What Happens if I Slip and Fall in an Airbnb or VRBO Home?
By: Jeffrey Shaw, Esq.
Published: August 29, 2019
Airbnb has quickly become a popular way for people to travel and stay in locations outside of traditional hotels, but problems may arise in the event of a premises liability accident. Who is responsible if you are hurt in an Airbnb property while traveling?
Looking into your options for staying somewhere unique while traveling, an AirBnB might be more affordable or provide easier access to get to when compared with other choices. AirBnB has emerged onto the marketplace as a massive provider of alternative stay arrangements for people all over the world.
However, Airbnb’s may be more prone to accidents and guest injuries than hotels. This is because homeowners do not have life guards, maintenance crews, security cards or regular fire inspections as a hotel would.
Furthermore, individual homeowners are not responsible for obeying industry standards about care and guest safety. Homeowners may negligently fail to inspect for hazards, to repair them, or to warn guests about them. Some cases have already been filed in premises liability lawsuits in which the property owner failed to mention the potential dangers of something on the property and someone got hurt.
Who is Responsible After an AirBnB Accident?Liability is relatively straightforward in hotel cases because commercial businesses, such as resorts, motels and hotels are responsible for ensuring that their properties are free from hazards based on existing premises liability laws. Homeowner liability is the most common ending in current Airbnb cases since the company itself protects their individual interests in the terms of service when a user signs up to list their home on Airbnb.
Capturing evidence immediately after the incident is important, because unlike an exterior hazard that wouldn’t be easy for a property owner to remove quickly, whatever caused your AirBnB injury might have been removed from the property. Worse yet, the owner might block you from accessing the property once they know you have a claim.
A homeowner could be responsible for guest injuries that occurred in an Airbnb if the homeowner lied to the company when he or she joined. Airbnb does not check the safety of individual listings, but requests that homeowners complete certain steps to minimize the risks of accidents, including removing trip and fall hazards, checking smoke alarms, establishing limits for occupancy, fixing any exposed wires and addressing other safety issues.
Not every homeowner insurance policy will cover Airbnb guest injuries and many of these bar recovery in the event of a commercial use. This means that the person who is hurt in a premises liability accident in Indiana may need to pursue compensation through Airbnb’s $1 million liability protection.
Cases involving Airbnb hosts that are truly tenants and not owners are very complex and might also include renter’s insurance properties. Here at Shaw Law, we work hard to explore all the possible avenues for recovery in your case and to keep you advised over the duration. Make sure you consult with an experienced attorney in Indiana today if you have been hurt on an Airbnb property.