Sinkholes Are Not Always to Blame
Under Florida law, an insurance company must pay for a sinkhole investigation if the property damage is consistent with sinkhole as a cause of loss. However, sometimes the tests show that sinkholes are not the cause of the damage.
Indication of Property Damage
Sinkhole damage is commonly shown in stair-step cracking patterns, broken floor tiles and interior walls separating from the ceiling. Yet, it is important to understand that sinkholes are not the only causes of these types of damage. Alternative causes include:
- Defective property construction — Inadequate workmanship could account for certain types of property damage such as crooked walls, broken tiles and nails coming through drywall.
- Expansive clay — Unlike most soils, clay will lose volume when it dries up and expand when it takes on water. When beneath a home, this contraction and expansion can cause dramatic shifts in a home or other building.
- Organic soils — Most soil contains a certain amount of plant material or other organic components. However, soil composed of excessive organic material loses volume much like a pile of dried leaves once decay begins. When combined with other variables, this can contribute to property damage.
- Loose soil — When homes are built, they compress the soil underneath them. However, changes in water content near a house can cause the sand to lose its ability to support the building.
If the engineering firm the insurance company hires to perform the testing confirms sinkhole activity, they will suggest a repair method. If they determine your damage was not cause by a sinkhole, but you believe it was, contact Corless Barfield Trial Group in Tampa. If we take on your case, our law firm will carefully review the engineering firm's report for accuracy and hire an independent expert to perform an unbiased test.
Meet With Our Florida Sinkhole Attorney
If you have questions about sinkholes and alternative causes of property damage, schedule a free consultation with our legal team. Contact us online or call 813-498-1623 or 877-517-5595. We answer phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Evening and weekend appointments are available by request.
Our firm handles sinkhole claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing until we get results for you.