Clearwater Florida Vehicle Accident Lawyer FAQs
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What is the Law in Florida When a Golf Cart Injures Someone?Golf carts were originally designed to be used only on golf courses. For many years, their use was limited to privately owned golf courses and resorts. Today, their popularity has skyrocketed and they may also be found operating on certain public roads and within designated golf communities. Many people remain confused about what rules apply in regards to golf cart accident and injuries.On the golf course, they are used by golfers as well as by various other golf and resort personnel to run errands and ferry guests from place to place. People operating golf carts in this way are governed by Florida’s general negligence standards. The driver of a golf cart which causes harm to someone may be held liable and financially responsible for any harm they cause if they fail to operate the golf cart with “reasonable care."
What Type Of Injuries Can Result From A Golf Cart Accident?Some of the most common golf cart related injuries caused by a negligent driver include:
- Running into a golfer or pedestrian on or off the golf course
- Hitting another golf cart
- Crashing into someone on a bicycle
- Driving into a fixed object, such as a pole or tree
- Injuring a passenger by turning too quickly and ejecting them from the golf cart
What Does Florida Law Say About Golf Cart Injuries?Golf carts have been found by courts in Florida to be a dangerous instrumentality capable of causing great bodily harm. For this reason, a golf cart owner is strictly liable for its use. This means the owner will be held legally responsible for the negligence or carelessness of someone using the cart with their permission. The owner may be held strictly liable, whether it is a private person, a golf course or private resort. When the driver’s lack of care causes injury to someone, both the driver and the owner may be held legally responsible for the harm caused in the crash.
Are Florida Driver License Laws The Same For Driving A Golf Cart?In order to operate a golf cart, the driver must be at least 14 years old. A driver’s license is not required; nor is the golf cart required to be registered with the state, have a license tag or be insured like a car.Golf carts are limited by state law to a top speed of 20 mph. They may only be operated on specially designated public roads and within certain state parks where they are specifically permitted to do so by law. These roads are found within golf cart communities, mobile home parks and on a limited number of other designated Florida roads. They may only be used from dawn to dusk unless equipped with lights, windshield wipers and other safety features.When a golf cart is operated on a public road, the driver must obey applicable traffic laws. Florida statutes prohibiting such things as speeding, careless driving, running a stop sign, failure to yield the right of way, improper turning, and driving under the influence. These offenses may be enforced against the driver, and may be evidence of negligence when the driver’s action causes injury to another person.Florida also recognizes a vehicle similar to a golf cart which is designated as a “neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)” or “low speed vehicle (LSV).” These are not golf carts as they operate at speeds greater than 20 mph. They are regulated in a similar way as a motor vehicle with requirements including a driver’s license, tag, insurance and standard safety equipment.
Does Florida Law Require A Golf Cart To Carry Insurance?Golf carts which are owned by a golf course or golf resort will typically be insured under a commercial general liability insurance policy. The policy would cover an employee of the resort operating the cart in addition to covering the resort’s strict liability as owner of the cart. A golfer driving a golf course or resort owned golf cart will typically be insured by their own homeowner’s insurance policy.Homeowner’s insurance may not always provide liability insurance coverage for injuries caused by a private person using their own cart on a golf course or on an authorized public road. Responsible owners may have purchased a specific golf cart policy which provides liability coverage in these situations.
Have You Been Injured In A Florida Golf Cart Accident?If you have been injured because of the carelessness or negligence of a golf cart operated on a golf course or on the road, you may be wondering if you have a case. We want to make getting useful information as easy as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888-207-0905 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We look forward to discussing your potential claim and your legal rights to compensation.
What are the Florida Requirements for Driving a Moped, Scooter, or Other 2-3 Wheel Vehicle?
There are specific requirements for driving a moped, scooter or other 2-3 wheel vehicle in Florida. These are different than the rules governing the operation of other motorized vehicles, including motorcycles.
These Florida moped requirements can most easily be explained when examining 3 key topics: Licensing, Protection, and Insurance.
