June 17, 2019

You may have seen a sinkhole covered in local or national news as a sensational story. Such headline-worthy articles and videos typically show sinkholes causing huge traffic jams or homes literally sinking into the ground. Other times, sinkhole activity does not cause a large-scale collapse but it becomes a chronic problem for owners of multiple buildings within a community managed association.

Whether big or small, sinkholes remain geological phenomena that regularly occurs in Florida.  Did a sinkhole loss occur or how do we repair sinkholes when they do occur are questions we get asked all the time.  Corless Barfield Trial Group brings our extensive experience, which includes a comprehensive understanding of the legal and engineering issues associated with sinkholes, to our client’s cases.  

Below are important sinkhole warning signs. If you are experiencing a number of the signs described below, please contact a professional. If you have questions about sinkhole activity, insurance, or property damage call Corless Barfield Trial Group at 813-258-4998.

Fall Between the Cracks:  In the event you have sinkhole activity, you could see cracks forming in your walls, especially where walls and ceilings meet as well as around doors and windows.  You may notice cracks in tile grout, laminate, linoleum, or flooring. Be aware of new or growing cracks. If you live in a community managed association, each building on your property should be annually inspected for the common signs of sinkhole loss.

Mind the Gap: Walls and ceilings with gaps or separation could indicate a sinkhole.  Specifically, look for cracks in your interior walls and on the ceilings. Trim and molding that’s pulling away is another sign of sinkhole activity. If you notice slanting or see warping, these issues may be sinkhole related.

Nature Calls:  There are numerous sinkhole warning signs to look for around the outside of your house, too.  Inspect your fence posts and trees for sagging or slanting. Small ponds of water are a sign of sinkhole activity, especially if water has never collected there before.  

Love Thy Neighbor:  If you see any of the signs mentioned above, ask your neighbors if they’ve had sinkhole activity.  Additionally, check with your emergency management office and weather offices about sinkhole activity in the area. In Florida, the Geological Survey office records and tracks sinkhole events.  

Corless Barfield Trial Group brings a unique, valuable perspective of representing policyholders against some of the nation’s most powerful insurance companies.  

Our property damage insurance lawyers, Ted Corless, Morgan Barfield, and Mary Catherine Lamoureux are leaders in the legal community on these issues. We represent insureds in sinkhole damage claims but also in claims arising from hurricane and other windstorm activity (e.g. tornado, microburst, hail, etc.). Corless Barfield represents clients at all levels of insurance issues, from claim management through value appraisal and arbitration.  

For denied claims, Corless, Barfield, and Lamoureux can document record-setting verdicts against the largest insurers, from discovery through verdict and appeals. To learn more about how we can help you with sinkhole and windstorm losses, please contact our law firm today at 813-258-4998.