My son was injured when he was thrown out of my neighbor’s golf cart while my neighbor’s son was driving it. My neighbor said that he did not buy insurance on the golf cart when he rented it for the weekend and that since he wasn’t driving it at the time my son was injured, he is not responsible. My son has substantial scarring on his face from the fall. Who pays for my son’s medical bills?
We will look to the neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance policy to make a claim for the driver’s negligence. Not only may the driver of the golf cart be found to be negligent in the operation of the golf cart, but also the owner of the golf cart can be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. In Florida, golf carts are considered “dangerous instrumentalities,” just as regular automobiles. Thus, the father, who in this case would be considered the owner, can be held liable for your son’s injuries, as well as the driving son. We will obtain a copy of the homeowner’s policy to make sure there is no specific exclusion as to the rented golf cart.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for suing the owner and/or driver of the golf car?
Generally, the statute of limitations in Florida for an injury resulting from operation of a golf cart is 4 years from the date of the accident. This means that your lawsuit against the owner and/or driver of the golf cart must be filed in the correct court within 4 years of the accident, or else your case may be forever barred. This is a difficult area of the law, so please consult with our law office regarding the specific facts of your case
How much does a lawyer cost?
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we take cases on a contingency fee contract approved by The Florida Supreme Court. This means that our clients do not pay at the beginning of the case – payment to us is contingent on us recovering money for you. At the end of the case, either when your case is settled prior to trial or after a jury verdict, you pay a percentage of the money you receive, in addition to court costs advanced my us. If there is no money recovered for you, you do not pay attorney’s fees or costs.
The percentage of attorney’s fees depends on at what point your recovery occurs. Our contingency fee contract provides for 33 1/3% of the recovery prior to the filing of the lawsuit, what is referred to as “pre-suit” or “pre-litigation,” up through the time that an answer to the lawsuit is filed by the defendant, in addition to the recovery of court costs advanced by the firm. If the case has not settled prior to this point, then the percentage increases to 40% of the recovery, through the end of trial, in addition to the recovery of court costs advanced.
Examples of court costs which our firm advances on your behalf include the following: court filing fees (filing fees are required by a court before it will accept legal papers); expert fees (experts and consultants charge for their time in evaluating cases and testifying in court and depositions, sometimes thousands of dollars); fees to obtain medical records; postage; deposition costs (certified court reporters charge for taking down testimony at depositions and providing written transcripts of testimony), etc. We are proud of our firm philosophy to keep your advanced costs down to a minimum, so as to maximize your recovery. We will not “nickel-and-dime” you with such charges as long-distance telephone costs, costs for sending a fax or a “file set-up fee,” for which some firm charge hundreds of dollars.