California ranks as one of the best golfing destinations in the world. For those with the skills and the means to afford it, a round at Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines is a great choice. Some seek their fun on the more affordable and less exclusive courses like Wilson & Harding Golf Course in Los Angeles or Tilden Park in the Bay Area.
No matter where you hit the links, you should be able to focus on avoiding sand traps and bunkers and not worry about your safety. But when golf course owners and operators get careless they can put their members and visitors at risk.
Golf courses are businesses and that leaves them subject to premises liability. It means that if you are hurt on the greens or in the clubhouse due to the negligence of the golf staff, you should expect full support in your recovery.
A Free Consultation for California Golf Course Accident Victims
If you or a loved one were injured on any golf course, in a clubhouse, or on resort grounds, don’t trust that an insurance company for the course will automatically provide help in recovery.
Insurance adjusters earn bonuses for convincing victims to give up their injury claims or to accept as little as possible in compensation. But when golf course owners, management companies, and other golfers are responsible for causing injuries, they need to be held fully responsible. Golf enthusiasts and other visitors should never face their medical bills and other hardships alone.
California Golf Accident Lawyer Martin Gasparian offers a free and confidential case consultation to anyone hurt on or around a golf course. Schedule an appointment to find out what your injury may be worth and how to best avoid paying for a personal injury accident that wasn’t your fault.
California Golf Course Accident Dangers
Golf courses are like any business or public place, the owners and operators owe a “duty of care” to anyone invited onto the property. This includes all golfers, resort guests, and other visitors. The legal duty means they must do everything reasonably possible to keep visitors protected from harm.
They must fix the hazards the golf course and employees create. They are required to also monitor for the hazards that other visitors create and quickly clean up or repair dangers before guests could be harmed. If an accident occurs, the concept of premises liability makes property owners and golf management companies responsible for hospital bills and other financial damages victims suffer.
These dangerous situations arise more often than you’d think around golf courses. Sometimes it’s just the carelessness of other golfers or staff that gets people hurt. Sometimes others act with recklessness and disregard for the safety of others and end up injuring someone.
These are just a few of the personal injury accidents that often occur on golf course grounds:
- Slip-And-Fall and Trip-And-Fall Risks – Clubhouse employees are responsible for mopping up drink spills on slick floors before guests can take a fall. These falls cause victims to suffer traumatic brain injuries and commonly cause hip fractures. Wet locker room floors are also common slipping hazards. Golf resort liability extends into the parking lot and onto the course where a pothole or landscaping may trip someone and send the victim down hard to damage a knee. These hazards and more may also be found inside golf resort hotels. For more on hotel accident injuries, check out our informational page here.
- Sidewalk and Stairwell Hazards — A poorly maintained set of stairs with a loose handrail could also cause a tumble and leave a business fully liable. A crumbling sidewalk might topple a golfer over to break a hand or wrist bone, or a nose after a landing absorbed by the face.
- Cart Accidents – Golfers can make reckless decisions at the wheel of a golf cart and injure themselves and those around them. They may be under the influence of alcohol when they strike a pedestrian or another cart. Golf resorts may also be liable in a cart accident if they’ve provided an unsafe and poorly maintained vehicle to guests. It could also be found that golf staff overserved alcohol to an at-fault driver.
- Exposure to Chemicals – A mistake by a greenskeeper could expose golfers to dangerous levels of fertilizer and other chemicals. A cleaning product could be overused in the clubhouse. Lung damage and eye and skin injuries could result.
- Defective Products – A machine used in the clubhouse or a poorly designed cart might injure a guest. An electrical shock from a golf club cleaning machine with faulty wiring could cause serious injury or even death. Brake failure on a golf cart due to a faulty brake system may also cause a crash. A manufacturer of these products or vehicles and the golf course management company might be proven liable.
Inherent Risks and Golf Course Accident Liability
You’ll likely see signs along any California Golf Course stating that the course isn’t responsible for accidents. These signs generally deal with any risk reasonably associated with the activities performed in the sport of golf.
This falls under the legal concept of the “assumption of risk.” It means that golfers must accept some risks that are reasonably expected while playing golf. This can cover people struck with golf balls or for golfers who pull a muscle. These are unfortunate risks of hitting balls at high speeds around other people. You may not be able to sue the golfer hitting the ball or the golf course if you are struck in the normal course of play.
Whether you notice it or not, there’s often a waiver form attached to your tee time reservation. As you make your purchase, you’ll often be checking a box that means you forfeit your rights to sue if you’re hurt in an accident during a normal golf activity.
This waiver form makes it hard to sue others when injuries occur during the normal course of play. But when the negligence of another player or a golf course employee goes beyond normal carelessness, owners, operators, and guests could be held liable.
Your California Golf Course Accident Lawyer works to prove that the actions of another golfer or an employee were extremely negligent and could be considered intentional.
Alcohol consumption is one way other golfers are shown to be reckless and responsible for any harm caused to others. This recklessness can prove that an accident wasn’t an inherent risk and allow a victim to file a golf course accident claim.
What Can I Receive Compensation for After a Golf Course Accident?
Seeking suitable support after an accident on a California Golf Course is critical for victims because the consequences can be so devastating.
Victims of a slip-and-fall at the clubhouse might face weeks or months of physical therapy for a broken bone. Surgery could be needed in the years to come just to allow patients to continue walking normally. These accidents also take golfers away from the game they love. This can be an emotional blow and affect a victim’s enjoyment of life.
These are just a few of the factors that should play a role in determining how much in a settlement check victims should expect:
- Medical bills already received and the cost of care expected in the years to come.
- The costs of a permanent disability if a victim suffers a long-term injury.
- The physical pain and the emotional trauma victims endure. This includes depression and anxiety experienced while being unable to golf and participate in family activities. Dealing with the physical pain of a broken hip or a knee replacement is another challenging aspect of recovery that should earn compensation.
- Travel costs while visiting doctors and specialists in other cities. This service is especially expensive when a victim is in a wheelchair or unable to drive for any other reason. Shuttle service may be necessary.
- Lost income. Victims can be unable to go to work for days or weeks and will miss out on valuable paychecks. The costs of golf membership dues could also be the responsibility of an at-fault party while playing golf is out of the question for a victim.
Contact a California Golf Accident Lawyer
If you or a close family member suffer a serious injury due to the carelessness of another golfer or a course employee, don’t leave your recovery up to an insurance company.
Contact a California Golf Accident Lawyer to find out about the rights you have as a victim and all the benefits available to you and your family.
You’ll talk to Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law. He wants to hear about what happened to you so he can help you determine your best course of action. Mr. Gasparian fights to make sure innocent victims are never left to face the consequences of someone else’s mistake alone.