because golf carts travel at low speeds, it’s easy to think you can control the vehicle on public roads or near the beach after you’ve imbibed a bit. Whether you’re on the fairway, on the roadway or heading to the beach, operating a golf cart after drinking is incredibly dangerous — and illegal. Golf carts should be treated just like any other vehicle. If you’ve been drinking or are otherwise impaired, don’t get behind the wheel.
Finally, horseplay, “pranks” and other inappropriate use lead to a fair amount of golf cart injuries. There are thousands of YouTube videos that celebrate this kind of behavior, but in truth, it’s highly dangerous. When people are hit by golf carts, they can suffer crushed limbs, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and other very serious injuries. Golf carts should always be used as they are intended, whether you’re on the course or driving down the road.
If you’ve been the victim of one of these types of accidents because of someone else’s actions or behavior, our golf cart accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
In some instances, a manufacturer’s defect may cause a golf cart accident. For instance, the cart’s battery may malfunction, the brakes could suddenly stop working, or the roof could become unattached. In these and other instances in which the manufacturer didn’t take proper care in the design or assembly of the vehicle, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries.
North and South Carolina handle these kinds of cases very differently. In South Carolina (and most other states in the Union), manufacturers are held under strict liability. This means you can sue the manufacturer for defects that caused an injury. All you have to prove in order to seek compensation under strict liability law is:
However, North Carolina is one of the few states that doesn’t follow strict liability laws. Instead, you must show that the manufacturer acted negligently in the design or production of the golf cart in order to seek compensation. In order to establish negligence, you must prove that:
In some instances in which the golf cart malfunctions, it’s not the manufacturer who is at fault, but the party responsible for the upkeep of the vehicle. For example, if a golf course offers cart rentals, and they don’t regularly maintain and repair their carts, they can be held liable if the vehicle malfunctions and causes injury. An experienced golf cart accident lawyer can evaluate your case and help you figure out who is liable for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident through no fault of your own, you have legal options. At Auger & Auger, we know just how dangerous these vehicles can be. We have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients, and we can help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Don’t be deterred by the potential cost of hiring a golf cart accident attorney; you don’t owe us a dime unless we win your case. Call us today at (800) 559-5741 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation