Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer TBI

Golf Cart Injuries on the Rise

Golf carts were invented in 1932 “to afford unwell, older, or handicapped golfers the ability to travel the course while simultaneously reducing the burden of carrying equipment and to speed progression of play.” (ScienceDirect.com)

Today, golf carts are a popular mode of transportation off the golf course as well, especially in retirement communities, beach communities, college campuses and residential neighborhoods.

Due to the increased use of golf carts, their increased power and speed, their design and little regulation, golf cart-related injuries have increased over the last fourteen years. “The zippy means of transportation – no longer limited to golf courses – carries “considerable risk of injury and morbidity” to drivers and passengers of all ages…” (SafetyandHealthMagazine.com)

In a National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NIESS) study, spanning the years 2007 to 2017, over 156,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States due to golf cart-related injuries. Over that 11-year period, “the number of golf cart-related injuries increased by approximately 14.7%…from an estimated 14,599 cases…in 2007, to an estimated 16,752 cases…in 2017…” (ScienceDirect.com)

In the Palmetto State, in just the last few years, there have been several deaths from golf cart accidents:

In 2017, a man fell out of a golf cart on Folly Beach, hit his head on the pavement, and died.

In 2019, a Greenville County woman crashed a golf cart, resulting in a heart attack and death.

In July of 2020, Melanie Popjes was a passenger in a golf cart on Fripp Island. She was holding her infant daughter in her lap. Popjes fell off the golf cart, with the baby cradled in her arms. The infant was safe, because Mrs. Popjes had prevented her daughter from hitting the pavement. Unfortunately, Mrs. Popjes lost her life.

Melanie Popjes mother, Dian McDermott, is calling for stricter enforcement of current golf cart regulations, and for further regulation, including a seat belt requirement and a requirement for car seats for children under a certain age and weight. (PostandCourier.com)

Do you know the current golf cart regulations in South Carolina?

To read the regulations, see Section 56-2-105 of the South Carolina Code of Laws (Golf cart permit and the operation of a golf cart).

“Despite the high rate of injuries, there have been no meaningful changes in golf cart design or legislation to reduce the overall burden of these injuries.” (ScienceDirect.com) So, for now it’s left up to us, golf-cart drivers and passengers, to keep ourselves and others safe.

These Golf Cart Safety Tips can help:

  • Keep arms and legs in vehicle at all times.
  • Always use seat belts. If not installed, have them installed.
  • Abide by all normal traffic rules.
  • Do not drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Know and use hand signals.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Do not drive in extreme weather.
  • Perform safety checks at least twice a year. Golf carts need maintenance just like your car or truck.
  • Have headlights and taillights installed.
  • Don’t let inexperienced drivers drive.
  • Avoid carrying too much weight. Carry only the number of people the golf cart is designed to seat.
  • Check your surroundings, being aware of blind spots.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Avoid driving on bumpy or uneven terrains.

(GolfCarts.org)

For more golf cart safety tips:

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING GOLF CART ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart-related accident due to someone else’s negligence, let the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after a catastrophic injury. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to trial.

Our team and co-counsel has years of experience representing accident victims and their families throughout South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.postandcourier.com/columnists/parenting-has-golf-carting-with-kids-gotten-out-of-hand-in-charleston-and-mount-pleasant/article_18b8baba-e5d4-11e9-8020-8b8db111b19e.html

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer TBI

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death in the United States. According to Brainline.org, 2.8 million Americans are diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injuries each year. Of those 2.8 million: 2.5 million are treated in the emergency room and released, 282,000 are hospitalized, and 56,000 die as a result of the TBI.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” Anything that penetrates brain tissue can also cause a TBI (for example, a bullet or knife).

Common Causes of TBI’s:

  • Falls
  • Vehicle-related collisions
  • Violence (gunshot wounds, domestic violence)
  • Sports injuries
  • Explosive blasts
  • Other combative injuries
  • Penetrating wounds to the head
  • Severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris

(MayoClinic.org)

Ways to reduce the risk of brain injury:

  • Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, or ATV.
  • Install handrails in bathrooms, and on staircases.
  • Keep stairs and floors clear of clutter.
  • Put a non-slip mat in the bathtub.
  • Get regular vision check-ups.

To avoid TBI’s in children:

  • Install safety gates at the top of staircases.
  • Install window guards to prevent falls.
  • Make sure there is shock-absorbing material on playgrounds.
  • Don’t let children play on fire escapes or balconies.

What are the signs and symptoms of a TBI?

The symptoms of a TBI usually fall into four categories:

  1. Thinking/remembering

Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering new information, and concentrating.

Feeling slowed down.

  1. Physical

Nausea/vomiting (early on).

Headache.

Fuzzy/blurry vision.

Dizziness.

Sensitivity to noise and/or light.

Balance problems.

Feeling tired/having no energy.

  1. Emotional/mood

More emotional.

Irritability.

Sadness.

Nervousness or anxiety.

  1. Sleep

Sleeping more or less than usual.

Trouble falling asleep.

Online resources for South Carolinians with TBI’s:

Brain Injury Association of South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina

SCDHEC

Because of the tremendous costs and long-term health consequences associated with TBI’s, if you suffer a TBI that is through no fault of your own, it is a good idea to contact an attorney for help.

In May of 2018, Brett Baker-Goins received a $5.8 million lawsuit verdict after suffering two concussions while playing basketball for First Baptist School of Charleston. After suffering the first injury, Baker-Goins was treated at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and was diagnosed with a sports-related concussion.

After returning to school, “officials put him through the South Carolina Independent School Association’s ‘return to play protocol.’ ”(PostandCourier.com)

The lawsuit argued that Baker-Goins was rushed through the process, and did not follow proper ‘return to play protocol’. Therefore, when he suffered a second concussion less than five weeks later, this concussion “resulted in a permanent traumatic brain injury that has delayed Brett’s educational, social and emotional development.”

CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD FOR A FREE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CONSULTATION

If you or someone you care about has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

Other online resources used for this article:

https://www.neuroskills.com/about/media-center/