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Where Can I Find the Best Sinkhole Injury Lawyers?

Where Can I Find the Best Sinkhole Injury Lawyers?

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Where Can I Find the Best Sinkhole Injury Lawyers?

Repairing potholes requires a city to spend a considerable amount of money out of an annual operations budget. However, potholes pale in comparison to the amount of money a county has to pay out because of the development of a sinkhole.

In 2017, a woman driving in the Studio City section of Los Angeles County fell 20 feet into a massive sinkhole. According to the lawsuit filed by the woman, the sinkhole contained raw sewage, which she had to deal with for several hours before a Los Angeles County rescue team pulled her out of the sinkhole. Before a judge had the opportunity to rule on the case, the sinkhole injury lawyers representing the woman agreed to settle the lawsuit with Los Angeles County for $4 million.

As a form of personal injury law, sinkhole injuries do not receive the same attention as other types of personal law cases, such as car accidents and product liability cases. However, because of increasing media scrutiny, especially for sinkholes caused by the negligence of a corporation or government agency, sinkhole injuries have become one of the primary types of personal injury litigation for the lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.

With a nationwide presence, Morgan & Morgan handles sinkhole injury cases in places such as Florida and California, where the incidence of sinkhole lawsuits has increased over the past 10 years. One of the most important reasons for hiring a personal injury litigator from Morgan & Morgan is to discover what type of law applies to your unique case. Another reason to get an experienced sinkhole injury lawyer involved with your case is to ensure you receive just compensation for the financial losses that are associated with your injuries.

Sinkhole accidents can cause serious injuries that quickly rack up medical bills that run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Take action today by contacting one of the sinkhole injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case evaluation.

How Does Science Define a Sinkhole?

Sinkholes require a certain type of topography called karst rock to develop underground. Karst topography consists of easy to dissolve rocks such as limestone and dolomite. When in contact with moisture, the carbonate-rich rocks start to disintegrate, and eventually, the loss of matter can lead to the ground surrounding the rocks to lose structural support. The rocks that form karst topography are found throughout the United States, but certain regions such as the Southeast experience more sinkholes than average because of the composition of the soil. Sinkholes develop as wide as hundreds of acres and as deep as more than 10 feet.
 

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • Are There Different Types of Sinkholes?

    Science defines sinkholes, not by width and depth, but instead, by specific unique characteristics displayed by different types of sinkholes. Clay sinkholes develop when moisture significantly changes the composition of clay. Areas of the United States that experience both droughts and floods during the same 12-month period are susceptible to the formation of clay sinkholes. During a drought, clay shrinks to absorb as much moisture as possible. When the rainy season comes around, clay expands to apply pressure to the ground above it.

    The result of the strong movement of clay can cause structures above the soil to move off foundations.

    A subsidence sinkhole develops slower than the other two main types of sinkholes. This type of sinkhole is difficult to notice because the ground does not show any discernible cracks. Contrary to a subsidence sinkhole, a collapse sinkhole develops quickly, often too quick for anyone to take action in time. Collapse sinkholes typically develop after flooding waters recede during the rainy season.

  • What Are the Three Legal Principles for Sinkhole Injuries?

    Working with a team of sinkhole injury lawyers from Morgan & Morgan determines what type of legal principle we should use to file a civil lawsuit for negligence.

    Real Estate Fraud

    Some unethical real estate agents fail to inform clients about structural flaws that can lead to substantial property damage, as well as cause harm to residents and visitors. If a real estate agent failed to inform you about the development of a sinkhole, you should reach out to one of the sinkhole injury lawyers at Moran & Morgan. The key is for us to prove the real estate knowingly omitted the fact that a sinkhole had started to develop at the time you purchased the property.

    Neighborly Nuisance

    This confusing legal principle does not involve one of your neighbors. Neighborly nuisance represents one or more acts of negligence committed by a company or government agency that causes the development of a sinkhole. One example of neighborly nuisance is when a company completes an onsite infrastructure project that requires extensive digging in the ground. A sinkhole develops because the construction crew failed to refill the depression with the correct amount of dirt and soil.

