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What Should I Do If I Encounter a Sinkhole and Get Hurt?

July 25, 2022
Damaged Roadway

When thinking of all the potential dangers you may experience when driving your vehicle, a sinkhole suddenly appearing and swallowing up your vehicle is probably not at the top of your list. Drivers reasonably believe that the nation’s roadways will be safe to navigate. However, when a roadway is not properly and regularly maintained, it can result in major vehicle damage and injury to the vehicle occupants.

Take the case of a sinkhole that suddenly appeared in Queens and swallowed a taxi in 2020. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The vehicle owner, Thupten Topjy, was very fortunate because he normally started his shift about the same time that his parked vehicle was swallowed by the sinkhole.

Why Seeking Medical Treatment After a Sinkhole Accident is Crucial

After getting injured in a sinkhole accident, your first priority is your health. Keep in mind that some injuries may not present any symptoms for days or weeks following an accident, and it’s vital that you have your injuries accurately diagnosed and treated right away, even if you don’t have pain or other symptoms. In some cases, like those with internal injuries, failure to see a doctor can lead to a preventable medical emergency.

Another crucial reason to obtain timely medical treatment after a sinkhole accident is that it will create an official record of your injuries that will causally link your injuries to the sinkhole accident. Without proper documentation of your medical treatments, the liable party’s insurance provider will most likely attempt to argue that you didn’t suffer severe injuries or that the sinkhole accident did not cause them.

In addition, you must follow the treatment plan as recommended by your doctor. No one really likes going to the doctor, and it can be really tempting to ignore the treatment plan or skip follow-up appointments, especially if you don’t feel that bad. However, if you don’t follow the treatment plan, the insurance provider can and will try to use your noncompliance to justify a low settlement offer or the denial of your claim.

Get In Touch with an Experienced Queens Personal Injury Lawyer Now

While sinkholes are usually a result of natural circumstances, some may result from man-made influences. This means that some sinkholes may develop due to someone’s negligent actions.

Damaged water pipes can intensify the development of underground flows, speeding up the erosion process and sinkhole formation. Construction work, drilling, and mining can likewise destabilize or erode the ground and increase the chances of creating a sinkhole. In such cases, negligence can lead to sinkhole accidents, and the individual, business, or government agency responsible must be held accountable for them.

This is why reaching out to our Queens personal injury lawyer after getting hurt in a sinkhole accident is important. Your lawyer can investigate the accident, how the sinkhole developed, and who must be held liable for your injuries and damages. Contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman at 212-285-3300 or online to arrange your free consultation with our Queens personal injury lawyer today.