Tampa Practice Areas
Protect your legal rights by consulting with an aggressive and experienced Tampa Attorney.
Joseph A. Porcelli, Attorney
Tampa Insurance Law Office
550 North Reo Street
Tampa, FL 33609-1037
Our Tampa Law Office Serves the following Florida Cities:
Apollo Beach Attorney
Carrollwood Village Attorney
Orient Park Attorney
Plant City Attorney
Sun City Center Attorney
Temple Terrace Attorney
Ybor City Attorney
Sinkhole Attorney Tampa Florida
Tampa sinkholes are very prevalent and are a natural result of the geology in the State of Florida. Basically, sinkholes occur when rain or circulating groundwater gradually dissolve the limestone underground, thereby causing cavities or large gaps in the limestone. Over time, the layers of sand and soil that sit on top of the limestone fall into these spaces, thereby causing a sinkhole. Sinkholes can be small or quite large and they may reveal themselves at any time.
The explosive development in Tampa Florida has severely taxed our natural resources (i.e. use of groundwater, construction of storm ponds or diversion of surface water) as well as greatly expanded the number of homes, buildings and roads, all of which may be susceptible to a sinkhole. It is for these numerous reasons that sinkholes have become more readily apparent in the past few years.
Common Tampa Sinkhole Signs & Symptoms
- Cracking of the Exterior Walls (possible Stair-Step Pattern).
- Cracking in Exterior Porches, Decks, Sidewalks or Driveways.
- Cracking Around In-Ground Pools and/or Pool Decks.
- Separation of the Foundation from the Soil.
- Cracking of the Interior Walls, Ceilings and Floors.
- Cracking Around the Frames of Doors, Windows or in Corners.
- Separation of the Walls from the Floor or Ceiling.
- Tilting, Unleveling or Sinking of the Floor.
- Doors or Windows Sticking or Jamming or not otherwise working correctly.
- Unexplained or Unusual Water Stains on the Floor or Walls or the Ceiling.
- Unusual or Rapidly Developing Depressions on the Ground in or around your Property – which repeatedly re-form despite filling them.
- Slanting of Trees or Landscaping or Fence Posts or a Noticeable Change to Anything Affixed to the Ground.
- Excessive “Standing” Water in Your Yard / Lawn or Exposure of Tree Roots or Dying Vegetation.
- Unexplained Loud Sounds (As Your House is Slowly Pulling Apart).
- Known Sinkhole Activity in Your Neighborhood.
Tampa Sinkhole Attorney
Your hard work and money is invested in your home, commercial building or investment real estate property. We will work hard to protect this very important investment – as well as your safety and the safety of your guests.
We can help you at ALL stages of your Sinkhole Claim – either before you report the claim, while the claim is pending, if your claim was denied or if your claim not handled properly. Our goal is to maximize the valuation of your claim with your insurance company as expeditiously as possible.
Prior to contacting your insurance company (i.e. New Claim) – This is generally best for you, since we are able to offer you the most benefit by overseeing the entire claim process on your behalf (assisting to minimize any delays and maximize the valuation of your claim). In addition, we will retain our own expert to be present during the actual engineering borings to confirm that they are being conducted properly as well as insure that we have our own ‘raw data’ in the event the findings are not as you would have expected. By being involved early, we can help prevent the insurance company representative from taking a negative position with regard to your claim – which will help expedite the ultimate processing of your claim as well as help maximize the valuation of your claim.
What We Can Do To Help You
Depending upon the date of your lose, in most Florida counties your homeowner’s insurance or commercial property insurance carrier must provide coverage for damage to your home, commercial business or real estate investment property caused by sinkhole. Due to the severe weather that Florida has experienced over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in sinkhole related activity. Most sinkholes are not of the dramatic, television news variety, but rather develop slowly over a longer period of time.
If you have a good faith belief that you have a sinkhole at your Tampa property, your insurance company has a statutory and fiduciary duty to promptly and properly investigate this sinkhole loss. They first make an initial inspection at your property and if the adjuster believes that the damages noted could possibly be caused by a sinkhole, then they must conduct additional engineering testing by a qualified and licensed geo-technical engineer.
There are many potential hazards in dealing with your sinkhole insurance company, several of which include delaying the evaluation of your claim, denying you the fair market value you deserve in a settlement or even denying coverage for your claim. Your insurance company oftentimes only retains experts whom they believe will not find sinkhole activity and instead find that your damages were caused by something other than a subterranean sinkhole (therefore denying your claim). In other cases the investigations conducted by an engineering firm retained by your insurance company may be inadequate or incomplete and therefore resulting in flawed results. Finally, many insurance companies recommend sub-standard repair methods to minimize the settlement or repair costs of your sinkhole loss. Your insurance policy alone is not enough to guarantee you coverage or a fair representation from your insurance carrier.
The Law Offices of Joseph A. Porcelli, P.A. has represented numerous Florida homeowners in disputes with their insurance company with regard to sinkhole related damage, quite possibly even someone in your neighborhood. Most people do not have the experience of resolving a sinkhole claim with their insurance company and are at a decided disadvantage vis-à-vis their insurance company. Our years of experience in assisting Tampa Florida policyholders helps level the playing field to your benefit. Our goal is to maximize the valuation of your claim as expeditiously as possible.
How You Pay For Our Sinkhole Legal Services
We offer a FREE SAME DAY TAMPA CONSULTATION and we always accept Sinkhole cases on Contingency Fee Basis. Putting it in another way, if we do not obtain a recovery on your behalf, you will owe us NOTHING in legal fees nor do you have to reimburse us for your costs / expenses of our legal representation. Furthermore, if your insurance company did not follow strict guidelines in evaluating and paying your claim, they may be subject to a potential “Bad Faith” lawsuit, which may provide you with additional compensation beyond that listed in your insurance policy. In summary, you have nothing to lose and all to gain if you retain us to assist you in your sinkhole claim.
Call our Tampa office today at (813) 261-2758 or submit the FREE Case Evaluation Form.