Child Shocked By An RV: Can The Owner Be Held Accountable?
When a young boy by the name of Landyn Gerald Keener died by electrocution in 2013, the whole country was stunned, aghast, and confused as to what happened. It was extremely troubling that anyone could get electrocuted in their own mobile home. Worse still, what if this could happen to you or your own visitors? The problem here stems from the fact that recreational vehicles have their own electrical wirings and when done improperly, could cause a fatally dangerous condition called “hot skin.”
How You Can Get Electrocuted In An RV
Despite its name, a hot skin on a recreational vehicle does not actually feel hot to the touch. Instead, you may feel a slight shock or spark when you touch the metal parts of the vehicle. This happens when the metallic surface of the vehicle has been electrically charged to the point that you could even get electrocuted to death while standing barefoot or on wet ground.
Normally, vehicle manufacturers adhere to special laws and standards to ensure that this does not happen throughout the vehicle’s expected lifetime. However, hot skin can occur when someone, usually the owner, has modified its electrical components or if the RV park’s power shore has been faulty.
Legal Gray Area of RVs
Unlike in normal homes, anyone can legally change their vehicles’ electrical wirings without breaking any electrical safety laws. Any change made on these counts as vehicle conversions and modifications. However, recreational vehicles do need to be connected into plugs that take power from the main power grid. Therefore, there are dedicated parking spaces with specialized plugs meant for these vehicles to connect to.
Title XXXIII Chapter 513 is a regulation for these parking spaces. Their operators need to apply for a permit and have an inspection from the Department of Health before they can run these spaces. Part of this inspection checks for cables to avoid the hot skin issue from poor electrical grounding.
Contributory Fault and Product Liability
In a court case concerning a hot skin accident, the courts will most likely judge the contributory fault between parties involved. For instance, the hot skin could have occurred due to faulty ground wiring in the trailer park. If both the owner and the motorhome’s visitor did not know of this, then this would most likely be the trailer park operator’s liability.
But if it happened due to the owner’s neglect or modifications, then it is largely their negligence. Moreover, electricians who made faulty connections and manufacturers of defective vehicles can be held liable, especially if the defective service or product has killed someone.
Were You Hurt During a Visit in Florida?
The problem with accidents, whether they are of hot skin or of other nature, is that they can happen to you — or someone you care about, such as your child — at any time. And when someone does wrongfully harm you or anyone you know and love, our Plantation personal injury attorneys here at Lyons & Snyder can help you get your much-needed financial compensation after the accident. To learn more, please feel free to contact us today to schedule a no-risk case evaluation at zero cost to you.