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Sinkholes and Who is at Fault?

sinkholeI don’t know what you think but, to me, there seems to be more and more sinkholes in the U.S.A. recently.  Just within the last few days, there was a sinkhole reported in Ocala, Florida.  As a matter of fact, Florida seems to have an overabundance of sinkholes.  Perhaps the “Sinkhole State” should replace “Sunshine State”.  You can even go online and look at sinkhole maps of Florida, which will show you where they have occurred.

It can only be something akin to being in a horror movie to be involved in a sinkhole incident.  Just imagine having your car fall into a hole, or your house.  These sink holes do not take a long time to do their damage either.  These sink holes can swallow a house in a matter of hours.  When there is a substantial amount of rainwater, and that water cannot be absorbed into the ground, it becomes acidic and deteriorates the limestone in the ground.  There have been injuries and even deaths reported as a result of these sinkholes.  If this terrible calamity ever happens to you, do you know whether you could be compensated for damages to yourself or your property?

Even though sink holes may seem like an accident from Mother Nature, and most are, there are some man made reasons behind them.  Typically, the undermining of the ground below the area of a sink hole will almost always ensure a sink hole will occur.  If the ground beneath a road has been altered by drilling deep into the earth, the road will be unstable after a period of time.  Typically, the road will collapse into a sink hole due to this type of ground alteration after a substantial rain.  The rain water may have no way to drain out and start to pool causing destabilized earth.  Disturbing the earth by drilling for natural resources is another way to destabilize the ground beneath our homes and businesses.

Obviously, if the damage to your property by a sinkhole or you are injured by a sinkhole and it was an accident of Mother Nature, there isn’t much you can do about compensation.  However, if the sinkhole is man-made due to activities, those responsible for the activity are also responsible for your losses and can be taken to court.  Always investigate why a sink hole occurred to determine your course of action.