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Golf Cart Rollover Accidents – Who is Liable for Your Injuries?

Golf Cart Rollover Accidents – Who is Liable for Your Injuries?Golf cart accidents are common while at golf courses and country clubs. We often see cases where plaintiffs suffered serious injuries as a result of hard turns without braking, resulting in the carts toppling over. It is easy to get trapped beneath one or suffer blunt force trauma when a part of the cart falls on you. In certain cases, careless driving can cause a rollover; however, not every rollover is the fault of the driver, but due to a defective product or design. Design defects in a golf cart can be responsible for a rollover. In other instances, road defects can cause the driver to lose control and roll the cart – this occurrence can be much more dangerous, as an accident on grass is generally less damaging than on a paved surface. In either case, rollover accidents are dangerous and can cause permanent injuries to drivers and passengers. Since golf carts do not have safety belts, a rollover accident can eject passengers, often causing brain injuries and other types of serious damage.

What Causes Golf Carts to Rollover

In order to actually identify the cause of the rollover, our experts will need to physically inspect the golf cart, as well as the area of the accident. There are three main causes for golf cart rollovers: they include driver negligence, negligent design of the golf cart, and road defects; all are explained below. Golf Cart Rollover Accidents - Who is Liable for Your Injuries?

Driver Negligence

Driver negligence occurs when the driver fails to adhere to advisory or required driving regulations and safety codes. When a driver carelessly operates the vehicle, as in speeding or making risky turns and maneuvers, or drives while intoxicated, he can be said to be driving with negligence. A golf cart is very similar to a vehicle in operation; however, because of its design, intended usage, and max speed, many refuse to carefully operate it, and instead treat it like a go-kart or toy. This is not advised and can result in serious injury to the driver, passengers, fellow golfers, and pedestrians.

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Driver negligence includes operating the vehicle at high rates of speed or operating the vehicle in any manner which is unsafe. Additionally, golf carts are not fitted or equipped with safety belts or restraints. They generally should not be driven at speeds fast enough to cause serious injury in the event of an accident. As a result, any accident that comes about when the driver is carelessly operating the vehicle can cause significant injury due to the inhabitants not being securely fastened inside of the cart. It is easy to be hurled from the vehicle if it drives over a ditch and suddenly lurches, or if the driver loses control of the cart and it topples downhill.

Golf Cart Design Failure

In certain cases, the golf cart may have been improperly designed. Design failures occur at the time of production. When a product is designed without proper care or planning, it is considered a design defect. Design defects happen at the time of design, rather than assembly. In design failure cases, the prototype in which the design was based on is considered defective. This means that there was apparent knowledge that the product would not work as intended because it had an obvious flaw that was not caught or addressed.

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When a manufacturer designs a product that is defective, it will be considered a design defect. If there are injuries, you are entitled to recovery for your damages. This is arguably the worst case of product liability, as it shows a basic, fundamental misunderstanding of the product’s working design; when engineers do not recognize the issue, there are problems.

Manufacturing Defect

Manufacturing defects are similar to design defects; however, they are not applicable to every unit produced. Instead, manufacturing defects occur because there was a flaw or issue at the time of production, brought about either by machinery malfunctioning or an error by a factory worker. This can include assembly or fabrication issues, lack of correct materials, or lack of supervision at the assembly line. However, regardless of the cause, when a defect exists, all suppliers in the chain of distribution will be held liable. It is difficult to determine what other units were affected or suffer the same manufacturing flaw, so a large recall often happens if the product is shown to be faulty without user interference. That is why it is important to know which parties to hold accountable or responsible for your injuries. If you sustain serious injuries from a manufacturing defect on a golf cart, or if there are numerous victims, you may need to introduce other parties to expand your insurance coverage. There will be multiple lawsuits in play, and you should seek your own just compensation without settling for a split settlement for all the involved parties. The proper product liability claim will net you compensation for any damages you sustained while using a defective golf cart. See here for further information on product liability claims.

Liability for Rollover Accidents – Filing a Claim

Who is liable when a golf cart rolls over? There are a few entities or parties who can be held responsible. Each party’s liability will depend on whether the party acted recklessly, had knowledge of the defect, or were responsible for the sale or distribution of the product. Under product liability laws, a manufacturer will be liable when it produces a defective product. However, resellers, distributors, wholesalers, and others in the commercial chain of distribution will also be liable. Thus, a manufacturer will be held accountable when they produce and sell a product which is defective.

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Drivers will also be held liable if they were negligent in the operation of the golf cart. Generally, this will apply if they were operating the vehicle at a high rate of speed without consideration for the surroundings. Further, if they were operating the vehicle while intoxicated, they can be held liable. Golf courses should not rent out golf carts to anyone who is visibly intoxicated, however; if they do, they may also face responsibility for the accident. In addition, other issues of contributory negligence will be considered in certain jurisdictions. Rental companies can also be held liable in rollover accidents. If they did not properly inspect the vehicle at the time or if it had a mechanical issue which they were aware of but did not correct, then they could be held liable. All rental companies should be aware of what kind of vehicles they are renting out and the state of those vehicles; if the vehicles need to be fixed, they should be withdrawn from the rental pool and fixed. Failure to do so could introduce further liability in the event of an accident. Such cases heavily depend on the facts. For many accident cases, we will have an independent investigator search for the facts that are unknown or inapparent to injured parties at the time. These facts can help us establish liability when we take the case to court. If you have been injured in a golf cart rollover accident, contact Downtown L.A. Law Group for a free case evaluation. We will look into your golf cart accident and give you all the information you need to know about filing a claim, whether it’s a personal injury suit or a product liability claim. Our lawyers are attentive and caring, and you will feel comfortable talking to us about your goals with your claims. Our offices work on a contingency fee basis. If we do not recover any damages for you, you do not owe us a cent. We do this because we believe that no client searching for legal representation should be forced to pay debts in the event he loses his case, as that is just taking money he doesn’t have. A settlement guarantees additional income. We only get paid if we win your case. For more information on golf card rollover accidents, call Downtown L.A. Law Group today, and you can speak with one of our many skilled attorneys.  


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