Who is ultimately responsible for a golf cart accident involving 14 year olds?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who is ultimately responsible for a golf cart accident involving 14 year olds?

My daughter who is 14 was volunteering for the YMCA at a golf tournament held at the local country club. The club rules are that you have to have a driver’s license to drive a golf cart. She and 2 friends were asked to take a golf cart by the YMCA director and pick up signs at each hole. One of the friends also 14 was driving and went off a bridge at the 16th hole. The bridge has no railing and I afterwards heard that it had been an issue about not being safe and in need of repair. The driver made it out of

the cart before it went over the side. The other 2,, including my daughter fell 15 feet With the golf cart. Miraculously there were only minor injuries to both children. My daughter was transported by ambulance and had CT scans of her back and hip but nothing broken, just bruised. Who was at fault? I’m not sure if I want to pursue anything legally, just for peace of mind. If it was ultimately the children’s

responsibility to know the rules and say no I can’t go pick up the signs, then that is fine. Or is it the YMCA for telling them to do it, or the country club for not enforcing their rules. There are a lot of people talking and they think the kids jumped on the carts without permission.

Asked on June 27, 2017 under Personal Injury, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that the version of the story you heard is correct, there appear to be at least three parties who are fault in varying degrees:
1) The 14-year old who drove, for both driving when he shouldn't have (while it is not 100% clear that a 14-year-old would know that he/she should not or could not drive the cart, it's also not 100% clear that he/she should not have known--these are middle school or high school students, not elementary students, and can be required to show some common sense) and also for driving the cart off the bridge (driving negligently or carelessly).
2) The YMCA director, for telling 14-year olds (who as stated, may have known better, but also may not have--it's on the cusp) to drive a golf cart.
3) The golf club, for having a bridge without railings, in need of repairs, both of which can likely be considered to be negligent.
No one in your story covered him/her/itself with glory; there is plenty of fault to go around.

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