Owning a home can take you through a million journeys. You expect to have to repair some things along the way, like the roof, the yard, or the paint. But, some of the hardest journeys can be the ones you cannot easily see with the naked eye. If you have started noticing small cracks or spaces in your home that did not used to be there, you might have a sinkhole on your hands. Most people think of huge holes in the ground when they imagine sinkholes. However, there are actually different types of sinkholes that exist. If you are a homeowner, it is crucial that you understand the various types of sinkholes and the red flags they may present.
What are the Different Types of Sinkholes?
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Florida's sinkholes are primarily due to surface rock easily dissolving to a point that cavities are formed below the surface of the ground. There are three main types of sinkholes.
- Cover-Subsidence Sinkholes
“Cover-subsidence sinkholes tend to develop gradually. These sinkholes are relatively uncommon, are smaller, and may go undetected for long periods.”
- Cover-Collapse Sinkholes
“Cover-collapse sinkholes may develop abruptly (over a period of hours) and cause catastrophic damages. Over time, surface drainage, erosion, and deposition of sediment transform the steep-walled sinkhole into a shallower bowl-shaped depression.”
- Dissolution Sinkholes
“Aggressive dissolution occurs where flow is focused in preexisting openings in the rock, such as along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. Gently rolling hills and shallow depressions caused by solution sinkholes are common topographic features throughout much of Florida.”
These descriptions from USGS should be kept in mind when you are considering what type of sinkhole you may have on your hands at home. Though it is okay to make your own guess, make sure you follow through with a proper inspection from an outside engineer of your choice.
How Common are Sinkholes in Florida?
Studies show that Florida is one of the top seven states in America to endure sinkholes. If you find yourself in this situation, just know that you are not alone by any means. In fact, our offices are very familiar with cases regarding sinkhole damage. This might be your first time dealing with it as a homeowner, but it is not our first time dealing with it from a legal defense standpoint. Let us use our common knowledge on this topic to help you create and navigate your insurance claim today.
Common Problems with Insurance Claims
Do not be surprised if your insurance company does not easily give in to your sinkhole damage claim. Most insurance companies will send out their own engineer to do an inspection. They usually hire engineers from the same company and, if possible, they will always err on the side that saves the insurance company money. This means they can completely deny your claim by blaming the damage on the settling of the house. Or, they will suggest a quick fix with hand auger borings or a smaller settlement. Either way, each option is less than what you need to truly fix the problem.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Sinkhole Damage Claim?
- We will make sure you hire your own outside engineer to complete an inspection of the damage. This is a crucial step to use against whatever inspection your insurance company tries to reference.
- We will help you get compensation for temporary living expenses in case you need to move out of your house while it is being repaired.
- We not only help you file your claim, but we also stay by your side to guide you through the process until you reach your desired settlement.
- We will review any denied claims with a fine tooth comb to determine a new plan of action for you. Remember, a denial is not the end of the journey. You never have to settle for less than what you are owed.
- We will reopen any settlement if more damage is discovered after the fact.
Contact a Trusted Lawyer Today
You have already been through enough with your sinkhole experience. Do not take on the task of going against an insurance company alone when you do not have to. Our mission is to provide legal representation for individuals who have been injured or experienced loss in the event of a sinkhole. Florida is no stranger to this kind of problem, and we have helped many homeowners get the compensation they need to make their homes secure again. Give us the chance to do the same for you. We are ready to provide exceptional legal service and advocate for the rights of our clients. Schedule a free, no obligation strategy session today to see how we can help you and your family. Contact us now at (561) 295-5825.