It’s not uncommon in Florida for repairs to be underway on both residential and business properties. During the course of these projects, a pit or hole might be left open as the work is being done. Although it’s often necessary for this to be the case, that does not assuage the responsibility of the company or individual who owns the property to make certain that other people are safe. There are laws in Florida regarding pits and holes that must be adhered to so that the public is safe from injury or death.
Regardless of the reason for the hole or the work being done, the company or individual, under state law, cannot leave a pit or hole open that is located outside of an enclosure and is of greater depth and width than two feet. It can be left open if there is a fence or other enclosure that would prevent the possibility of falling into the hole. This law does not apply to mining operations.
If these laws are not followed and a person is injured, then the injured party will have the opportunity to file a lawsuit to be compensated for the person’s loss. Losses can be due to injury, the inability to work and even if someone died because of a fall into a pit or hole. The company or individual who is deemed to be responsible for open pit or hole will be liable to the injured party and will receive double what the damages were.
While this might not seem to be a serious issue, the chance of a person falling into a pit or hole — no matter where it is located — is very real. Some of these holes can be quite large and deep, meaning a person or a vehicle can fall into it causing serious injuries and even death. This is a dangerous property condition that the owner or company working on it must be aware of and responsible for. A person who was injured or a family that has lost a loved one due to hazardous conditions related to a pit or hole needs to understand how to move forward in seeking compensation with help from a legal professional experienced in slip and fall incidents.
Source: leg.state.fl.us, “768.10 Pits and holes not to be left open.,” accessed on Nov. 10, 2015