People who have property damage as a result of a sinkhole can file a claim with their insurance companies. If the insurance companies come back with offers that the property owners believe are too low, the property owners can discuss their situations with a sinkhole lawyer. Some people will contact a lawyer before starting to work with their insurance company for advice. One of the best qualifications for a sinkhole lawyer to have is to be experienced in practicing sinkhole law.
A sinkhole is a depression in the ground that is often caused when limestone collapses. Signs of sinkhole property damage include deeply cracked and widely separated cracks in sidewalks and driveways, cracks that look like staircases on exterior walls, cracks on interior walls and ceilings, and difficulty in closing doors or windows. In addition, trees that appear to be sinking into the ground or fences that are listing can be an indication of sinkholes.
One of the key factors in determining whether a given sinkhole attorney is right choice is if the attorney has practiced sinkhole law. In addition to having experience in trying sinkhole law cases, a sinkhole lawyer should also be able to show the number of cases where the lawyer had increased a settlement versus the number of cases where the final settlement was the same as or lower than the offer made to the client before the client contacted the lawyer. The attorney should also be willing to provide references from former clients.
In addition to having the legal qualifications, a sinkhole lawyer should also be able to establish a rapport with the client. The client should feel comfortable that the lawyer will not just take a swipe at the case, the lawyer will purse the case with zeal. The client should feel at ease communicating with the lawyer.
A sinkhole lawyer should be willing to tell the client if the lawyer will be handling all of the duties involved in the case. If the lawyer will be passing part of the case over to paralegals or other associates, the lawyer should be willing to share this information. In addition, the lawyer should be willing to introduce the paralegals or associates who will be working on the case to the client.
Before hiring a sinkhole lawyer, the client should receive a retainer to sign. The client should be able to take the retainer, examine it thoroughly, and ask any pertinent questions before signing. If the client believes that the sinkhole lawyer is pressuring the client to sign, the client should look for another attorney.