Typically, car insurance does not cover golf cart accidents. However, if a Florida motorist hits your golf cart with their car, their auto liability insurance should pay for your injuries. Your personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault coverage will not pay for any injuries you suffer if you were injured on a golf cart.
When injuries occur in a Florida golf cart accident, a personal injury lawyer can explain more about your legal options and rights. Attorneys familiar with the state’s golf cart laws and auto insurance coverage can help you understand your legal rights and the next steps in your case.
Florida Has Complex Auto Insurance Laws
In Florida, all drivers must carry PIP insurance. This policy, also known as no-fault coverage, pays for a portion of a driver’s injuries and income losses if they are hurt in a crash. This policy covers the policyholder, while liability insurance pays for serious injuries and losses from a collision they caused.
Liability insurance also pays when someone without PIP coverage is hurt in a crash caused by the policyholder. This could include:
- Golf cart operators or occupants
When it comes to the state’s golf cart laws, liability insurance is not required. There are no mandatory insurance policies under state law for golf cart owners or operators if their carts do not exceed 20 miles per hour. However, many insurance carriers provide coverage for those who choose to purchase it. This generally comes into effect when the owner or operator of the golf cart causes the accident.
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), low-speed vehicles (which go between 20 and 25 miles per hour) must have both PIP and liability insurance. They also require registration. Some golf carts may have alterations that make them fall into this category.
Understanding the difference between these two types of vehicles and where they can go is especially important for those living in golf communities and other areas where many use golf carts and similar vehicles to run errands or for leisure.
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Liability in a Florida Golf Cart Accident
Who is liable for a Florida golf cart accident depends on the circumstances of the case. The at-fault party whose carelessness or recklessness caused the incident and injuries is generally liable under state law. When a car hits a golf cart, this is often the driver of the passenger car. Other ways golf cart injuries occur include:
- Two carts collide
- One cart crashes into a stationary object
- Golf cart rollovers
There are generally two possible liable parties in a golf cart accident: the driver of the cart or the driver of a motor vehicle. Sometimes, a defective part or poor maintenance could cause an incident, too. However, this is less common. Usually, a car accident lawyer can build a case against the at-fault driver following a collision and hold them accountable.
One reason why the use of golf carts on neighborhood streets and shared roads in golf communities is so dangerous is that motor vehicle operators often refuse to acknowledge or yield to these smaller, slower vehicles. The law requires it, but this does little to help crash victims when they suffer catastrophic injuries in a collision with a larger passenger car.
Options for Recovering Compensation After a Florida Golf Cart Incident
The goal of holding a drier accountable for an accident and injuries is not just peace of mind. Victims also recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages, ensuring they do not have to pay for their medical bills and other related costs out of their own pockets. Instead, the liable party and their insurer cover these costs.
Generally, there are two ways to hold an at-fault driver legally liable after they cause a golf cart accident:
- Through an auto liability insurance claim and a negotiated settlement with the carrier
- Suing the at-fault driver, taking the case to trial, and winning a verdict
Often, these cases settle outside of court, even when an attorney sues the at-fault driver. Negotiated settlements are the most common way victims recover damages for injuries and losses.
Which approach is most effective for you will depend on the specifics of your case. Your golf cart accident attorney will assess your case and develop a plan to pursue a fair case outcome.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Golf Cart Accident Case?
The compensation you could recover through an insurance claim or lawsuit is meant to pay for the expenses and losses you endured because of your accident. This is why no two cases are the same. Every victim has unique injuries and costs, so your attorney will help you identify and document yours as a part of developing a compelling case on your behalf.
Some examples of commonly recoverable expenses and losses in golf cart accidents include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills and related expenses, current and future
- Care and support for long-term injuries
- Income losses
- Diminished earning ability
- Property damages
- Miscellaneous related expenses
Not all victims survive golf cart accidents. If your loved one died from their injuries, your family may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death action. A personal injury lawyer can offer advice and guidance about your damages or the process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Most provide free consultations and represent clients with no upfront costs.
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If You Were Hurt in a Florida Golf Cart Accident, Ask Dave About Your Case
At Dismuke Law, our team handles a wide range of personal injury cases, including golf cart accident injuries. If you were hurt in Florida and need help, our firm is here to advocate for you. We will assess your legal options and represent your best interests.
Connect with our team today for a free initial case consultation. Contact us online or via telephone to get started today.