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Golf carts are no longer just for the golf course. More people are buying these leisure vehicles to use for casual outings in their neighborhoods. In fact, golf cart sales continue to soar across the country since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
But when such a golf cart outing goes awry, you need a Tampa golf cart injury lawyer to discuss your legal options moving forward. Here, we use our legal knowledge to tell you all you need to know about golf cart accidents.
For more legal advice, contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110.
Are Golf Carts Street Legal in Florida?
Golf carts are technically not street legal. You can drive them on certain roadways but under very specific conditions.
Florida law prohibits the operation of a golf cart on a public street with a posted speed of thirty miles per hour or less. They may also cross part of a country road that intersects a roadway that is approved for such vehicles.
How Florida Law Defines a Golf Cart
Florida statutes define a golf cart as a low-speed vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or leisure purposes. Also under this definition, a golf cart cannot be capable of exceeding speeds of twenty miles per hour.
Other important statutory provisions regarding golf carts include:
Limitations on When You Can Go Golf Carting
An individual may only operate a golf cart during the hours between sunrise and sunset. Florida law makes an exception to this limitation if the vehicle has headlights, brake lights, and a windshield.
Limitations on Who Can Operate a Golf Cart
An individual may not operate a golf cart on public streets if they are under the age of fourteen. Furthermore, Florida law does not require you to have a driver’s license to operate such a vehicle.
The Consequence of These Violating Florida Statutes
A violation of this statute is a noncriminal traffic infraction. Moreover, a lawyer could use such a violation as evidence of negligence in a personal injury case.
How Injuries May Happen
According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, for the decade from 2007 to 2017, an estimate 156, 040 people received emergency room treatment for golf cart related. Common injuries resulting from golf cart accidents include passenger ejection, particularly when making sharp turns. Golf carts are typically not equipped with safety features such as seat belts and door. Children are especially vulnerable to ejection, because of their small size and their feet do not touch the floorboards.
Explaining PIP and PDL Insurance Coverage
Every owner of a motor vehicle registered in the State of Florida is required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage. Understanding both types of insurance coverage is essential in knowing what insurance is available to you for your specific type of vehicle.
PIP coverage must cover 80 percent of the cost of your medical bills following an accident, regardless of whether you were at fault. Furthermore, PDL insurance pays for the damage the policyholder causes to another’s property as a result of an accident, such as a golf cart crash.
Low Speed and All-Terrain Vehicles
Golf carts are not the only type of low-speed vehicle rising in popularity. More Floridians are discovering how low-speed vehicles, golf carts, and off-highway vehicles are a great way to enjoy local communities and natural spaces. It is important that you know the differences between these vehicles, the traffic laws applying to them, and the regulations on registration, titling, and insurance.
Florida Statutes define low-speed vehicles, or LSVs, as any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than twenty miles per hour, but not greater than twenty-five miles per hour. LSVs must be registered, titled, and insured with PIP and PDL insurance. Also, any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver’s license in their immediate possession.
Standard Golf Carts
Golf carts are not required to be titled or registered and there is no state requirement to ensure your golf cart with PIP and PDL insurance coverage. Likewise, there are no state requirements stating that a person must have a driver’s license to operate such a vehicle. But there is a requirement that a person must be 14 years of age or old to operate a golf cart on public streets.
Converted Golf Carts
You can convert a standard golf cart into an LSV. Yet, you should be aware that if a golf cart has been modified to an LSV, then the registration and title date no longer reflect the manufacture date. Instead, it indicates the year it was registered and titled. This means that the vehicle could be older than the date listed on the title. You must carry the minimum of Florida insurance; specifically PIP and PDL.
You may only operate an all-terrain vehicle or ATV if you are over the age of 16. Moreover, you may only operate an ATV on unpaved roadways where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour. Florida law also states that you may only drive an ATV during daylight hours.
Florida law requires you to title but not register your ATV. Like with your standard golf cart, Florida law does not require you to insure your ATV with PIP and PDL coverage.
Florida Statute of Limitations for a Golf Cart Injury Lawsuit
The statute of limitations in Florida for an injury resulting from a golf cart is 4 years from the date of the accident. This means that your lawsuit against the at-fault party must be filed in the correct court within four years of the accident. Otherwise, you may lose your chance to seek compensation for your damages and injuries.
This is a difficult area of the law, so please consult with our law office about the specific facts of your case. You can reach us online or call us at 813-915-1110.
Should You Contact a Tampa Golf Cart Injury Lawyer?
Although it may be a difficult area of the law, this does not mean that you should not seek compensation for your golf cart-related injury. And make sure that you seek legal help within four years of the accident, or else your case may be forever barred.
Injured by Reckless Golf Cart Driving?
If you were injured in a golf cart accident caused by someone else’s negligence, then you are entitled to take legal action. And by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party, you can seek compensation for your injuries.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we have the experience, skill, and knowledge to win your case. Call Tampa golf cart injury lawyer Mike Hancock for your free and confidential case consultation at 813-915-1110. We answer our phones 24/7/365. You may also contact us via email or by filling out a short form on our website.