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Florida Personal Injury

Fort Myers Sinkhole Lawyer

The thought that at any minute, the floor could open up underneath you and consume you, your home, and all of your possessions is a frightening one. It also is not outside of the realm of possibility. In Florida, due to our karst topography (bedrock that can easily be dissolved by rainwater), sinkholes are a real problem. Over many years, the bedrock underneath your foundation can slow be dissolved away by slightly acidic rainwater. What begin as tiny cracks turn into large cracks, passageways, tunnels, and eventually caverns. When the cavern becomes too big and the top layer is no longer able to be supported, a cave-in occurs, which is called a sinkhole, or catastrophic ground cover collapse. The later term was created to differentiate between what is automatically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, and what is not automatically covered.

No matter what your insurance provider claims the damage to your home was caused by (either sinkhole or catastrophic ground cover collapse), if you are dealing with claim denials on their part, do not wait another minute to contact a lawyer with extensive sinkhole claim experience in the Fort Myers area. Insurance companies in Florida have been fighting for decades to withhold payment to families that have experienced home damage from sinkholes, and have gone so far as to meddle in Florida law to get out of their rightful obligations to their customers. Contact our experienced Fort Myers sinkhole lawyers today.

The Difference Between a Sinkhole and Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse

Despite the prevalence of sinkholes in Florida, and their increasing frequency due to human-induced overdevelopment, according to research, at one time insurance providers were not obligated to provide sinkhole coverage to Florida residents. It would be similar to insurance companies not providing tropical storm coverage to Floridians: absolutely ridiculous. However, due to voter pressure, statute 627.606 was created that required insurance providers to include coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse. As you can see, the term “sinkhole” was specifically not used. While insurance providers must offer sinkhole coverage at an additional premium, sinkhole coverage is still not included in all homeowner policies. The difference between a “sinkhole” and “catastrophic ground cover collapse” comes down to semantics. Florida law defines a sinkhole as “A landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. A sinkhole forms by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved.” The law defines “catastrophic ground cover collapse” as the following four criteria:

  • The abrupt collapse of the ground cover;
  • A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye;
  • Structural damage to the covered building, including the foundation; and
  • The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the governmental agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.

Contact our Experienced Fort Myers Sinkhole Lawyers

As you can see, both terms can be viewed as the same thing, depending on from which point of view you argue. Because of this, if you have suffered any damage due to sinkholes or ground cover collapse, contact The Pendas Law Firm today at 1-888-573-6327 to discuss your options with an experienced Fort Myers sinkhole lawyer.

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