    Premises Liability

    Sinkhole injury lawyers invoke premises liability in cases involving the negligence of a property owner. For instance, you fell into a sinkhole that formed on a neighbor’s property. Premises liability is based on a doctrine called duty of care, which means the property owner has a well-defined legal responsibility to protect residents of the property and every visitor to the property. Our goal in litigating a premises liability case is to prove the defendant knew about the development of a sinkhole, but did nothing to fix it.

  • What Kind of Legal Support Do Sinkhole Injury Lawyers Offer?

    Discovering what type of legal principle applies to your case requires the team of sinkhole injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to conduct an exhaustive investigation. We collect and organize evidence, such as photographs taken at the scene of the sinkhole, as well as before and after photos that clearly demonstrate a sinkhole recently developed on the other party’s property. We interview the owner of the property, as well as any witnesses that verify your version of events. Our detailed investigation should lead to the establishment of the four legal elements for proving negligence.

    Proving the Four Legal Elements of Negligence

    The first legal element to prove negligence is called duty of care. From a government agency to your next-door neighbor, property owners have a duty of care to prevent a sinkhole from developing and causing harm to one or more other parties. As the second legal element of proving negligence, the sinkhole injury lawyers at Moran & Morgan must show the defendant breached the duty of care doctrine. The third legal element involves proving the sinkhole caused your injuries. Although this legal element appears easy to prove, the defense might claim you receive your injuries from another type of incident. Finally, the sinkhole injuries you sustained should have produced financial losses.

    Reach a Settlement

    Filing a civil lawsuit does not mean you have to go through a costly and time-consuming trial. In fact, one of the strategies our team of sinkhole injury lawyers follows involves negotiating a settlement with the other party. Negotiations can start during the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit when both parties exchange information, such as physical evidence and the statements made by witnesses. If your lawsuit reaches the trial phase, the judge hearing your case has the legal power to request both parties try to negotiate a settlement under the guidance of an unbiased mediator.

    Calculates a Value for Compensation

    One of the most important factors that helps a plaintiff win a personal injury case is for the attorney handling the case to calculate a reasonable value for monetary damages. One of our sinkhole injury lawyers first adds up the expenses associated with medical care, property damages, and lost wages. 

    Then, we calculate a value for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Falling into a sinkhole can trigger a wide variety of emotional issues that include acute fear and anxiety. Also referred to as general compensatory damages, your legal counsel calculates the value of non-economic damages based on a formula that includes the value of economic damages. You also have the right to ask for punitive damages, which penalizes the other party for committing one or more acts of negligence.

  • How Do I Find the Best Sinkhole Injury Lawyers?

    Finding the right legal representation for every practice of law used to involve searching for legal representation by referring to the Yellow Pages. The advent of the Internet moved the printed directory online where visitors to websites conduct research on attorneys. Although the Internet remains a prominent strategy for finding the best sinkhole injury lawyers, you should integrate one old-school method during your search for an attorney.

    Network

    You should treat searching for legal counsel the same way you treat buying a high-ticket product such as a car or refrigerator. Ask friends and family members that you trust for recommendations. You might receive a referral that allows you to speed up the search process. Although a referral speeds up the search process, you should still conduct research on any of the lawyers that land on your shortlist of candidates.

    Networking also can involve reaching out to other sources that include neighbors and professional colleagues. Maybe an attorney you know can provide you with a referral as well. If you cannot receive a recommendation for sinkhole injury lawyers, broaden your search to include personal injury attorneys.

    State Bar Association

    Every state bar association offers a comprehensive library of resources for clients and attorneys. One valuable resource for clients is called “Find a Lawyer” or another term that helps you narrow your search for the right sinkhole injury lawyers. Access the “Find a Lawyer” page and you should notice a search engine that clients use to find the best legal representation. Type in the keywords “sinkhole injury lawyers” and the state where you live to narrow your search. You should receive a list of candidates, which you narrow once again to include just the attorneys licensed to practice law in the county where you live.

  • Work With a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney

    Since 1988, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have recovered more than $10 billion for our clients. We bring the important combination of experience, responsive communication, and superior negotiation tools to the table. The financial losses associated with sinkhole injuries can be staggering, which means you cannot afford to rely on the limited expertise of an inexperienced sinkhole injury attorney.

    Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the highly-rated personal injury litigators at Morgan & Morgan.

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