Long Island is filled with beautiful golf courses, from the public courses at Eisenhower and Bethpage State Parks to the many private clubs including Garden City Golf Club and Rockville Links Club. But beyond the fun of this popular pastime is a game rife with lawsuits. “Golf is probably towards the top of the list of sports-related lawsuits”, noted New York personal injury lawyer Neal Goldstein. “There are thousands of slip-and-fall suits, claims by homeowners or passing motorists hit by flying golf balls, and lawsuits alleging injuries from faulty course design and discrimination suits.”
Crystal Timpanaro of Emerson, NJ, sued the Owls Creek Golf Course in Virginia for $1 million after she was hit by a shanked drive from an adjacent tee box. Dr. Azaz Anand sued the Dix Hills Golf Course after getting hit with a shot in the eye. The important question is whether the injuries were a result of the golf course owner’s failure to properly secure the course, rather than just an injury that resulted because of the many risks of playing golf.
When a golf course is poorly designed and lends itself to errant shots that may injure a player, victims may be entitled to compensation from the owner. It is a golf course owner’s duty to make sure the playing area is as secured as possible, that tee areas are well-placed and fairways are designed safely. When there is a high-risk area on a course, or an area that have already been the scene of accidents, a course owner should either look to make design changes or install safety netting to catch runaway shots.
Course owners are not responsible, though, when players fail to follow the rules or for well-intended shots that just miss their mark by a lot. The course’s exposure to liability is typically limited only to the conditioning of the course itself or equipment failure.
If you’ve been injured on a golf course, it is important to ask, “Could my injury have been avoided if the course owner took precautions?” If so, you may be entitled to compensation. At Goldstein and Bashner, we have experience handling cases such as these and want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will guide you through the legal process, let you know what to expect, and answer any questions you have.