Can You Sue For Injuries And Damages Caused By A Sinkhole?


Many people assume sinkholes are random environmental phenomena, and thus, they wouldn't be able to sue for damages caused by them. The truth is here are a couple of ways you can hold someone liable for injuries caused by a sinkhole and win compensation for the damages you suffered.

Neighborly Nuisance

While it's true, many sinkholes form from various natural interactions in the environment (e.g., soil erosion caused by an underground stream), sometimes they are the result of human activity. For instance, construction is a common source of sinkholes because the work done can damage the integrity of the underlying rock, causing defects that lead to structural collapse after a period of time.

When a sinkhole forms because of an individual's or company's actions, you could sue to recover compensation using neighborly nuisance laws. These laws differ a bit from regular negligence laws because you only have to prove the liable party's actions caused a substantial and unreasonable disruption in your ability to enjoy property you're entitled to use (e.g., your home).

Sinkholes by their nature are disruptive, so it may be easier to litigate a case based on these neighborly nuisance laws. However, you still have to prove the defendant was at fault, so it's a good idea to hire an attorney to help you link the defendant's actions to the formation of the sinkhole.

Premise Liability

If you're visiting someone's home or business and you're injured after encountering a sinkhole on their property, you could collect compensation based on premise liability.

An owner is legally required to ensure their property is safe for people to use or—at the very least—warn others about dangers that may exist. If they allow the property to fall into such disrepair that a sinkhole forms or they knew a sinkhole existed and didn't warn others about it, they could be held liable for damages.

The challenge here would be proving the property owner knew, or should've known, about the sinkhole. It would be difficult to win a case against someone who didn't know or had no reason to suspect a sinkhole would appear on their property, so you'll want to worth with an attorney to gather evidence proving what the owner knew and when before spending time and money litigating a case.

There may be other ways you can sue for damages if you're injured because of a sinkhole. Contact a local personal injury attorney to review your legal options.

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Your Injuries, Your Rights

Medical bills can pile up quickly after an accident or injury. Then, you miss work and lose wages, leaving you in a tough spot financially. It can feel like there is no way out, but hiring a personal injury attorney can be a smart first step towards getting the compensation you deserve. This website is chock-full of articles on personal injury law. We hope to help you feel more confident as you find an attorney and start building your case. Learn about options like settling out of court, and also how the amount of compensation is determined. You have rights, and an attorney will help you defend them.

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