Court Determines Florida Golf Cart Accident Victim Was Covered Under Insurance Policy

Florida is known for its fantastic golf courses. Unfortunately, Florida is also known for its bad drivers. When Florida drivers get behind the wheel of a golf cart, accidents are bound to happen. This is especially the case when a golfer has a few drinks while on the links.

Legal News GavelFlorida golf cart accidents are more common than most believe. This is due in part to the fact that serious injuries are rare in golf cart accidents. However, golf cart accidents are very real, and a significant number of Floridians are injured in golf cart accidents each year.

A recent case brought by an injured pedestrian who was struck by a golf cart illustrates the difficulties accident victims may encounter when filing a claim after a golf cart accident.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was walking along a path in a retirement community when she was struck by another resident who was driving a golf cart. The plaintiff sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident and filed a claim with the operator’s insurance policy.

Unfortunately, the operator carried low-limit insurance, and the cost of the plaintiff’s injuries exceeded the coverage. Thus, the plaintiff filed a claim under her own insurance policy’s underinsured motorist (UM) provision.

The plaintiff’s insurance policy contained several types of insurance. Important for this discussion was the language discussing liability insurance and UM insurance. Specifically, the plaintiff’s liability policy covered any accident involving an “auto or trailer,” but it excluded vehicles “designed mainly for use off public roads.” That exclusion, however, did not include accidents involving “non-owned golf carts.” Thus, accidents involving non-owned golf carts were covered under the plaintiff’s liability policy.

The plaintiff’s UM policy similarly provided coverage for accidents that “arise out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the uninsured motor vehicle.” And similar to the liability policy, there was an exclusion for vehicles “designed mainly for use off public roads.” However, unlike the liability policy, there was no exception for “non-owned golf carts.” Thus, the insurance company argued that, since the plaintiff filed a UM claim, and the accident involved a non-owed golf cart, it was not covered.

The court quickly rejected the insurance company’s argument, explaining that under Florida law, UM coverage must be reciprocal of liability coverage. Thus, if an accident is covered under a policy’s liability coverage, it must also be covered under the UM coverage. Thus, the court essentially read into the plaintiff’s policy an exception allowing for the UM coverage of accidents involving non-owned golf cars.

Have You Been Injured in a Florida Golf Cart Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida golf cart or ATV accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may be more than one liable party, potentially increasing your chances of recovery. The dedicated Florida personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience assisting Florida victims with seeking the compensation they deserve for the injuries they have sustained. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Florida’s Rule of Evidence Regarding Witnesses’ Inconsistent Statements, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 19, 2017.

Court Finds Question of Whether Defendant Had Knowledge of Dangerous Condition Was a Matter for the Jury, Rejecting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 5, 2018.

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