Ultimately under the current Florida legislation, there are about three (3) different folks involved in determining whether there is a sinkhole at your residence.
A “Neutral Evaluator” means a professional engineer or a professional geologist who has completed a course of study in alternative dispute resolution designed or approved by the department for use in the neutral evaluation process and who is determined by the department to be fair and impartial. Ultimately, the sinkhole lawyers of Hackworth Law will assist you through the neutral evaluation process to ensure your neutral evaluator is in fact neutral and fair.
A “Professional engineer” means a person, as defined in s. 471.0005, who has a bachelor’s degree or higher in engineering. A professional engineer must also have experience and expertise in the identification of sinkhole activity as well as other potential causes of structural damage. Generally, the professional engineer will either be a structural engineer or a geotechnical engineer. A structural engineer essentially deals with the earth surface up, while the geotechnical deals with the earth surface down. The structural engineer will testify as to the extent of the cosmetic and structural repairs necessary to your residence. The geotechnical engineer ultimately will opine as to the necessity of the subsurface repairs to your residence.
“Professional geologist” means a person, as defined in s. 492.102, who has a bachelor’s degree or higher in geology or related earth science and experience and expertise in the identification of sinkhole activity as well as other potential geologic causes of structural damage. Ultimately, the geologist will provide the majority of the testimony concerning the extent and the severity of the sinkholes.
If you or someone you know believes they have a sinkhole, contact the sinkhole attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We look forward to demanding your insurance company properly and safely repair you and your family’s residence.