Golf carts are very popular among residents and tourists in Phoenix and other Arizona cities. In fact, these vehicles are not only used to drive around golf courses, but they are also used in residential communities and even cities throughout the state. Therefore, if you find yourself in a golf cart accident, it is extremely important to know that, just like with car and truck accidents, you need to take the time to determine if anyone is responsible for your accident. If you are able to identify the responsible parties, holding them accountable is recommended to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else and that you receive compensation to cover your injuries, property damage, and other losses.
What does Arizona consider to be a golf cart?
The law in Arizona considers a golf cart to be “a motor vehicle that has not less than three wheels in contract with the ground, that has an unladen weight of less than one thousand eight hundred pounds, that is designed to be and is operated at not more than twenty-five miles per hour and that is designed to carry not more than four persons including the driver.”
That said, while you may notice several different smaller vehicles zipping around on the roads and sidewalk areas in Phoenix and other cities, it is important to realize that they do not all qualify as golf carts. You want to make sure that your vehicle is considered a golf cart, which the Phoenix personal injury attorneys from Plattner Verderame, PC can help you determine. Golf cart accidents are different from motor vehicle crashes, making this a very critical factor in your case. If you have registered your golf cart with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division, you can obtain this information, which will assist your case.
Golf carts are street legal in Phoenix and other Arizona cities
Golf carts can easily be made street legal in Phoenix and other Arizona cities. In fact, all you need to do is make sure that the golf cart has:
- A working horn
- Working brakes
- Visible brake lights
- Visible taillights
- Title registration
- Proof of insurance
Many Arizonans are using golf carts to get around town and handle their basic duties as they are a cheaper option to driving a car. As long as your golf cart is street legal and you have a driver’s license, you can drive your golf cart about anywhere.
Can I hold a negligent golf cart driver liable for my injuries?
Even though golf carts are much smaller and much slower than cars and trucks, they can still cause devastating damage and life-threatening injuries. If you suffered injuries from a golf cart accident and believe that negligence was involved, you may be entitled to compensation. Regardless of if you were riding in a different golf cart, riding in the same golf cart, walking, or bicycling, you may have a potential claim.
People who drive golf carts often lack the proper training and experience needed to operate the vehicle in a careful and safe manner. They may be speeding, not making complete stops, failing to pay attention to their surroundings, and driving recklessly. Driving a golf cart doesn’t require a special license outside of a driver’s license, but it’s a very different activity from driving a car – especially since many drivers rely on built-in safety systems (lane assist, automatic braking, rearview cameras, etc) to help them. Therefore, negligence and inexperience are common factors when it comes to golf cart accidents.
Proving negligence may be more difficult than you think. However, with our experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers from Plattner Verderame, PC by your side, you may be able to successfully prove that the golf cart operator was negligent in their actions, which caused your accident.
What if my golf cart accident occurred in a retirement community or another private HOA community?
Retirement communities are popular places for golf carts. Almost every day that you visit or live in a retirement community, you will see seniors coming and going on their golf carts. However, if your golf cart accident occurred in one of these communities, the homeowner’s association (HOA) may play a role in your case. The reason for this is because private communities and HOAs typically have the potential to determine their own restrictions and rules within their communities. Therefore, if you were not following the rules set in place for that specific community, this may be brought to the judge’s attention.
It is true that the HOA is not responsible for enforcing public laws, but there are certain restrictions that you must still follow when participating in any activity on the property of a private community. That said, you are required to follow public safety rules as well as the rules that the private community has implemented.
If it is believed that there was an issue within the HOA or retirement community that led to your golf cart accident, our law firm will help you investigate these actions. Your best interest should always be taken into account. If your community failed to do this, Plattner Verderame, PC will stand up for your rights and seek justice for the harm you endured.
Other parties who may be held liable for your golf cart accident
Depending on the factors of your golf cart accident, there may be several other parties who may be held liable. Some of these parties include:
- The golf cart manufacturer
- The golf course owner/ property owner
- The golf cart owner
- The government or road owner
If you have been harmed in a golf cart accident, the Phoenix golf cart accident attorneys at Plattner Verderame, PC are prepared to advocate on your behalf for the fair compensation you deserve. Call our office or submit our contact form today to learn about your legal rights, how much your case might be worth, and the legal options you should pursue. We are currently booking free case evaluations at our Tempe and Phoenix office locations.
Partner Frank Verderame is a seasoned trial attorney, who has dedicated his life to helping victims of serious injuries. He is a Board Certified Specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, and has been an active part of legal communities and organizations since he started his practice, back in 1983.
Read more about Frank Verderame