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Golf Cart Accident Results in Man's Death

Chris Russo Jan 3, 2011

Plant City, Florida.  A Lakeland, Florida man died as a result of injuries from falling from a moving golf cart.  This accident happened on Saturday according to Plant City police.  Duane Roberts, 33, was riding on the back of a golf cart in the The Paddocks, a Plant City Community.  The accident happened at approximately 1:00 a.m.  Roberts fell and hit the pavement.  He was transported to South Florida Baptist Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  This accident is still under investigation.

As bizarre as it may sound, golf carts are "dangerous instrumentalities" in the State of Florida.  Not every state considers golf carts as dangerous instrumentalities.  Notwithstanding, golf carts do have a history of causing serious injuries and deaths despite their recreational and apparent docile nature.  Manufacturers of golf carts typically list their top speeds as being no higher than 15 miles per hour.  Due to a narrow width and a high center of mass, golf carts can have a tendency to tip over easily despite a relatively low top speed.  Further, golf carts typically have a roof and no restraints.  Therefore, serious fractures are common in golf cart accidents as the metal, plastic, or fiberglass roof lands on a person's head, arms, or legs.  There is also a known risk of falling off and striking your head against a hard surface as appears to be the case, even though not directly stated, in this incident.  Regardless of whether alcohol was a factor or not, the owner of a dangerous instrumentality such as a golf cart is in the better position to prevent injury or death from the dangerous propensities of his vehicle.  An owner should only entrust responsible people to drive the vehicle and should warn the driver against reckless or dangerous behavior.  Under Florida's dangerous instrumentality doctrine, it is the owner (not the driver) who is primarily responsible in tort for damages suffered as a result of negligence.  This is precisely why the owner of the golf cart (dangerous instrumentality) must be responsible and cannot avoid legal liability just because he was not driving.  The owner is always responsible when it comes to a dangerous instrumentality unless the dangerous instrumentality is stolen and there is evidence as such.  A policy of insurance will typically cover golf cart accidents.  Oftentimes the owner will have an umbrella or home owners policy that covers the incident.  Automobile PIP or liability policies typically do not apply unless the vehicle was street legal.  However, underinsured/uninsured motorists (UM) coverage is likely to apply if the injured person purchased that coverage on his own automobile policy.  If you or a loved one has a claim involving a golf cart accident, please contact a Lakeland personal injury lawyer for assistance.  Lakeland personal injury lawyers with Moody Law are standing by to help you sort through such a claim.  Death claims require that a probate be set and a personal representative be appointed.  Oftentimes, the only probate asset is a liability claim.  Our Lakeland personal injury lawyers can help you with both a personal injury claim and the probate involved in a death case.  Our Lakeland personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means no fees or costs unless we make a recovery for you.  A consultation with one of our Lakeland personal injury lawyers is free.

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