Jason Stephens | November 23, 2023 | Texas Law
Golf carts are popular in neighborhoods and complexes throughout Texas. Changes to certain state laws allow people to drive their golf carts on some roads by complying with specific restrictions. If you own a golf cart, it’s crucial to understand Texas golf cart laws and how your negligence could create liability for another party’s damages.
What Do You Need to Know About Texas Golf Cart Laws?
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) includes golf carts in its definition of unique vehicles. You aren’t required to title or register your golf cart in Texas.
However, you can obtain a license plate for your golf cart. If you meet the requirements under Texas law, including getting a license plate, you can drive your golf cart:
- On a public or private road that is open to vehicular traffic
- Within a community that has a municipality or county-approved plat, a master plan, and restrictive covenants
- To cross an intersection, including intersections across roads that have speed limits above 35 mph
- On a highway with a maximum speed limit of 35 mph during the day within two miles of the location where you park your golf cart for transportation to and from golf courses
Golf carts must be equipped with parking brakes, mirrors, reflectors, headlamps, and tail lamps for operation on the road. Counties and cities may designate roads and areas with speed limits not exceeding 35 mph where golf carts are authorized to operate. However, if you drive your golf cart slower than 25 mph, you must display a “slow moving vehicle” emblem in addition to the license plate.
Golf cart owners and operators should understand that Texas traffic laws pertaining to motor vehicles also apply to golf carts operating on roads. Also, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion regarding driver’s licenses for golf carts. Individuals must have a valid driver’s license to operate golf carts on roads.
Causes of Golf Cart Accidents in Fort Worth, TX
Unfortunately, golf carts can be involved in car accidents.
Common causes of golf cart accidents include:
- Negligence and recklessness of golf cart drivers and operators, including reckless driving, speeding, drunk driving, failure to yield the right of way, and distracted driving
- Operating golf carts on unsafe surfaces and locations
- Negligence and wrongful acts by motor vehicle drivers, including speeding, impaired driving, failure to keep a proper lookout, following too close, road rage, etc.
- Malfunctioning or defective golf cart parts and systems
- Dangerous property conditions, such as potholes, cracks, uneven ground, hidden hazards, etc.
- Lack of maintenance and/or prompt repairs
Golf cart accidents can cause severe injuries and wrongful deaths.
Common injuries in golf cart accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Crushing injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Nerve damage and soft tissue injuries
The damages caused by a golf cart crash can alter a person’s life forever. It is essential to seek legal advice from an experienced Fort Worth golf cart accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to fair compensation.
An attorney can help you identify the parties responsible for your accident, including motorists, passengers, pedestrians, maintenance/repair facilities, bicyclists, government entities, or golf cart manufacturers.
What Damages Can I Receive in a Texas Golf Cart Accident Claim?
Your damages represent the pain and suffering caused by the accident and your injuries. They also represent the financial losses you incurred. Most golf cart accident victims can receive compensatory damages for these losses and harm.
- The cost of medical treatment, including past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- The loss of income and earnings, including benefits, overtime pay, bonuses, diminished earning capacity, and future lost wages
- Scarring, disfigurement, impairment, and disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life and decreases in quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses for personal care, travel, medications, and household services
Texas is an at-fault state for traffic collisions, including golf cart accidents. Therefore, you must prove that another party was responsible for causing your golf cart crash before you can hold them liable for damages.
Furthermore, the at-fault party can allege that you share the blame for your golf cart accident. Insurance companies commonly use this tactic to reduce their liability for an insurance claim.
Under Texas modified comparative fault laws, you receive no money for your damages if your fault exceeds 50 percent. However, if your percentage of responsibility is 50% or less, your damages are adjusted (reduced) based on your percentage of fault.
Golf cart accident claims can be complicated. A Fort Worth golf cart accident lawyer can explain the various aspects of your case during a free consultation.
Contact Our Golf Cart Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth golf cart lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107