Lakeland Sinkhole Damage Insurance Lawyer
Sinkholes are extremely common in Lakeland and throughout Central Florida known as Sinkhole Alley. They also cause an immense amount of property damage. Sinkholes require very specific insurance coverage, but even when policyholders have it, obtaining the fair settlement one deserves is not always easy. If your home or business has been damaged by sinkholes, you need strong legal representation. Our Lakeland sinkhole damage lawyer can help you file your claim and give you the best chance of claiming the full compensation you are entitled to.
Why are Sinkholes So Common in Florida?
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Florida has the most recorded property damage caused by sinkholes. The reason this phenomenon is so common in the Sunshine State is due to the large amounts of limestone bedrock located in Lakeland and throughout the state. Limestone is very susceptible to erosion and as it gradually washes away, the underground pockets collapse. When they do, they cause immense damage to anything above or around the sinkhole.
Common Signs of Sinkholes
Sinkholes start well below the surface of the earth and as they form, they show signs of structural damage on the surface due to the loosening of the ground. Depending on the size and location of the nearby structures, common signs of sinkholes are as follows:
- Cracks in exterior walls
- Cracks in interior walls
- Cracks in the exterior ground
- Cracks in pool decks or driveways
- Windows or doors that become difficult to open and close
- Ground depressions
- Pooling water in certain areas of a property
- New cracks in the foundation of a home or other structure
- Sinking or slanting of a property
- A sudden hole in the ground
- Fence posts or trees that fall or start to tilt
Does Insurance Cover Sinkhole Damage?
Florida law does not require insurance coverage for sinkholes, but individuals can purchase it for an additional cost. Still, insurers must include coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse within their policies, even if the damage is not necessarily caused by a sinkhole. To qualify for this coverage, you must prove the following:
- The ground collapsed suddenly
- The ground depression must be visible to the naked eye and without the need for instruments
- A property must be structurally damaged, which includes damaged foundations
- The structure must be condemned and evacuated by a government entity
While catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage is required by law, separate sinkhole coverage, which is optional, may include coverage for damage that does not meet one or more of the above statements.
Do Not Wait to Call Our Sinkholes Lawyer in Lakeland
If your property has been damaged by a sinkhole, you may have a legal right to file a claim, but you only have a limited time to do so. At Ruel Law Firm, our Lakeland sinkholes lawyer will review your insurance policy to determine what coverage you are entitled to and make sure your claim is filed properly and on time. Call us today or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.