Recent Fatal Sinkhole Presents Legal Challenge

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eSteinger, Iscoe & Greene comment on Florida sinkholes which undermine houses and cost lives

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Insurers have every incentive to underpay homeowners. Before you accept a check, always speak to an attorney.

A sinkhole that claimed a house and the life of one of its residents is being filled in, but what will happen next remains unclear. Jeff Bush, age 37, was swallowed whole when the sinkhole opened as state in an article from the Palm Beach Post on Monday, March 4, 2013. His body is expected to remain entombed under the earth, and attorney Gary Iscoe says the legal options available to the family are challenging at best.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the remains of the home had to be removed, and a county spokesman said workers will “stabilize” the sinkhole, but it's unclear whether a new house can be built on the site. Sinkholes are common in Florida, but it's rare for them to undermine houses or cost lives.

Iscoe, a personal injury attorney who focuses on helping accident victims, says the event is unlike most deadly accidents.

“This tragedy is what would typically be called an act of God,” he said. “In other words, no other human being caused the sinkhole – which makes it hard for the victims to seek compensation.”

Normally, accident victims can seek compensation from a company or individual who caused their loss – even if only through negligence. But he emphasizes that insurance companies have a responsibility to victims as well.

“Their homeowners insurance may cover against this kind of loss, and I would urge them not to accept delays or lowball offers,” Iscoe said. “Insurers have every incentive to underpay homeowners. Before you accept a check, always speak to an attorney.”

Iscoe says that other Floridians affected by sinkholes may have more options.

“If your home is affected or you're in a car accident because of a sinkhole in the road, don't assume there's nowhere to turn,” he said. “No one wants to think about blame when dealing with a loss, but compensation exists for a reason. Good injury lawyers are there to help you.”

About Gary Iscoe:
Gary T. Iscoe is a co-founder of Steinger, Iscoe and Greene law firm along with West Palm Beach car accident lawyer Michael Steinger. With 20 years of experience handling accidents and injuries, Iscoe is a veteran advocate for victims' rights. He started his legal career working for insurance companies and quickly decided he’d rather stand up for the victims. He can be contacted at:

Steinger, Iscoe and Greene
2333 Ponce De Leon Boulevard
Suite 1102
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
(305) 569-6000

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