Sinkhole Damage Claims Attorney
Sinkholes are a scary thing, here is some general information that can help make them a little bit less scary:
How do I know if I have a sinkhole?
You can’t truly know if you have a sinkhole until an engineer confirms it, however here are a couple of general warning signs that might be signs that your property has a sinkhole:
- Cracks in interior joint areas, windows or doors;
- Cracks in your exterior block or stucco, usually referred to as “stair step cracks;”
- Windows and doors become harder to close properly;
- Depressions in your yard or the street or other yards near you;
- Deep cracks and separation of paved concrete walks and drives;
- Circular patches of wilting plants;
- Sediment in your water, etc.
Please note that this is not a complete list of the warning signs, but some of the more general signs. Also, please note that the presence of these does not always mean you have a sinkhole that is why it is important to have the proper experts test for possible sinkhole activity.
What do I do if I believe I have a sinkhole?
If you believe you have a sinkhole call your insurance company as soon as you notice the signs. It is also important and very helpful to hire a knowledgeable attorney that can guide you through the process. Most insurance companies will send out an adjuster to do a visual inspection. Most visual inspections come back as “no sinkhole.” However, it is best to request that your insurance company have an engineer do an actual “Subsidence Investigation.” This is where the engineers actually go out and drill into the ground.
NOTE: Actual drilling is important for two reasons:
- There are many cases where the “visual inspection” brings back a determination of no sinkhole activity and once the actual “Subsidence” testing is done a sinkhole is found.
- If you have to move forward with the “Neutral Evaluation” or litigation this subsidence report will be important.
What if my Insurance Company’s Subsidence report comes back negative for sinkhole activity and my claim is denied?
This is where an experienced and reliable attorney is important. If the Subsidence report comes back negative it could mean two things:
- There is no sinkhole (great news!) OR
- The Insurance Company’s engineer did not drill in the proper areas.
If you fall under the second category you and your attorney can decide if you should move forward with a Neutral Evaluation and/or your attorney will hire its own engineer to do complete and reliable subsidence testing.
Sinkhole litigation is complex, especially with all the changes to the sinkhole statute which started back in 2011. So if you think you have a sinkhole, make an appointment for a free consultation and come talk to one of our knowledgeable sinkhole damage claims attorneys.
Coral Gables (305) 631-2528
Orlando (407) 603-7940
Trujillo Vargas Gonzalez & Hevia, LLP
815 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Monday - Friday 8:30am-5:30pm