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Florida Personal Injury

Bradenton Sinkhole Lawyer

Due to the porous nature of Florida’s limestone bedrock, sinkholes are a common problem across the state and throughout Bradenton. Sinkholes occur when the top ground surface caves in due to water erosion of the rock structure beneath. Essentially, a small cavern will form underneath a house, parking lot, street, or business and, with enough time as the cavern grows larger, the top surface layer can no longer support itself and a cave in or sinkhole happens. Many insurance claims that are filed for coverage of sinkholes are denied in Florida, due to some tricky legal wording passed a number of years ago as described below. If you have suffered sinkhole damage, call the experienced Bradenton sinkhole lawyers today.

What is the Difference Between Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse and a Sinkhole?

According to Florida statute 627.706, catastrophic ground cover collapse is geological activity that causes all of the following:

  • Abrupt ground cover collapse;
  • Depression in the ground surface that is clearly visible;
  • Structural damage to a covered building, including the foundation; and
  • The insured structure being condemned and vacated by a governmental agency.

The definition of a sinkhole is more specific and geologically accurate; a sinkhole is a landform caused by subsiding soil, sediment, or rock and the “collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved.” In reality, there is no difference, geologically, between catastrophic ground cover collapse and a sinkhole. Legally, there is much room for debate.

Why Do I Need an Lawyer?

As you can see, the specific wording of this statute, when speaking of catastrophic ground cover collapse, attempts to prevent insurers having to pay out if not all of the criteria are met. Even the phrase “structural damage” means interior floor displacement or deflection, foundation displacement or deflection, listing, leaning or buckling of the exterior load bearing walls, and damage that is likely to cause the imminent collapse of the building. Over the years, insurance companies have lobbied the state government to create laws that make it more difficult for homeowners to receive payments for home damage caused by sinkholes. Because of the intricate and debatable wording of this statute, an experienced lawyer is always necessary to reach a beneficial resolution for you and your family.

Call Pendas Law Firm Today

Bradenton is located just south of “Sinkhole Alley,” and rests upon deeply buried carbonate rocks. While this means that sinkholes are less frequent here, the sinkholes that do occur can be deep collapse sinkholes that cause tremendous damage, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. While all home insurance policies are required to cover “catastrophic ground cover collapse,” most policies do not cover sinkholes unless the homeowner specifically purchased sinkhole coverage.

Contact our Experienced Bradenton Sinkhole Lawyers

If your home or property has suffered damage due to any type of ground cover collapse or sinkhole, you need to speak with an lawyer at once. Call the Pendas Law Firm to talk to one of our Bradenton sinkhole lawyers today for more information.

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