Personal Injury Lawyer
The term golf cart is often mistakenly used as a catchphrase to define all low-speed self-propelled vehicles that can travel between 15 and 30+ mph. Using the International Light Transportation Vehicle Association defining standards, your lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can determine the type of vehicle owned. States and local jurisdictions regulate how each of the following types of vehicles may be legally used on and off-road and highway:
- Golf Cars – maximum speed is less than 15 mph;
- Personal Transport Vehicles (PTV) – maximum speed is less than 20 mph;
- Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) – maximum speed is 21 – 25 mph;
- Utility and Transport Vehicles (UTV) – primarily intended to transport material loads or people with a maximum speed of 25 mph
These light-weight vehicles are popular forms of transportation in golf and retirement communities. Certain local jurisdictions in states with large retiree populations such as Florida and Arizona may have laws that permit the use of light vehicles on roads or in modal lanes engineered specifically for bicycles, scooters and low-speed personal transportation vehicles. In agricultural states such as Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, the legality of on-road use is determined by local jurisdictions. Before you take a light vehicle on the road, correctly identify the category of your vehicle, contact your personal injury lawyer to learn the local laws for on-road use and contact your insurance company to determine how you are or are not covered.
Children are especially at risk for accidents involving light-weight vehicles. Golf cart accidents involving children under the age of 16 account for 31.2% of injuries received. The Medical Journal of Emergency Medicine recently published a study relating to golf cart injuries and children under 18. It was learned that 60% of harms involved head and neck injuries and child drivers as young as 9 years old were statistically implicated in the overturning of the cart. While injuries received on a golf course may be covered by the owner of the vehicle, your personal injury lawyer may bring a premises liability action to cover substantial medical damages.
A standard automobile insurance policy will probably not pay for injuries you or your passengers receive while operating a light personal transportation vehicle. Likewise, you should not automatically assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover an incident with injuries, particularly if an accident occurs off your property. Some insurance companies will allow you to purchase an endorsement which may be attached to your automobile or homeowner insurance. Other carriers may recommend a separate “golf cart” policy that will protect you and your loved ones in case of an injury or property damage to the vehicle occurs.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a light-vehicle transportation accident, contact the personal injury lawyer Indianapolis, IN respects, take photographs if possible and note the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses who may have seen the accident.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury practice.