Airbnb is a rental company that allows homeowners a chance to rent out their homes to strangers for a price. It’s a type of brokerage for people who have a rental home or property or simply want to issue their own home or a room in their home to those in need of a place to stay. It’s a trusted site, and many people appreciate the opportunity to be able to rent a home as opposed to renting a hotel room that costs more than it has to offer. However, there are always risks associated with renting a home that’s owned by someone else. What if you’re injured in an Airbnb? Who do you sue and what do you do?
Homeowners and Their Duty
When you rent an Airbnb, you have the right to assume the owner of your home is going to keep you safe. It is their duty to ensure that you, as the renter of their property, are safe and sound in their home. They have a duty of care to you, and they must abide by that. For example, the duty of care an owner has when they rent out their home is that their home is safe and secure, and that you will not be injured, hurt, or otherwise damaged in their home.
For example, it’s reasonable to expect the owner of the property has installed locks on all the entry and exit doors of their property. It is their duty of care to ensure no one else can get into the home while you are in it, so they have locks on all the doors. It is also their duty of care to inspect the home prior to your visit to ensure there are no broken stairs, protruding nails in the walls, and that their items and home are safe and in good condition.
If their duty of care is breached in any way, they could be held responsible if you are hurt in their home. For example, if the owner did not perform a walkthrough prior to you going into their home, you might find that there is a broken stair they missed. You weren’t expecting it and you fall through. Now your leg is broken and you have medical bills to pay to have your leg repaired. This is their fault, and they should have done a better job keeping you safe.
Premises Liability and Injuries
Premises liability is what a homeowner has to deal with when they rent out their homes to people through Airbnb. This means that Airbnb is not liable for the harm or danger that any renter faces when they go into someone’s home. This means the homeowner signs a waiver stating they are 100 percent liable for anything that happens to those in their home. This means you must prove the owner of the property was negligent if you want to file a lawsuit against them for your personal injuries.
Using the above example of the broken stair, you might find that you have to prove this stair was broken and the owner didn’t repair it. They don’t need to know it was broken to have forgone repairs. If they didn’t know about it, it only adds to the weight of your argument that they were negligent in providing you with a safe home when you became their renter. You can find evidence by speaking to past renters, going through the reviews left by other renters to see if you missed mention of a broken stair, and finding other evidence to prove you didn’t break it.
If you broke it and then you fell through it, the owner of the home is not responsible for the injuries you sustain – you are. Airbnb is a company that works to protect itself from lawsuits that stem from injuries on the scene, and they do this by requiring all homeowners looking to rent their property sign a waiver called a Terms of Service agreement that prevents them from holding Airbnb responsible for the injuries people face in their homes.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you want to file a lawsuit against an Airbnb owner because you were hurt on their property, you must be able to prove several factors to win the case.
- You must prove you are hurt. This means you must see a doctor and have a medical exam to prove there are injuries. You must have medical bills, and you must be able to prove your injury occurred in the Airbnb rental.
- You must prove the owner had a duty of care.
- You must prove the owner breached said duty of care.
- You must prove that this breach is directly responsible for your injuries and that you would not have sustained these injuries if the owner had not been negligent.
The other problem that might occur when you try to file a lawsuit of this nature is that you aren’t going to get a dime from the homeowner’s insurance policy the owner carries. Some policies are very strict regarding the kind of coverage they offer if the homeowner decides to use their home as a rental, and they will not pay for your injuries. There is a second option. This is called the Airbnb liability protection. It might be the only option you have to receive payment following an injury in an Airbnb.
To keep your case as strong as possible, be sure you quickly seek medical attention following your injury and notify the homeowners and Airbnb right away. You need to know that you are doing everything properly, which is why calling a personal injury attorney is the next logical step. This is a person who will help you file your lawsuit, walk you through each step of the process, and help you figure out what damages you are entitled to.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished earning potential
There are endless possibilities associated with helping people recover damages following an Airbnb rental. You have options, and it’s time to call an attorney to find out what they are. You should spend this time overcoming your injuries while your attorney does the dirty work for you. They will gather evidence and file a formal lawsuit. Your attorney will also discuss any potential settlements if the other party’s insurance wants to settle rather than take your case to court. Your options are numerous, but you must call an attorney to find out what they are.