Golf carts are small motorized vehicles initially designed to carry two golfers and their equipment with less effort than walking. Residents around golf courses use golf carts as a means of recreation. They’re more convenient and cost less than a regular vehicle. Sadly, golf carts have found a way off the golf courses and onto the streets of places like Florida. Hence, defeating its initial creation purpose. Even mall security guards use it as a patrolling vehicle. However, with its rising popularity came an influx of golf cart accidents.
Golf carts were created for golf courses. Understandably, they do not come with standard vehicle safety features such as safety belts, doors, mirrors, and lights. Also, they need to be more comfortably able to handle normal roads. One of the significant reasons for golf cart-related accidents is the unsafe surfaces of the streets.
Golf carts are not manufactured to handle the holes in the roads, the jutting up of the pavements, or the unmarked curbs. All these could lead to its veering off course.
Even worse, these unconventional vehicles have no driver’s license requirements. This lack of laws allows the underaged to hop on a little cruise around the neighborhood. Thus, putting themselves and many others at risk of accidents. While these carts don’t cause as much harm as a regular vehicle would upon collision with a pedestrian, there is considerable damage done with ER visits soon after.
According to a research article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, over 156,000 people received emergency treatment for golf cart-related injuries during the study period. Usually, during such cases, personal injury suits are filed. Here is where legal animation comes in.
More on Golf Carts
Underrated as they may be, golf carts have been found to leave victims with all sorts of injuries. They range from lacerations to strains, fractures, to even traumatic brain injuries.
Typically, golf carts can go up to 19 miles per hour. This speed is enough speed to cause serious impact injury or when an occupant is thrown out of the vehicle. This is the most common reason for injuries accounting for 40% of the about 15,000 golf–cart-related injuries believed to occur annually.
Another common cause of injuries is rollovers or tip-overs of golf carts. The accidents generated from these are fatal. On average, golf carts weigh from 800 to 2900 pounds and can carry up to 1500 pounds. This site makes it the same size as a small car.
In cases where this vehicle rolls over on a person, they would sustain numerous critical injuries. There are multiple examples of this, and one such is a report by the GlobalNews online news, where a golf cart rolls over a boy leading to severe injuries.
These accidents, as fatal as they are, usually have a factor contributing to them.
Who Is Responsible In A Golf Cart Accident?
As hazardous as golf carts can be, they do not function or malfunction without human input. There are two major factors responsible for golf cart accidents.
The first factor is the driver’s negligence. The reckless use of the golf cart can cause it to either fling the occupants out, tip over, or collide with a nearby object or another road user.
The case of Warshaw v. Rockerresorts Inc. is a perfect example of negligent driving. The plaintiff sued a resort and the manufacturer of the golf cart for personal injuries sustained. In the court, everyone discovered that it was the plaintiff’s fault that she got injured. A fellow occupant testified that the plaintiff was speeding through a speed bump, and when they attempted to stop the vehicle, the force threw them both out of the cart.
In the case where children drive the cart recklessly, the blame goes to whichever adult is in charge. In the case of Robert Wellman v. The city of Cedar Falls, children of a school in the town attended a safety program conducted by the city. The golf cart was left unattended with the key in the ignition. Some other kids entered, pressed the accelerator pedal, and crushed another kid to a car beside the cart.
Due to improper supervision of the children, the responsibility falls on the adults present for such a case.
The second factor in golf cart accidents is defective design or product. In which case, it’s the manufacturer who’s to blame. An example is seen in the case of Sipari v. Villa Olivia Country Club.
Here, the manufacturer was sued for the sudden overturning of their golf cart while the plaintiff was driving. The plaintiff landed on his back with the cart over him. He sustained a severe injury and had to go for physical therapy.
If the manufacturers had made the golf cart correctly, such an issue would not have occurred. In such circumstances, it’s only fitting for the victim to go to court to get compensation for injuries sustained.
How Legal Animation Illustrates Golf Cart Accidents
Cases such as this are very straightforward, as all vehicular accidents are. The accident is always caused by someone, in this case, the manufacturer or driver. All legal animation does here is paint the picture clearly for the court to see. It provides a visual representation of what went down during the accident.
In cases of a product defect, attorneys can present trial exhibits to show how the golf cart was supposed to be designed. An expert witness can even use them to highlight how the carts are made with all the faulty parts and errors highlighted. If any safety feature is missing, the attorney can also illustrate that.
Legal animation can also display the consequence of a golf cart being driven at full speed off a golf course. Not only is the terrain unfit for it, but excess speed on any vehicle also signifies reckless driving. Hence, legal animation can illustrate that the golf cart veering off course at maximum speed and hitting a pedestrian resulted from the driver’s negligence.
Legal animation of the various injuries that could be sustained from golf cart accidents would also be highlighted. It is simply to derive empathy from the jury and judges. They would see the injuries the victim got and other potential damages that could’ve been incurred.
A simple form of recreation should not cause this much harm to either the occupant of the vehicle or other road users. When it sadly does, legal animation can help in the attainment of justice for the wronged party.
We work closely with attorneys and expert witnesses to ensure that we create admissible demonstrative exhibits that clearly illustrate the facts of the case as well as their opinions.