For many Florida families, golf carts are an affordable and fun way to navigate the neighborhood. Sun City Center, like many other communities, even allows the use of golf carts on many public roads. However, deprived of the safety features of larger automobiles, golf carts pose serious risks in the event of a collision.
With the high costs of health care only continuing to rise, any accident—no matter its severity—poses a serious threat to victims’ physical health and financial well-being. If you or a loved one was injured in a Sun City Center golf cart accident that wasn’t your fault, DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., can help you build a compelling case for recovery.
Golf Carts in Sun City Center
Florida lawmakers have long recognized that the Sunshine State’s warm climate makes golf carts an attractive alternative to larger and less-energy-efficient motor vehicles. Under existing state law, golf carts can typically be operated on any roadway that permits their use.
However, individual towns, cities, and counties make their own rules, which can be more or less restrictive than the broad standard set by the state. In Sun City Center, for instance, golf carts can be driven on almost any public road, subject to the following guidelines.
Golf carts are allowed on any public streets within Sun City Center, but they cannot be taken onto state highways. This includes State Road 674 and Highway 301.
Golf carts can only be used between the hours of sunrise and sunset. They can never be driven at night, even if equipped with reflectors and lights.
Golf cart operators don’t need a driver’s license, but golf carts are still classified as motor vehicles and are therefore subject to Florida’s traffic code.
Making Sense of Golf Cart Crashes
Florida law, and Sun City Center ordinances, delegate golf cart operators the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. Unfortunately, these rights can come at a cost—accidents are surprisingly common, and they occur with alarming regularity. Here are just a few of the most common causes of Sun City Center golf cart accidents.
Since golf carts are categorized as motor vehicles, golf cart operators are afforded almost all the same rights as persons driving larger automobiles. However, some drivers see golf carts more as slow-moving obstacles than actual vehicles. Instead of yielding their right-of-way to a golf cart, they frequently try to execute dangerous maneuvers, endangering themselves as well as the golf cart occupants.
Merging Accidents With Cars, Motorcycles, and Commercial Vehicles
Golf carts may be a common sight in Florida, but many motorists—commuters and tourists alike—don’t look for smaller vehicles when merging into traffic. Any oversight, no matter how minute, could have life-changing repercussions for everyone involved.
Other Acts of Negligence
There are various causes of golf cart accidents. Under certain circumstances, they can even be instigated by inattentive pedestrians and reckless cyclists. Other acts of negligence, like drunk driving, also cause or exacerbate the severity of a golf cart collision.
Fighting for Your Rights After a Sun City Center Golf Cart Accident
Florida is one of several states with no-fault insurance laws, but only individuals with golf carts that meet the definition of a “low-speed vehicle” need to carry coverage. However, even if you have insurance on a golf cart, policy limits are often too low to compensate for the costs of a serious accident.
However, Floridians have options beyond financial strain. Accident victims who suffer serious injuries often have a legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who caused their collision. If successful, a personal injury lawsuit can help victims recover additional damages. These economic and non-economic damages include, but aren’t limited to:
- Existing medical expenses
- Anticipated care needs
- Physical rehabilitation
- Paid co-pays and deductibles
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Psychological trauma
- Wrongful death
While Florida doesn’t cap damages in most golf cart-related claims, the Sunshine State has a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to contact an attorney, you could forfeit your rights to a fair recovery. Don’t delay: contact DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., as soon as possible.