Licensing Requirements for Operating a Moped in Florida
Licensing requirements for these smaller vehicles are incredibly simple, provided you are not driving on a public street or roadway. Since a moped or scooter is not considered a motorcycle by legal definition, no specific license is required to operate one away from public roadways.
On public streets and roadways, you must be 16 years of age or older and hold a regular operator or "motorcycle only" license. This is because mopeds, scooters and other 2-3 wheel vehicles are considered "motor vehicles" on public roadways, and thus require a license.
Protection Requirements for Operating a Moped in Florida
As long as your vehicle has an engine of 50 cc or less, 2 brake horsepower or less, and cannot go more than 30 miles per hour on level ground, you do not need to wear a helmet. Any passengers younger than 16 years old are required to wear a helmet.
Insurance Requirements for a Moped in Florida
Insurance is not required for moped, scooter or other 2-3 wheel vehicle operators in the state of Florida. In some cases, you may be required to purchase insurance if you cause a collision on your moped.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is highly advised if you intend to drive your 2-3 wheel vehicle on public roadways. PIP could help tremendously in the event you are involved in a collision.
You may be required to register a moped (but not a scooter) with the county tax collector's office. You will be charged a registration fee and will have to renew on an annual basis. Contact your local department of motor vehicles to ensure that you are following the specific requirements for your particular make and model of scooter, moped or similar vehicle.
My Son is 14 Years Old and Received a Motorized Scooter for His Birthday. May He Ride it on the Sidewalk?
Motorized scooters are small vehicles designed to be ridden standing or seated. Some have gas motors, some are electric. They are not licensed or registered with the state of Florida. Therefore, they are not permitted on the roadway or sidewalk, even if the operator has a driver's license. Although most parents are not aware of this, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, their use is restricted to private property.
How Do You Make an Injury Claim on a Golf Cart Accident?
A golf cart accident doesn't just take place on the fairway. Golf cart use is becoming more common in subdivisions and retirement communities as well as short trip tours in apartment complexes and public areas like airports and malls.
The injuries you can potentially suffer in a golf cart accident can be just as serious as those in a car accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim for damages when another person's negligence caused your injuries.
The guidelines for holding another party liable are the same between a car accident and a golf cart accident. The other party must have acted in a negligent manner and through that negligent manner, caused you harm. Then, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove this through the use of evidence.
Evidence Needed to Prove a Golf Accident Case
- proof that you were operating the golf cart in a designated area under safe circumstances;
- photographs of the accident scene and damage to you and the golf cart;
- police report and witness statements; and
- maintenance records for the golf cart.
In a claim for a golf cart accident in you'll most likely be filing against another person or a manufacturer. If the accident was caused by another driver or pedestrian's negligence, it will be a claim against a person. If the accident was caused by a mechanical defect it may be against a golf cart manufacturer or maintenance company.
I was Hurt When Someone Drove Their Golf Cart Over Me. How Can I Get Compensated?
Many people are seriously injured by the negligent operation of golf carts. All too often they cause serious lower extremity injuries, including leg fractures, ankle fractures, knee injuries as well as serious scarring and disfigurement.
Florida has a Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine which provides the owner is liable for harm done to anyone by a dangerous instrumentality they own. A car is a dangerous instrumentality, as is a golf cart. As a result, the operator of the car may be liable for its negligent operation. The owner of the car remains liable as well because it is a dangerous instrumentality.
You may seek compensation for your injuries from the operator of a golf cart through their home owners insurance if they own a home. You may also pursue recovery from the owner. In most situations the owner would be a golf course or golf resort, which covers its golf carts under a general liability insurance policy.
What are Motorized Scooters and Mopeds?
Motorized scooters and mopeds are generally two wheeled vehicles which are registered with the state of Florida, having a gas engine with 50cc or less or 2 brake horsepower or less with an automatic transmission. Mopeds may also be manually pedaled. In order to operate legally, they require at least a class E driver’s license and tag/registration.