This week, a massive sinkhole opened in Brooklyn. If you’ve seen the pictures, it will seem miraculous to believe, but it’s true: no one was hurt. Taking up almost an entire intersection, and narrowly sparing nearby cars, the sinkhole looks like something straight out of science-fiction or a summer blockbuster. In reality, it occurred dead in the heart of Sunset Park. The newborn abyss sunk nearly 20 feet deep. A large, dirt-encrusted pipe can be seen from above, seemingly undamaged. Though several smaller pipes may have been severed. Because of this, employees from National Grid rushed to the scene to confirm that no gas leaks were caused by the implosion. As one could imagine, water service was cut to nearby buildings and all proximal trains experienced cautionary delays.
As of right now, the cause of the sinkhole is yet to be determined.
However, many believe improper road maintenance may be to blame. According to anecdotal evidence, the sinkhole occurred in a location where a noticeable divot had been. For years, this seemingly small defect in the infrastructure went unattended and without repair. As it turns out, the divot was not so innocent after all. Some believe that a recent major rainstorm may’ve triggered the collapse.
In cases such as these, negligence on behalf of the city or state proves instrumental for those seeking reparations for injuries they’ve incurred. If you’ve been hurt or your property has been damaged because of what you believe to be negligence on the part of a government agency, it may be within your rights to sue. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we provide expert counsel for all types of property damage and personal injury cases.
Sinkholes go by many names. According to Wikipedia, a sinkhole is also sometimes referred to as a “cenote, sink, shakehole, swallet, swallow-hole, or doline.” So what is a sinkhole, and how do they form? Essentially, a sinkhole is any concavity or hollow in the ground caused by some sort of collapse. Anytime the earth gives way, or any sort of structural collapse that leads to a massive hole in the ground, can be classified as a sinkhole. Whether it be affecting man-made structures or natural formations.
As far as man-made structures go, sinkholes often occur under roads or sidewalks, or in overdeveloped urban areas where the foundational geography can no longer support the weight of, usually, an influx of water. Water main breaks and sewer line faults are the most common causes for urban sinkholes. Sometimes, though, over-drawing from the water table can cause the vacuity necessary for surface-level terrain to implode.
Natural sinkholes are usually the result of erosion. Underlying water can sometimes erode or carry away the firmament; the sturdier concrete particles for instance, in a particular area, and so eventually a patch of land will lose structural integrity and may give way to the water beneath. Geography rich in limestone is particularly susceptible to sinkholes, as limestone itself is eroded easily by water. Salt beds and gypsum are two other soft, vulnerable minerals. As water runs or percolates against subterranean deposits of these substances, they slowly begin to deteriorate. The reason sinkholes are so dramatic is because the ground surface is often the last strata to yield. Oftentimes, vast underground voids will develop, and to all terrestrial beings the topography will appear perfectly fine. Eventually though, the land above will prove too fragile to hold on its own and will crumble dramatically into the ever-widening gulf beneath.
Luckily for New Yorkers, this accident in Brooklyn is probably more of a freak occurrence. You are far more likely to see sinkholes occur in the Midwest and the South. Florida, in particular, because of its rich limestone deposits, experiences many sinkholes per year.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
It’s upsetting to say, but the world is a treacherous place. Without sounding too alarmist, sometimes just walking out your front door is dangerous business. But at Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand that you’ve got to get out there, every day, for both work and recreation, and that’s why we’re here to support you in the case of disaster. Have you been hurt in a sinkhole accident? Maybe not. But we’ve handled many cases where the negligent upkeep of city property has been the cause of a person’s injury. Whether it be potholes, debris falling from construction sites, poorly lighted roads, ill-maintained sidewalks or faulty staircases, we have a team of professionals capable and eager to win compensation for you. This compensation can help defray the costs of your medical bills and allow you to focus on your health as you recuperate. If you or a loved one has been hurt, don’t hesitate: contact us today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.