The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
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In 2008, a group of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)investigated how often golf carts were involved in causing trips to the emergency room. Their findings were remarkable. First, they concluded that approximately 1,000 golf cart accidents occur in the United States every single month – that means over 30 per day. Second, and even more surprisingly, they determined that roughly half of the injuries occur off the golf course. In recent years, golf carts have grown in popularity as low-risk, low-speed forms of general transportation; however, this study suggests that they might be more dangerous than they seem.
I must say that these numbers seem a bit high to me. I've had several golf cart injury cases in Iowa and can appreciate the dangers, but still 1,000 accidents a month does seem high. Nevertheless, please read on.
When driving a golf cart, one must be vigilant of two unique risks.
First, passenger ejections. These types of injuries account for approximately 35% of golf cart accidents, and in almost every case it is the passenger who has fallen out of the vehicle. Oftentimes, the passenger will be ejected when the driver makes a sudden turn. Drivers do not need to be particularly concerned about these expulsions; their grip on the steering wheel will counteract the centrifugal forces. Passengers, on the other hand, must be careful. Golf carts have no doors, and oftentimes provide few handholds but the ones most do provided (especially ones at hip level, where most of them are) are positioned in such a way that they actually assist the ejection forces. To avoid these injuries, simply drive slower when going around turns and warn your passengers about upcoming maneuvers. Hey, I'm going to do a wheelie, hold on!
Second, rollovers. Rollovers account for only 10% of golf cart injuries, but they are often the most devastating. In many ways, the root of these accidents lies in poor manufacturing. Most golf carts are produced with rear-braking wheels, a set-up that, when the cart is rolling downhill, encourages fishtailing and, in extreme situations, rollovers. Just like ejections, rollovers are easy to avoid. Take downhill slopes slowly, and if the cart begins to fishtail, do not brake harder.
Golf carts are convenient and simple, and, with an ounce of precaution, are safe as well. Related Posts: Learn From A Tragic Golf Cart Wreck - In this post Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke discusses a recent golf cart death that involved Hays High School students. "Over the weekend, Alyssa Bargsley, a student at Hays High School (my alma mater), was killed in a tragic golf cart wreck. Apparently, Ms. Bargsley was standing on the back of the golf cart while the driver, another Hays High School student, was driving. The driver hit a bump, tossing Ms. Bargsley off the cart and causing her to hit her head on the pavement."
Learn From A Tragic Golf Cart Wreck - In this post Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke discusses a recent golf cart death that involved Hays High School students. "Over the weekend, Alyssa Bargsley, a student at Hays High School (my alma mater), was killed in a tragic golf cart wreck. Apparently, Ms. Bargsley was standing on the back of the golf cart while the driver, another Hays High School student, was driving. The driver hit a bump, tossing Ms. Bargsley off the cart and causing her to hit her head on the pavement."
A California family was more than a little surprised to see an 11-foot Burmese Python escaping across their lawn in Lake Elsinore. Police wrested the python into a truck and took it away to an animal shelter. The owner, offered as an excuse that while away he’d entrusted it to his brother and it had somehow escaped.
That may seem like a good-enough excuse to an owner but what if the snake had strangled an infant leaving it dead in its crib? Would the excuse then have been good enough to avoid criminal prosecution and civil liability? Owners of these snakes should be strictly liable for any injury or deaths they cause. All pet owners of Burmese Pythons should be required to carry a minimum of $250,000 in homeowner liability insurance coverage.
For additional reading consider the problem in the Florida Everglades and to the family whose 8-foot python strangled the 2-year-old.
Florida lawmakers could force ban of Burmese pythons, World Zoo Today, August 11, 2009
Officials at the state wildlife agency are now weighing the prospect of banning the sale and trafficking of exotic pets on the state’s list of Reptiles of Concern. The list includes four species of python as well as the green anaconda and Nile monitor.
But the proposed ban remains only in the discussion phase and would not take effect until 2010 at the earliest.
