Golf Cart Accidents and Liability

Golf carts are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in Georgetown, downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach and other communities throughout South Carolina. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, about 15,000 golf cart-related injuries are serious enough to necessitate an emergency room visit occur in the United States every year. Unfortunately, like motorcycle accidents, when a person or family is involved in a golf cart accident, these accidents often cause catastrophic injuries as golf carts lack safety features available in most automobiles.

In a journal published in The American Surgeon, Dr. Antonio Pepe of Grand Strand Surgical Care in Horry County, South Carolina, reported that 75% of the golf cart-related injuries identified in his study required hospital admission. According to Dr. Pepe “[m]ore importantly, and more dramatically, we’ve seen a lot of head-related injuries… these vary from minor to severe concussions, to severe brain injuries, mild concussion and moderate brain injury, and even severe brain injury.” According to the journal, 13% of the patients injured required admission to the intensive care unit.

Although sometimes these golf cart accidents are truly unpreventable, many are the result of negligence of another person or the driver of the golf cart. In these cases, the person injured in the golf cart accident may be entitled to compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and in some situations, punitive damages. It is important to consult with an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer who can explain the process and determine what available insurance coverage exists.

When consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether or not to pursue a case, there are many factors that have to be explored and investigated. It is important to quickly contact an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with golf cart liability as it can be crucial to preserve evidence and start the process of seeking medical treatment. For example, if you are the owner of the golf cart, it may need to be preserved in the appropriate manner to later be inspected by liability experts and engineers. If you are not the owner of the golf cart, it may be appropriate to have an experienced photographer or investigator take photographs of the golf cart that can be used in litigation.

Below is a list of some questions that will need to be discussed when consulting with an attorney:

When and where did the golf cart accident occur?

In South Carolina, you can only drive a golf cart during daylight hours. During these hours, you can drive on secondary highways or streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. You can cross a highway or street at an intersection even if the highway or street being crossed has a speed limit of greater than 35 mph. As such, it must be determined whether the driver of the golf cart was operating the golf cart lawfully.

Additionally, it is important to determine where the accident occurred. If the accident occurs on private property, this may trigger additional insurance coverage applicable to the property owner. For example, if the driver is a golf course employee, the golf course itself may be at fault, triggering whatever insurance the golf course maintains. Additionally, if the golf cart accident occurred on a farm, there may home owner insurance coverage or a commercial general liability policy in place applicable to your claim. Your attorney should be able to determine how much insurance coverage is in place for the injury.

Who owns and maintains the golf cart and is it registered?

Additionally, for the purpose of establishing liability and determining the amount of available insurance coverage, it is particularly important to know who owns and maintains the golf cart. In South Carolina, particularly on public land, the golf cart must be registered through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to register the golf cart, the owner must complete the following through the DMV:

  • Submit a completed Golf Cart Permit Decal and Registration Application (Form GC-2).
  • Provide proof of insurance for the golf cart.
  • Submit a SC driver’s license number (and the driver’s license number of all other drivers of the cart).
  • Pay the $5 fee.

By determining who registered and owns the golf cart, your attorney can determine how much insurance coverage is available for your injuries.

If the accident was caused by a problem with the golf cart itself, the golf course, country club, or individual who owns the golf cart may be liable for failing to properly maintain it. Similarly, if a specific person often uses the golf cart and did not report potential damage or wear, they may be responsible.

Were alcohol or drugs involved?

Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the major risk factors for golf cart injuries as there is a common misconception that a slower vehicle, like a golf cart, decreases the likelihood of serious injury. According to the report, Golf cart-related injuries: A community at risk, the patients who presented with golf cart injuries were screened for alcohol and nearly 40% of the patients had evidence of alcohol intoxication.

A driver who is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle or golf cart is most likely liable for any accident that occurs, but if they were over-served (especially if the driver is underage), the provider of the alcohol may also be liable under South Carolina Dram Shop laws. These are situations your experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer should investigate.

Some auto insurance companies offer specialized golf cart insurance coverage, but even those claims can be denied. Whether your golf cart accident is covered by homeowner’s insurance, motorcycle insurance, car insurance or another party’s property liability insurance, golf cart liability coverage can be a challenge to prove. When a severe golf cart accident injury has occurred, such as an occupant who suffered traumatic head injuries after being ejected from a golf cart, any ambulance, hospital, surgery and rehabilitation bills can be financially devastating.

Contact a South Carolina Golf Cart Accident Attorney

While these are some of the most pertinent questions that help determine liability, in most cases, many factors will be involved. That’s why it can help to consult an experienced South Carolina accident lawyer about any golf cart accident liability questions. If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident, call Evans Moore, LLC today at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation on your case. As experienced South Carolina golf accident attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to quickly help you determine who is most at fault and help you pursue an effective claim.


Items Left Inside a Patient After Surgery

Every year thousands of patients suffer serious complications from the most preventable injury: foreign items left in the body after an operation. Surgical items like sponges, clamps, and needles can cause life-threatening infections and other complications, including perforation of internal organs and permanent nerve damage. Retained foreign objects after surgery are classified as “never events,” meaning they are never supposed to occur and are 100% preventable.

It is difficult to estimate the magnitude of how often this type of medical negligence occurs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 5000 surgeries. However, a study done in 2008 reported to the Annals of Surgery that mistakes in tool and sponge counts happened in 12.5% of surgeries. Additionally, the Patient Safety Monitor Alert, announced in 2003 that 1,500 tools were stitched into patients each year. About 1% of these cases result in death. These retained foreign objects, most commonly sponges used to soak up blood and fluids, can spread harmful bacteria or cause painful tumors to grow around the object. The foreign object may not cause any immediate symptoms and may take months or years to be discovered.

