Sinkhole Injury Lawsuit In 2024 - Things to Know

If you suffer from any injury due to a sinkhole accident, you should really think about filing a sinkhole injury lawsuit soon. It is likely that the sinkhole was caused by negligence and that you could be entitled to compensation.

Signs of sinkhole

You should be wary the moment you notice sinkholes around your property. Here are some signs to look for:

  • A round circular depression on the face of the earth.
  • Localized subsidence or depression anywhere on the property.
  • A circular lake (or a large, deep puddle).
  • A part of the structure starts dropping down and cracking.
  • Cracks in roads or pavement.
  • A sudden drop of well water levels on a site.
  • Rainwater disappears into ground openings.

Signs that sinkholes are caused by negligence

In order to prove that someone else is legally responsible, you need to provide that:

  • The property owner or an employee must have been aware of the dangerous surface but did nothing about it.
  • The property owner or an employee has been aware of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person in charge of taking care of the property would have discovered the danger and taken precautions to remove or repair the situation.
  • Often, a judge will determine if the property owner was careful by checking whether the owner took steps to keep the property safe.

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Who is liable for sinkhole damages?

As a sinkhole is a natural occurrence, some people mistakenly believe that they cannot do anything if they are injured in a sinkhole accident. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the sinkhole negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. The top lawyers can start a proper investigation of the sinkhole incident and negotiate with your or the liable party’s insurance company for a fair sinkhole injury settlement on your behalf.

Before filing a  sinkhole injury lawsuit, your sinkhole injury attorney must first assess who is the defendant in the claim. Your trusted lawyer will also determine the type of liability involved:

If you are at someone else’s house or property when a sinkhole collapses, and if you sustain grave injuries during the incident, you can sue the owner of the property under premises liability law. Generally, the property owner has a duty to his or her guests to maintain a safe and hazard-free environment.

A failure to do so could be construed as neglect. However, for premises liability to apply, the owner needs to know or have a reason to know that there is a sinkhole on their property. This can be proven by having a history of sinkholes in the area, a shaky foundation, or even a property inspection report that shows a sinkhole or the possibility of a sinkhole on the property. 

If the owner warned you of the possibility of a sinkhole beneath their premises, and you still chose to enter the premises, then you won’t be able to get compensation for any injuries you sustained as a result of that sinkhole. It’s best to talk with an experienced sinkhole injury attorney to get more insights on whether you are eligible to file a claim or not, given all the facts and circumstances.

Sometimes, a sinkhole can be manmade. For example, it can happen when a company or corporation, or even the government, performs extensive underground work or drilling and disrupts the entire foundation of the surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, if the sinkhole from which you suffered was the result of someone else’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit against sinkhole injury.

Undoubtedly, there are various real estate agents who are more interested in making a quick sale than being honest about the real estate property being sold. As a result, real estate fraud is a rising concern, particularly in areas where sinkholes are common. If a real estate agent sold you a property with a known sinkhole sitting beneath it, and they didn’t mention the sinkhole to you, you are eligible to file real estate fraud. Thus, you can claim compensation for the damages you, your loved ones, and your home sustained.

Sinkhole Injury Lawsuit

Things to do before filing a sinkhole injury lawsuit

Here are some common steps you need to know before filing your sinkhole injury lawsuit.

  • Always check out the sinkhole activity in and around your property. There are various warning signs that you should take seriously. We’ve listed some of these signs above. 
  • Contact the insurance company to conduct a sinkhole investigation. 
  • Find all your insurance policy to get the policy number, coverage amount, and other important information that can help you get maximum compensation for your sinkhole injury. However, if you don’t trust your skills or their capabilities in filing a sinkhole insurance claim, contact an experienced and reputed sinkhole lawyer who can file the sinkhole injury lawsuit claim. They can assist you every step of the way. 
  • Perform background research before contacting the sinkhole injury lawyers
  • Determine your date of loss or the date when the damages occurred. 
  • When you speak with the insurance company representative, you need to keep your answers brief. 
  • Most insurance companies will try to reduce the amount of your compensation.

 

Compensation for sinkhole damage claim

If it is determined that there is a sinkhole on the property, your insurer needs to cover all the damage that was caused by the sinkhole negligence. An insurance adjuster will then be sent to estimate the value of your claim. As a result, you will be able to receive compensation for:

  • The costs of repairs.
  • Loss of property use and personal items.
  • Depreciation of your property value.
  • Relocation costs.

How to prove your damage claims?

To prove your sinkhole injury claim, you need to gather evidence, such as:

  • Photos and videos of the sinkhole.
  • Records of the sinkhole’s exact location.
  • Records of any damage caused by the sinkhole.
  • Receipts for medical or repair costs caused by the sinkhole.

At Ethen Ostroff Law, we will help you get access to the top sinkhole injury lawyer in Philadelphia who thoroughly understands the laws surrounding sinkholes and sinkhole damages in the State. 

While some sinkhole damages cannot be avoided, there are others that are the direct result of someone else’s negligence. If your sinkhole damages could have been avoided, contact us at 610-510-8883 to help look into a possible claim for negligence. We will help you file a sinkhole injury lawsuit for your damages and ensure you receive adequate compensation for your losses.

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