Accidents do happen and it could be just a matter of time for an underage driver of a golf cart to hurt someone on the streets of Seven Lakes or riding with them.
Golf carts aren‘t just for golfers anymore, and their widening use means injuries for kids who want to give the vehicles a whirl, new research shows.
Researchers looked at more than 100 children treated at pediatric or adult trauma centers in Pennsylvania after being injured in a golf cart.The injuries weren‘t always mild. Three-quarters experienced at least one bone fracture; more than 4 in 10 suffered a skull fracture; and more than a third required admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the study showed.
Unfortunately I hope this never occurs but if it does, parentswill have a rude awakening when the lawsuits begin alleging “parental negligence and name the HOA also.”This could be a catastrophic for the families and the community.
In NC the driver of golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license. Driver must have with them proof of liability insurance and valid drivers license.
Recently in FL four children were riding in a Golf Cart when the unlicensed 15-year-old girl driving the cart darted in front of an oncoming car. The car, crashed into the golf cart, causing its driver and passengers, ages 11, 13, 14 and 15, to be ejected onto the street. The children were transported by ambulance to the local trauma unit at where one was treated for a catastrophic injury.
While the parents of the golf cart driver can be sued for negligence in such a case, the association can also be named as a defendant. In fact, according to the HOA community’s governing documents filed with the clerk of courts, theyrequired a golf cart driver to be at least 16 years old and carry a valid driver’s license. If enforcement of this rule was lax, potential liability could be alleged.
Typically, insurance companies and lawyers representing the injured in any golf cart crash will investigate every aspect of the incident.
They will look into the association’s actions and warnings to enforce its rules involving underage cart drivers, and whether any notices had previously been sent to either the driver or their parents.They will also explore the actions of the parent/owner of the vehicle.
For communities like Seven Lakes in which golf carts are prevalent, associationsmust develop and enforce their own rules and restrictions for age and license requirements for drivers, and security must monitor and stop all offenders in order to provide effective enforcement.
Otherwise, our community risks potentially significant exposure and legal liability in the event there is an accident involving an underage golf cart driver.