Common Retained Foreign Objects

The average surgery uses about 300 surgical instruments, and major surgeries can use up to 600 instruments. All of them must be carefully tracked or they can be negligently left behind. The most common foreign objects or instruments left after surgery include:

  • Sponges
  • Towels
  • Clamps
  • Retractors
  • Gauze
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Effects of Foreign Objects in the Body

Serious and potentially fatal consequences result from retained foreign objects after surgeries. Some complications include:

  • The most common signs are symptoms of infection. These infections can become fatal if they reach vital organs.
  • Pain as the foreign objects, if not quickly removed, can cause permanent nerve damage.
  • Damage to organs, blood vessels, and other structures—sharp objects like needles and scalpels can perforate nearby organs and vessels.
  • Death—if infections or internal damages are not detected and treated in a timely manner, results can be fatal for the patient.

Although retained object complications are becoming increasingly more common, they are entirely preventable. There are a number of safeguards hospitals employ to prevent surgical tools from being left in patients’ bodies. However, sometimes the system breaks down due to human error or unforeseen circumstances related to the surgery. Leaving a tool in a patient after surgery is generally a clear case of negligence in South Carolina. A lawsuit for retained foreign objects after surgery falls into the category of a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have undergone surgery and feel that you have suffered a retained foreign object injury, contact the surgical negligence attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC.

If you or a loved one has suffered complications from items left inside a patient after surgery, you need to ensure you are well represented by an attorney with experience handling retained object cases. The complications suffered could have been avoided and may have lasting consequences that can affect your quality of life for years to come. The retained foreign object attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC are experienced medical malpractice attorneys who work tirelessly to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the damages you or your loved one suffered. For more information, feel free to contact us directly at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation.


Evans Moore Law Firm Files Lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Eddie Gaskins Alleging Wrongful Death as a Result of the Lee Correctional Prison Riot

 

Today, May 24, 2018, Evans Moore, LLC, along with Rhoad & Rhoad, and the Law Office of Grover Seaton, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections in connection with the Lee Correctional prison riot that took place on April 15, 2018.

According to Mr. Gaskins’ death certificate, Mr. Gaskins died from exsanguination, also known as severe loss of blood, due to multiple stab wounds and sharp force injuries. The Estate of Eddie Gaskins is the first wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the prison riot that left seven (7) inmates dead and an additional twenty-two (22) hospitalized. The Lee Correctional prison riot has been classified as the Nation’s deadliest prison riot in a quarter-century.

The pleadings allege that recent incidents within SCDC, including the Lee Correctional prison riot, show a pattern and practice of gross negligence and conscious indifference by the administrators and supervisors at Lee Correctional Institution in properly monitoring the inmates, providing basic medical care, and supervising and training correctional officers among other issues.

Attorney James B. Moore III, one of the attorneys representing the Estate of Eddie Gaskins stated: “What should have been a likely two-year sentence resulted in a death sentence for Eddie. How much blood must be spilled before SCDC adheres to its own rules? Eddie was not just an inmate; he was a son, a brother, and a father to four young children.”

Attorney Scott C. Evans added: “Lee Correctional Institution has a history of serious human rights violations.  Ten years ago, SCDC’s own documents implicated Lee Correctional staff in the freezing death of a non-verbal, developmentally disabled inmate who was left without clothing or blankets for 7 days in the winter.  Not a single Lee Correctional employee was indicted, fired, reprimanded, or even written up in connection with that inmate’s death.  This continuing pattern of blatant disregard for basic safety and human rights has no place in the modern world.”

Evans Moore, LLC anticipates the filing of a separate lawsuit in Federal Court for the violations of Mr. Gaskin’s civil rights once discovery progresses and the pending investigatory reports are released.


James B. Moore III selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 “Legal Elite of the Lowcountry” for his work in Personal Injury Litigation.

Charleston, S.C. – Evans Moore, LLC is pleased to announce that James B. (Boo) Moore III was selected by his peers as one of the top attorneys for Personal Injury in the Charleston area. The voting was part of the process in determining Charleston Business Magazine’s 2017 Legal Elite of the Lowcountry.  

 Legal Elite gives every attorney who lives and works in the Charleston area the chance to participate, and attorneys are not allowed to vote for themselves. The winners are drawn from a pool of peer-nominated candidates and regarded as among the best in their fields. 

 James B. Moore III is partner at Evans Moore, LLC. He is admitted to all state and federal courts in South Carolina, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Since his entry into private practice, he has obtained significant recoveries in the form of verdicts and settlements for individuals in many different types of cases, including trucking accidents, car accidents, civil rights violations, sexual assaults, police misconduct and excessive force, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, jail and prison negligence, medical and hospital negligence, nursing home negligence and abuse, negligence at schools and summer camps, college hazing abuse, pharmaceutical errors, and premises injuries.

 About Charleston Business Magazine Charleston Business Magazine is a resource for Charleston area business leaders, rising stars, entrepreneurs, and any people or groups that have a vested interest in the success of the Charleston business community. The magazine highlights what’s new, what’s developing, and what’s being debated in board rooms, legislative chambers, and office hallways. It shares information about who’s making a difference in the Lowcountry, from prominent Charleston corporations to thriving nonprofits and fledgling startups.