Every golfer is prone to hitting a shot astray every so often. A golf ball travelling at an accelerated speed can land a serious injury on a person. It is estimated that in recent years, ten people have lost an eye due to a golf course related accident in Ireland which included seven adults and three children.
Golf Course Safety Requirements
Under the legislation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, a golf course has a duty to care for all people who are present on the course. This can include players, club members, employees and spectators. One duty the course must carry out is to erect safety nets where a ball might be miss-hit and cause injury to a person. If this is not possible due to a large open space plenty of signs should be displayed warning individuals to be careful. Every golf course must regularly carry out risk assessments in an attempt to identify and eliminate the threat of danger. When a golf course fails to carry out these duties of care they may be held liable if an injury occurs.
Injuries sustained in golf course accident claims include:
This is the most common cause of golf course injuries. Often the player hitting the ball is obstructed due to the landscape, trees or the sun blocking their eye-line. The individual is unaware that they’re causing a dangerous threat to the player ahead.
No Vocal Warning
It is written in the golfing rulebook that a player is to shout ‘fore’ when a ball is travelling in the proximity of another player. If a player is struck by a ball without any warning, then the muted party may be considered negligent.
It is common for a player who is new to the game of golf to cause an accident. This is purely based on their lack of experience and understanding of the rules and waiting time involved when playing a round of golf.
What do I do if I'm involved in a golf course accident?
Following an accident on a golf course, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Seek medical attention
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident needs medical attention. If anybody has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
You must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
Report the accident
It is important that you report the accident to management. You may be required to assist to fill in an accident form. This is to provide them details of how the accident occurred and details of the injury. You should also request that they preserve any CCTV footage.
Identify any witnesses
Collect contact details of any witnesses to the accident – their names and contact information.
Document the incident
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
- How the accident happened, time and date of the accident.
- Details of any witnesses to the accident (Including staff and other customers); their names, contact information.
- If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident.
- Take pictures from different angles of where the accident happened and what caused you to slip, trip or fall.
- Take pictures of any injuries you suffered, this will help your solicitor to understand how the accident happened.
Speak to a personal injury solicitor
If you are considering moving forward with a claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A solicitor can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.