Throughout Kentucky, you’ll come across all manner of vehicles on the road, from large trucks to smaller vehicles like ATVs and golf carts. While golf carts are typically associated with golf courses and designed for navigating their pathways and terrain, you might even encounter them on the main roads of Kentucky.
Like any vehicle, riding a golf cart brings with it the possibility of an accident. And much like virtually every other vehicle accident, that means there’s also the possibility of suffering injuries.
Free Consultations For Golf Cart Accident Victims in Kentucky
While it’s crucial to be careful when riding or driving a golf cart in Kentucky, accidents can still happen. When such incidents happen, it can be an overwhelming experience for you and your loved ones.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our team of experienced Kentucky golf cart accident lawyers can help. We’ll guide you through the legal process and make sure you get the financial support you deserve. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to learn more.
Where Might You Find Golf Carts in Kentucky?
There’s no doubt that Kentucky’s roads host a wide variety of motor vehicles, ranging from large trucks to “low-speed vehicles” (LSVs) like golf carts. While golf carts are primarily designed for transporting golfers and their equipment on golf courses, they find use in areas surrounding golf courses and have various other applications:
- High-end resorts and large hotels employ them for guest transportation.
- Some major universities, like the University of Kentucky in Lexington or the University of Louisville, utilize them on their campuses.
- Gated communities rely on them for convenient local transportation.
- Park staff use golf carts for patrolling and assisting visitors.
- Security teams use them for surveillance.
- Airports employ them for passenger and luggage transport.
- Retirees often use them within their communities.
- Tourist attractions make use of golf carts.
- Hospitals use them for moving people and equipment.
- They play a behind-the-scenes role at events.
However, Kentucky law specifies regulations regarding the use of golf carts and where they can be operated. Specifically, Kentucky Statute 189.286 outlines the conditions under which golf carts and other LSVs can be driven on main roads in Kentucky. Generally, they can be driven on main roads if:
- The posted speed limit on the public road is 35 miles per hour or lower.
- Don’t cross a road at an intersection where the posted speed limit on the crossed road exceeds 35 miles per hour.
- You have a valid driver’s license with you while operating the golf cart.
- You display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on the golf cart, following the rules set in KRS 189.820.
What this all means, at least from a practical standpoint, is that not only are you likely to encounter these vehicles throughout Kentucky, but you could very well be riding in one and be involved in an accident. When that happens, like any other vehicle, you can expect to have to deal with a host of different injuries.
Passenger Injuries in Kentucky Golf Cart Accidents
Golf cart accidents in Kentucky can have severe consequences for both drivers and passengers due to various factors. One of the primary concerns, particularly for passengers, is the absence of seatbelts, which significantly increases the risk of harm in the event of a collision or rollover incident.
While every accident is unique and has its own underlying cause, some of the more common passenger injuries that you or a loved one could experience in these accidents include:
- Head injuries – Head injuries sustained in golf cart accidents can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Even with the use of helmets, passengers remain vulnerable to head trauma when the force of impact causes sudden acceleration or deceleration. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and in severe cases, cognitive impairment or coma.
- Spinal injuries – The sudden jolts and impacts in a golf cart accident can result in spinal cord injuries, which can lead to partial or complete paralysis. These injuries have life-altering consequences, affecting mobility and often requiring long-term medical care, rehabilitation, and adaptive devices.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash is a common neck injury in golf cart accidents. It occurs when the head is forcefully jerked back and forth, straining the neck’s soft tissues. This can lead to chronic pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the neck.
- Broken bones – The force generated in a golf cart accident can lead to fractures of various bones, including the arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis. Fractures may vary in severity from simple breaks to complex, multiple fractures, necessitating surgery, casting, or other forms of treatment.
- Cuts and lacerations – Broken glass, flying debris, or sharp objects inside the golf cart can cause cuts and lacerations to passengers. These injuries can range from minor cuts requiring stitches to deep lacerations that may damage muscles, nerves, or blood vessels, requiring more extensive medical attention.
- Internal injuries – The impact of a golf cart accident can cause deep tissue injuries, including contusions, hematomas, and muscle tears. Additionally, internal injuries such as organ damage (e.g., liver, spleen, or kidney), internal bleeding, and punctured lungs can occur. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening if left untreated.
It’s crucial to understand that these injuries can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial implications for individuals involved in golf cart accidents. Thus, it’s extremely important to get medical care right away to address any injuries, then consider contacting our team to explore your legal options.
Understanding Your Rights as a Passenger After a Kentucky Golf Cart Accident
Passengers involved in golf cart accidents in Kentucky rarely bear responsibility for the collision, given that they are not in control of the vehicle. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that you, as a passenger, can still play a role in contributing to an accident. Fortunately, asserting your legal rights as a passenger is typically more straightforward compared to those of a driver in such situations. However, if you seek compensation for your injuries, you will, at a minimum, need to:
- Determine who is responsible
- File an injury claim
Like any other accident in Kentucky, liability in a golf cart accident hinges on negligence, which has four main elements:
- The at-fault party has a legal obligation or duty towards the injured individual.
- The at-fault party failed to fulfill this duty, constituting a breach of their legal obligations.
- As a result of this breach, you suffered an injury or harm.
- It must be demonstrated that the breach of duty directly led to the injury, a legal concept often referred to as “proximate cause.”
This, obviously, could lead to any number of liable parties:
- The driver of the vehicle
- The driver of the golf cart
- The owner of the golf cart, like a golf course
- The manufacturer of a faulty part or equipment
- The government agency responsible for maintaining the road
Identifying the liable party is a critical aspect of your overall pursuit of damages. Furthermore, golf cart accidents in Kentucky can involve multiple parties, making it possible to file multiple claims for damages. However, this may also entail dealing with multiple insurance companies. Thus, it’s important to work with our team of experienced golf cart accident lawyers.
Damages in a Kentucky Golf Cart Accident
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding golf cart accidents in Kentucky can have a profound impact on your life. Injuries are often severe, which means extensive medical care and resulting in a substantial loss of both your enjoyment of life and income due to not being able to work. These changes affect you not just financially but also emotionally and psychologically.
Fortunately, Kentucky law provides you with the opportunity to seek compensation through either an insurance claim or a lawsuit. While this process can be lengthy, it can ultimately be rewarding, allowing you to recover the following:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Medical expenses
- Costs related to rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Damages for the loss of quality of life
- Expenses associated with disfigurement or permanent injury
As always, filing an injury claim in Kentucky can be a somewhat complex process–particularly if you’re a passenger in a golf cart accident. That said, our team can make sure you have the evidence and legal support necessary to have a successful claim.
Dedicated Kentucky Golf Cart Accident Lawyers Are On Your Side
When you ride a golf cart in Kentucky, you should be able to do so without dwelling on the potential consequences of an accident. Nevertheless, accidents can happen, and when you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, being informed about your options is extremely important.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we are here to make you aware of your options and offer you the guidance and support necessary to navigate your claim. We want to make sure that you get the treatment and compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re on your side.