Torrance, CA, Golf Cart Accidents Attorney Obtaining Fair Compensation for Injury Victims
Southern California is home to many of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. One of the unique characteristics of Torrance, CA, and the Los Angeles area are that golf carts are street legal in many communities. Golf carts can reach maximum speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour. Even though golf carts may be street legal, this does not necessarily mean that they are safe in terms of other vehicles on the road or for pedestrians who may cross their path. Often other larger vehicles, such as commercial vehicles, do not seem like golf carts and collide with them. Again, it would seem obvious, but when larger vehicles are involved in collisions with golf carts, the individuals on the golf cart typically do not fare well.
If you have been injured while on a golf cart, you need to seek legal representation from an experienced golf cart accident attorney as soon as possible. Due to the complexities that surround golf cart accidents, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced attorney.
What are the Causes of Golf Cart Accidents?
Although some communities allow golf carts on their public roads, there are no laws in place that mandate seat belts or even have a license or proper training to operate the vehicle. The minimum age in California is 13 to operate a golf cart. Lack of driving skills and ability can make for a dangerous combination, especially if out on a public street.
One of the main causes of golf cart accidents is drinking and driving. Often golfers enjoy playing a game while consuming alcoholic beverages. They think nothing of operating the golf cart, even if they have had too much to drink. This type of behavior can make for a potentially dangerous situation if other golf carts or pedestrians enter the path of the intoxicated golf cart driver.
Other causes of golf cart accidents include racing golf carts, too many passengers on the cart, or being overloaded with equipment or other items that make the cart unstable.
What are Common Golf Cart Injuries?
Due to the fact that a golf cart can go as fast as 25 miles per hour, especially on a hard flat surface, there is a potential for serious injuries to occur should there be an accident. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries, especially to the eyes and teeth
- Cuts and abrasions
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Chronic pain
If the accident occurred on a city street, the chances of being injured are significantly increased. If you are thrown from the cart and land on the asphalt, you could also suffer severe road rash and significant head trauma. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a golf cart accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
Do Golf Carts Have to be Insured in California?
Because some California communities allow golf carts on public roadways, many individuals wonder if golf carts need to be insured. California law states that golf carts are not required to be registered if they do not carry more than two people, including the driver. In addition, they must weigh less than 1,300 pounds, and they cannot exceed a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.
For golf carts that exceed these specifications, it may be necessary to register and carry insurance on your golf cart. In some California communities, golf carts may only be operated by properly licensed drivers depending on the model of the vehicle and must be registered and insured with the California DMV.
Low-speed vehicles (LSVs) look very similar to golf carts but can go significantly faster. These vehicles come with a vehicle identification number (VIN) and must be registered and insured under California law. In addition, because they are made to be operated on public streets, a valid driver’s license is required to operate them.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney if I Have Been Injured in a Golf Cart Accident?
There are many individuals who may think that golf cart injuries are not that serious because vehicle speeds cannot reach those of larger motorized vehicles. Nevertheless, golf cart accidents can leave victims with significant injuries as the cart does not offer any real form of protection, especially with the lack of seatbelts to protect riders.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages for your injuries. Some of the most commonly awarded damages the golf cart injury victims recover include:
- Medical bills: (past and future) include money that has to be paid for rehabilitation or physical therapy, which is common after a golf cart injury.
- Lost wages: money that you have lost due to your inability to work.
- Property damage: if your vehicle sustained damage due to the accident
- Pain and suffering: to compensate you for the physical pain that you have suffered from your injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life: when you can no longer enjoy the type of activities that you were able to participate in before the accident.
One of the best steps that you can take to protect yourself and your future after being injured in a golf cart accident is to hire a qualified personal injury attorney to represent you. Trying to determine who is liable in golf cart injury cases can be extremely complex, depending on the circumstances. Examples may include whether or not the accident occurred on a golf course or public street.
Our law firm is dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for personal injury victims. Contact KRA Legal, PC of Torrance, CA, by calling (310) 431-9875 to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to review your case and answer any questions or concerns you may have.