A Redington Beach woman was killed Saturday evening after she fell out of the electric cart that she was a passenger in, according to Bay News 9. When the driver of the electric cart made a turn onto 168th street, the woman, who was not wearing a seatbelt, fell out of the cart and hit her head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
A case like this highlights what counts as a motor vehicle under Florida’s no-fault law, especially when it comes to the requirement for no-fault insurance coverage. Florida law is very specific in its definition of what counts as a motor vehicle that must be covered under a no-fault policy. No-fault law defines a motor vehicle as a passenger vehicle or other kind of vehicle such as a camper. This definition does not include vehicles that are not meant for highway use such as a golf cart or similar electric vehicle like in this case.
While the vehicle here would not be covered under Florida’s no-fault law, which does not mean that the owner of the electric cart has no liability. Because the cart is not covered under no-fault law, the threshold requirements do not need to be met and the liability for medical bills causing injury are not the responsibility of the injured party. This could actually mean a greater chance for collecting a larger amount due to being able to collect pain and suffering damages without the limitation of no-fault law.
In this instance, the owner and the driver of the cart would be responsible for all of the expenses related to the death of the Redington Hills woman including medical bills related to her injuries, funeral expenses and pain and suffering damages. Unlike if she was in a regular motor vehicle, there is no threshold that needs to be met in order to collect the damages and her family does not need to go through her insurance company first. The driver and the owner of the cart would be subject to regular standards for negligence damages, similar to if there was an injury that occurred on their property.
The amount of damages probably would be the same in this case as if the deceased was riding in a motor vehicle because death would meet the no-fault threshold. Where the cart not being subject to no-fault laws would be the most important is if there was an injury that was not permanent as required under the no fault statute, such as a sprain or other minor injury. If a passenger in such an electric cart sprained their wrist after falling out of the cart, they would not be limited to the no-fault threshold, meaning that they would be able to sue the owner and driver of the cart for pain and suffering due to the sprained wrist.
If you have been involved in an accident that was involving a golf cart or other similar electric vehicle, it is important that you contact an attorney at the Brooks Law Group as soon as possible. There can be many facets of liability in a case involving such an injury and it is important that you hire an attorney so you can protect your rights and get the money you deserve. Call the Brooks Law Group at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT today to set up a free consultation.