Death Arising from Golf Cart Use
Late July 2017 a 51-year-old female rider was ejected or fell from a golf cart being driven by a 36-year-old driver of a cart owned by the driver’s father. The incident occurred in the Villages and obtained widespread press coverage—mainly because both riders in the golf cart were considered to be intoxicated and because the driver did not stop to help the injured female rider. At https://GolfCartAttorney.com we are not here to pass judgment on why the incident occurred.
Unfortunately, that rider died from her injuries in falling from the golf cart. We have previously noted that ejection from golf carts for passengers is a well-known and well documented occurrence. The golf carts typically do not have seat belts and the railing support to the roof of the golf cart is typically positioned so that a passenger would have to lean well forward to grab onto that railing. In that configuration a sharp left turn can cause the passenger to be ejected from the cart. As a golf cart accident attorney, we have also noted that some of these golf carts can exceed the legal limit of 25 miles per hour.
Criminal Charges, Civil Charges, and Golf Cart Accidents
The driver in this case faces several severe criminal charges; however, it is unclear what is the fate of the owner of the golf cart. Criminal charges are not likely against the owner of the golf cart—there is no evidence that the owner of the cart was present at the time of the incident. However, as far as a civil action against the owner of the golf cart, that is a different story. In Florida, and areas like The Villages, golf carts are treated as “dangerous instruments” under the law. What this means is that the father—the owner of this particular cart—may have responsibility for the civil damages in any wrongful death action brought by the family of the deceased passenger and their golf cart accident attorney.
Under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine the courts place every owner of a vehicle or golf cart on notice that the owner needs to maintain liability insurance on the vehicle because it is a dangerous instrument under Florida law which can cause serious injuries. Therefore, when someone in The Villages loans their golf cart to the neighbor kid to run up to Wal-Mart, the owner can be held responsible for injuries caused by the driver of the owner’s golf cart.
This is a two-edged sword. For the owner of a golf cart it means that a claim may be made against them when their cart was loaned to another person who caused injuries to a passenger or to a third person. For a claimant who is hit by a driver with no insurance, the dangerous instrumentality doctrine may provide a way for the injured person to collect from the owner of the golf cart. This is why it is important to contact a golf cart accident attorney regarding your case. We know the laws on golf carts. We handle golf cart injury cases for people in The Villages.
In an Accident? Call a Golf Cart Accident Attorney
It costs you nothing to talk to our golf cart accident attorney about your case in The Villages. We are ready to help you now.