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Sinkhole Accident Liability
A sinkhole is a large hole that forms in the ground, usually caused by erosion and water drainage. Some sinkholes develop gradually over time, while others appear suddenly and catch passersby by surprise. When a sinkhole suddenly appears, devastating accidents and injuries can occur.
If you are injured in a sinkhole accident, you may be eligible for legal action. If the sinkhole was caused by someone else or if a property owner failed to warn visitors of a sinkhole, you could file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Common Injuries in Sinkhole Accidents
When large sections of the ground’s surface disappear and erode, a sinkhole can appear. Sinkholes can range in size from a few feet to hundreds of feet or more. Whatever the size, any accident involving a sinkhole can be very serious and cause dangerous, life-threatening injuries.
A pedestrian or driver could easily fall into a sinkhole and suffer catastrophic damage. Below are some of the most common injuries in these accidents:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain damage
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions
Who Is Liable for Sinkhole Accidents in Washington?
Sinkhole accidents can have a major impact on your life and the life of your loved ones. Many people assume that, because sinkholes are caused by natural factors, there are no legal options if you are injured by one. This is not the case, however.
Depending on the circumstances, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit after a sinkhole accident and recover compensation to pay for your medical care, lost wages, and other damages. Any of the following parties may be liable for your accident:
- Property Owners: Property owners in Washington have a responsibility to maintain safe premises and reasonably fix any hazards. If the owner knows about a sinkhole, he or she must warn visitors of the hazard. In the event that you are injured by a sinkhole on someone else’s property, you could file a lawsuit against the owner.
- Real Estate Agents: When selling a property, real estate agents have a responsibility to warn prospective buyers of hazards like sinkholes. If an agent fails to disclose that there is a sinkhole on the property and you are injured, you could file a lawsuit against the fraudulent real estate agent.
- Entities Doing Drilling or Underground Work: Sinkholes can also be caused when extensive drilling or underground work takes place and compromises the surrounding land. If you are injured by a sinkhole caused by this work, you could file a lawsuit against the construction company, government agency, or other company that performed it.
- Government Agencies: Certain government agencies in Washington are responsible for ensuring that the roads are safe. If a sinkhole is detected, that agency has a responsibility to shut down the road and fix the problem. If a government agency fails to uphold this duty, you could file a lawsuit after a sinkhole accident.
Hire an Attorney for Your Sinkhole Accident Lawsuit
Proving liability after a sinkhole accident can be very complicated. If you want to recover the compensation that you deserve after one of these incidents, it is important to hire an attorney who can represent your case and fight for your right to recovery. As soon as possible after your accident, contact a Washington personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and plan your next steps.