My alerts picked up this question and answer in SaddleBag World about the debate on whether helmets for motorcycle riders should be mandatory. I’ll say right now with so many other issues that need discussing I’m hoping not to have to go through this summer discussing this issue ad nauseum. The anti-argument is that we have a right to choose not too wear a helmet to protect our brains; makes no sense to me and having worked with brain damaged clients over the past 30+ years you won’t persuade me that asking bike riders to protect their brains is a position that I should abandon. Simply stated you can’t argue me out of the position that people should wear helmets or else the legislature should make wearing a helmet mandatory. Read what this brother says about his brain damaged brother; it rings true with my experience dealing with brain damaged clients.
by admin on April 27, 2009
QUESTION: My brother was in a motorcycle accident in October. He has an Traumatic Head Injury and left leg that was broken in many places. There's only me and my sister who are picking up the pieces of everything. Not many places in Iowa to help him be rehabilitated. It has been an awful experience to watch your brother through this whole motorcycle accident.
I would never want any other family to be put in this position. Do you have any other suggestions? Other than point out how there should not be any Helmet Law. Thanks.
ANSWER: Because it should be a personal choice as it affects only rider directly. You can argue the use of half helmets, 3/4's or full face. If it is mandatory then full face is the most protective but it will PO people who like the other helmets. Some complain any helmet restricts vision & hearing: they say no helmet is safer. I say make up your own mind. Who am I to says what you should wear? Who are the law makers to say what you should wear? It's another freedom taken away from you. Maybe one day the law makers will decide that riding a motorcycle is too dangerous and ban it completely…think about THAT!!!!!
The response is just the same old tired arguments about the risk of brain damage is a personal choice. If that's true then shouldn't suicide be a choice eveyone can freely make?
He adds that freedom is the right to risk brain damage and that no one should have the right to tell someone else what to do. That is a desperate and lame argument lacking in an understanding of how the real world works. When the risks are large and the damages significant society always has the right to tell us what we will and won’t do. Not wearing a helmet risks irreversible brain damage burdening not just society but as this young man explains the rest of the family that were not asked about whether their brother should wear a helmet. Traumatic brain damage doesn’t just affect the brain damaged person. No the motorcycle rider with the brain damage is mostly oblivious to burden he or she has created on the rest of the family. The burden isn’t just financial it’s a time burden as well. Brain damaged men and women need to be babysat.
A client once explained it to me this way. I asked her if taking care of her husband was like taking care of a child. She answered, “No. A child can learn from their mistakes.”
Is that what you want to risk? Being totally reliant on others isn’t any fun for the brain damaged person, it’s frustrating; especially if they can remember what they used to be like and the freedom they did have to do what they wanted when they wanted.
- Freedom to cook without forgetting to turn off the stove and burn the house down.
- Freedom to drive without being distracted by the radio station dial and sideswiping three parked cars.
- Freedom to go to Iowa State University and receive an education; not to flunk every class they take.
- Freedom to be in a bar with other college students and not wonder why they are being stared and smirked at.
- Freedom to manage their own money and not having to ask a sister or brother for permission to spend the Social Security Disability benefit check they’ve been able to save.
- Freedom to go to the Biker Week 2009 in Daytona.
- Freedom to attend the 69th Annual Sturgis Rally.
This freedom to choose is an old and tired argument by people, including lawyers, who are pandering to unrealistic and irrational thinking for the sake of doing business with you. It’s shameful to say the least.
I was traveling in Argentina this past January and saw a movie titled, The Lookout. It’s about the life of a young man who sustains brain damage from a car crash. Jeff Daniels plays the brain damaged young man’s blind mentor and as he re-teaches Chris how to live he states, “Let’s start at the end because you can’t tell a story unless you know where it’s going.” I suggest you watch it because the dependence you will carry on your back as a brain damaged person who once rode a bike is nothing near the freedom you want.
The Lookout marks Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank's (Out of Sight), directorial debut. The intelligent crime drama is centered around Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin), a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist. The film also stars Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), Isla Fisher (The Wedding Crashers), Matthew Goode (Match Point) and Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum).
A law school professor asked his class why is suicide illegal? Good question and it was hotly debated. Final answer: Because everyone owes society their best effort, intellectual capital and labor. In other words we are in this together. So wear your helmet my brothers and sisters and ignore those shouting about personal freedom and choice as if it were some God-given right. It's not.