South Carolina has a huge number of golf carts being operated on our streets. These vehicles are largely dangerous to begin with, as they were never intended to serve as automobiles. Severe injuries, including fractured skulls, traumatic brain injuries, and even death can occur from golf cart operation in an unintended manner. Furthermore, modifications often make these golf carts even more dangerous.
I decided to write this article after seeing that a lawsuit was filed against a golf cart dealership after a woman’s leg was trapped and crushed under a modified golf cart leaving her disabled. In that case, the golf cart is alleged to be defective as a result of its modifications. In one of my cases, my client suffered similar injuries to her skull as the impact that killed Dale Earnhardt in a case that was featured on Fox News. These claims have resolved for $500,000.00, $360,000.00 and other confidential sums.
I have personally handled three lawsuits involving fractured skulls to occupants of golf carts. South Carolina’s DMV requires golf cart permits before they can be operated on streets. One alternative is low-speed vehicles, which are at least legal to operate at night and meet more stringent safety requirements.
Golf cart’s low speed and maneuverability seem to lull people into believing one cannot suffer significant injuries in these vehicles. This is simply not true. I have seen teenagers thrown from golf carts by erratic driving, and even a traumatic brain injury from a golf cart backed up a few feet by a child who depressed the pedal.
Dealership versus Maintenance
There are many issues involved in a golf cart injury claim, including whether the injuries happened as a result of some modification made by the owner, maintenance issues, or something done at the dealership, such as the lawsuit above which alleges the springs failed. All of these require near immediate involvement from a golf cart injury lawyer, to handle issues with spoliation of evidence, look into the proper parties, and also help direct their client to proper medical treatment for traumatic brain injuries and other issues that may otherwise go undetected.