Popular house-sharing services like Airbnb are a wonderful way for homeowners to earn extra money. These services also make it easier for travelers to experience the conveniences and comforts of being in a house instead of a hotel room. However, it’s important for homeowners and travelers to be prepared in case a tenant is injured while staying at an Airbnb.
After all, a hotel is under a legal obligation to protect guests. For instance, if you hurt yourself near the pool area or slip on a wet floor, you can likely file a suit against the hotel for damages. Most hotels have the insurance and financial resources to cover any medical treatment you need and to pay you a settlement for personal injury. This is not the case for most Airbnb hosts.
Additionally, an Airbnb likely won’t have full-time housekeeping and maintenance crews, and there isn’t a security professional or lifeguard on staff. If you rent an Airbnb, you’re staying in someone else’s residence, and most accidents happen at home. So what happens if you are injured?
Injuries at a property that was rented through Airbnb fall under the premises liability umbrella because Airbnb renters have been invited onto the property. According to Pintas and Mullins injury lawyers, in order to file a successful case, you must prove that the property owner was negligent and they failed to provide a safe environment.
Host Protection Insurance
Airbnb provides Host Protection Insurance to individuals who rent properties to travelers. The insurance offers as much as $1 million in liability coverage for guest injuries and property damage. So, if you’re staying at an Airbnb and you were hurt in the home or in the common area of the property, like the lobby of a condo building or a shared parking garage, you can file an insurance claim to cover the cost of your injury.
Home Protection Insurance does not cover any intentional acts that resulted in injury. The insurance policy also does not pay for lost wages or damages to the home or belongings.
What to Do When You’re Injured
If you’re injured while you’re staying at an Airbnb, you should assess the severity of your injury right away. If you need medical treatment, have a loved one drive you to the hospital or call 911.
After you’re examined by the doctor, be sure to get a copy of your injury report and be sure your visit is recorded in your medical records. You’ll need this information if you have to file an injury case. If the doctor says that you’ll need long-term treatment for your injuries, make sure you let your attorney know this since this could change the amount of your settlement.
After the Accident
It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the site of the injury. If you can prove factors like a loose floorboard, broken furniture, or a faulty window or door led to your injury, you’re more likely to receive a prompt and fair insurance settlement.
Your lawyer will also want to know what you’ve done to protect yourself and your relatives from future injuries. Let your attorney know that you’ve contacted the Airbnb owner to inform them of your injury and whether you were issued a refund. Your attorney will also want to know if you went to another Airbnb or a hotel after your injury, or if you had to cut your trip short. You may be entitled to more money if the injury caused great inconvenience.
It’s important to remember that all injuries won’t be covered by the Airbnb owner. For instance, if you were hurt in an accident while on the property but the accident was not due to damage or negligence on the part of the Airbnb owner, the owner is not responsible. It’s best to contact an experienced attorney right away so you can receive a fair settlement in a timely fashion.