Golf Cart Accidents

South Carolina Golf Cart Accident Lawyer

Golf Cart Injury Lawyers Serving the Charleston, Summerville, and Goose Creek Areas

Although it may not seem like it from looking at them, golf carts can be incredibly dangerous. These vehicles lack many safety features found in cars, such as safety belts, doors, mirrors, and lights. Golf carts also have a higher center of gravity. The result is that South Carolina golf cart accidents are much more common than most realize. Between 2007 and 2017, there were over 156,000 hospitalizations due to golf-cart-related accidents.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers represent individuals who suffered serious injuries in golf cart accidents. We have nearly 100 years of experience helping injury victims obtain meaningful compensation, enabling them to move on more easily with their life after an accident.

Can You Drive a Golf Cart on Public Roads?

Golf carts are not designed to share the road with other cars and trucks, and taking these vehicles on public roads can be a significant hazard for everyone involved. However, golf cart use is permitted on public roads under South Carolina law, subject to the following restrictions:

  • You are within four miles of your home
  • You drive only on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less
  • You are driving during daylight hours
  • You have a valid driver’s license
  • You are at least 16 years old

In addition, golf carts are technically required to be registered with the DMV and should be insured for liability, similar to cars. 

Causes of South Carolina Golf Cart Accidents

As the name implies, golf carts were initially designed to transport golfers between holes. However, in recent years, many people have begun using these electric vehicles for several other purposes. It is now common to see golf carts in residential communities, beach communities, and even on the streets of downtown Charleston.

Golf carts are inherently dangerous because they do not have many standard safety features found in other vehicles. For example, golf carts are “open-air, meaning they do not have doors or windows. They also lack turn signals, and many do not have side-view mirrors. While some golf carts are equipped with safety belts, it is rare. Due to their design, golf carts are also top-heavy, making them prone to rollover accidents.

Driving a golf cart feels different than driving a car. There is a sense that golf carts are more like recreational vehicles. This leads many who drive them to take the rules of the road less seriously. On the other hand, drivers of cars and trucks may not know how to interact with golf carts, leading to confusion on the road.

A few of the most common types of South Carolina golf cart accidents include:

  • Pedestrian collisions
  • Backing-up accidents
  • Intoxicated driving accidents
  • Reckless driving
  • Rollover accidents
  • Failure to yield accidents
  • Falling out or being thrown from the golf cart

Sadly, at least 25 percent of serious golf cart injuries involve children. If you have been injured in a South Carolina golf cart accident, either as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party responsible for your injuries.

Golf Cart Accident Injuries

Many assume that because most golf carts can reach a top speed of only 25 miles per hour, they do not present a significant danger. However, this is not the case. Golf cart injuries are often severe and sometimes even fatal.

Some of the most common golf cart accident injuries include:

Insurance Coverage for Golf Cart Accidents

Depending on where the golf cart accident occurred, there may be several insurance carriers involved. Golf cart accidents can be covered by homeowner’s insurance, vehicle insurance, and/or liability insurance from a golf course. 

Many golf cart accidents occur on golf courses or at country clubs. If you can show that your injuries resulted from negligence on the part of the business or club, then their insurance would be the covering policy. 

Anyone operating a permitted golf cart outside their property must be 16 years old and have a driver’s license. Any golf cart driver must always have a DMV registration certificate and proof of insurance. A variety of insurance coverage options are available for golf carts to cover injury and property damage. Moreover, some insurance options only provide coverage on private property and do not apply to accidents on public roads. 

Given the complexity of insurance coverage and often the lack of insurance coverage, if you are in an accident involving a golf cart, be sure to speak with an injury attorney to determine who is liable for your injuries and how to pursue a compensation claim. 

Establishing Liability in a Summerville Golf Cart Accident

Anyone injured in a South Carolina golf cart accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person they believe is responsible for their injuries. This may be the operator of another vehicle or the operator of the golf cart, depending on the circumstances. In either situation, to successfully bring a case, you must prove:

1. The other party owed you a duty of care;
2. Through their actions or failure to act, they violated that duty of care;
3. The other party’s actions were the cause of your injuries; and
4. You suffered legally recognizable damages as a result of the accident.

One issue that frequently comes up in golf cart accidents is the concept of comparative negligence. Under South Carolina personal injury law, the fact that an accident victim was partially at fault for causing an accident will not prevent them from bringing a case against another negligent party. However, under the state’s modified comparative negligence rules, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, assume Joe is driving a golf cart when another driver hits him. Joe suffers $200,000 in damages as a result of the accident. If a judge or jury found Joe was 20 percent responsible and the other driver 80 percent at fault, Joe’s total recovery amount would be $140,000 ($200,000 less 20 percent). This is where having the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer can be helpful by preventing the other side from unfairly shifting blame onto the accident victim.

Contact an Experienced South Carolina Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one was recently injured in a golf cart accident, contact the Steinberg Law Firm for immediate assistance. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we are committed to helping injury victims and their families recover the compensation they need to move on after a serious accident. Since 1927, we have helped thousands of clients and, over the past ten years, we have recovered more than $500 million on behalf of injury victims across South Carolina. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with an attorney at the Steinberg Law Firmcall 843-720-2800. You can also reach us through our online form. We represent clients in Charleston, Goose Creek, Summerville, and the surrounding areas.

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