For those that want to take legal action, who can you sue considering sinkholes are strictly acts of nature? As with all law, there’s always a way, and some new legal avenues are developing that you might consider too much to take. However, they’re worth keeping in the back of your mind if you live near someone or were tangentially involved with a person who became victims of a sinkhole.
Can You Sue if You Were a Guest in Someone’s Home?
The worst situation is when you have to sue a friend or colleague because you ended up getting hurt in their home. Usually, this means a premises liability lawsuit based on the idea that you fell on their steps or had some other type of injury on their property. Most people would never have though they’d ever have to use premises liability in the case of being injured due to a sinkhole.
While this may seem extreme, it goes by the assumption that the owner should know whether their property is safe or not. However, liability isn’t going to be possible if the owner had no idea their property was sitting in a place vulnerable to sinkholes. They’d have to know and neglected to do anything about it. It’s possible, though, this type of lawsuit won’t hold well in the future since so many sinkholes just happen without anybody knowing they were sitting ducks.
Can You Sue a Real Estate Agent or Previous Owner of a Home?
Findlaw points out that Florida real estate agent are placing sinkhole disclosures in their sale contracts on homes. This removes any liability on the real estate agent’s part if a sinkhole happens to occur and damages the home. For those that don’t, they could be in for major lawsuits if they regularly sell homes over areas where sinkholes occur. In other states other than Florida, there may not be any thought of checking for sinkholes first before selling a house to someone. The same can be said of a previous owner of a home who could also be sued for selling someone a home under similar circumstances.
Once sinkholes start becoming more prevalent in unexpected places, it could end up being a major factor in whether certain properties get sold quickly or become impossible to sell.
Can You Sue Someone for Causing a Sinkhole?
As outrageous as this type of lawsuit may sound, it’s more than possible that a neighbor or business did something that precipitated a sinkhole to occur. It could be a construction company that disrupted the ground near your property and caused a sinkhole to happen. These people or companies could be tied up with litigation for months or years if they keep causing sinkholes to happen in susceptible areas. Findlaw says it’s perhaps the most practical method in the way of suing to gain any compensation to pay for property damage.
Regardless, these lawsuits can be very messy, and it proves how much of a problem sinkholes may continue to be nationwide. Despite so much in the way of natural destruction lately, the American public are going to continually find ways to gain payback when the law always finds a human-nature cause and effect.