Understanding Sinkhole Liability & Who Is At Fault
Because a sinkhole is a natural occurrence, many people mistakenly believe that if they are injured in a Florida sinkhole accident, or if their property is severely damaged in a sinkhole accident, that there is nothing they can do about it. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the sinkhole accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. At The Pendas Law Firm, our West Palm Beach sinkhole lawyers deal with a number of sinkhole accidents throughout the state of Florida, and can help you determine whether or not someone else is at fault for the sinkhole that lead to your losses and damages. Furthermore, we can investigate the sinkhole incident and negotiate with yours or the liable party’s insurance company for a fair settlement on your behalf.
When Someone Else May Be Liable for Your Sinkhole Damages
If you or a loved one was injured or even killed during a sinkhole event in Florida, you may have a potential lawsuit on your hands. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, our West Palm Beach sinkhole lawyers may be able to prove that had it not been for someone else’s negligence, you would not have been at the site of the sinkhole when it collapsed. Instances in which liability for a sinkhole accident may fall on someone else’s shoulders include one of the following:
- Premises Liability: If you are at someone else’s house or on someone else’s property when a sinkhole collapses, and if you sustain serious injuries during the incident, you may be able to sue the owner of the property under the theory of premises liability. Typically, the owner of a property has a duty to his or her guests to maintain a safe and hazard-free environment. The failure to do so could be construed as neglect. However, in order for premises liability to apply, the owner must know or have reason to know of a sinkhole on their property, such as a shaky foundation, history of sinkholes in the area, or even a property inspection report that indicates a sinkhole or the possibility of a sinkhole on the property. Furthermore, if the owner warned you of the possibility of a sinkhole beneath their premises, and you still chose to enter the premises, then they are not liable for any injuries you sustained as a result of that sinkhole.
- Real Estate Fraud: Unfortunately, there are many real estate agents out there who are more interested in making a quick sale than in being honest about the real estate property being sold. Because of this, real estate fraud is of rising concern, especially in areas where sinkholes are common, such as Florida. If a real estate agent sold you a property with a known sinkhole sitting beneath it, and if they failed to mention the sinkhole to you, they may be held liable for real estate fraud, as well as for any damages you, your loved ones, and your home sustained.
- Neighborly Nuisance: Sometimes, a sinkhole can be manmade. This 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. If the sinkhole from which you suffered was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to sue for neighborly nuisance.
Contact a West Palm Beach Sinkhole Lawyer
At The Pendas Law Firm, our West Palm Beach sinkhole lawyers thoroughly understand the laws surrounding sinkholes and sinkhole damages in the state of Florida. 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 the West Palm Beach sinkhole lawyers at the Pendas Law Firm right away. We will help you file a claim for your damages, and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your losses. To speak with a personal injury lawyer today, call 1-888-LPENDAS or contact us online. We also serve clients in the Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers areas.