When you have rented an Airbnb property, you are often on unfamiliar terrain. You may never have been in the area before, and you do not know the conditions on the property. You are relying on the property owner to provide you with safe premises.
While accidents can and do happen, the property owner has a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. In some unfortunate cases, you may fall due to an unforeseen hazard. Suffering slip and fall injuries at an Airbnb is far from an ideal vacation.
If the Airbnb owner has breached their legal obligations, you may be able to file a negligence claim against them. The Wilmington vacation rental accident attorneys at Horton & Mendez can help. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Common Causes of Airbnb Slip and Fall Accidents
While many Airbnb renters have a safe and enjoyable experience, some may be injured at a property. One of the most common types of Airbnb injuries happens in a slip and fall. Here are some causes of Airbnb slip and fall injuries:
- Cracked and broken flooring
- Loose floorboards
- Slippery surfaces
- Debris left in dangerous places
- Loose carpeting or protruding strings
- Broken stairs or handrails
- Poor lighting
You Would Need to Sue the Airbnb Property Owner
When you have been injured in an Airbnb accident, you cannot sue the company itself. Airbnb markets itself as an intermediary between you and the property owner, and it does not actually rent the property itself.
Your contract is with the property owner, and they are the one that owes you the duty of care. You may also be able to sue the agent (as some Airbnb owners are completely hands-off, allowing an agent to maintain and rent the property on their behalf).
Note that the property owner does not have a legal obligation to prevent all accidents under every circumstance. There are times when you may just fall because you missed a step. Then, the property owner may not have been to blame for the accident.
Proving Your Airbnb Slip and Fall Accident Case
In an Airbnb slip and fall case, the property owner’s duty of care involves the following obligations:
- They must avoid creating dangerous conditions themselves on the property
- They must remedy dangerous conditions that others have created within a reasonable amount of time
You have the burden of proof in an Airbnb slip and fall accident case. You must show that the property owner acted unreasonably in mitigating fall hazards. You need evidence that shows that the property owner was negligent.
Some helpful evidence that can prove your slip and fall case includes:
- Witness testimony from people who saw what happened or the dangerous condition
- Maintenance orders and logs that show what action the owner took or did not take
- Pictures of the scene of your fall
- The complaint that you filed with Airbnb at the time you fell
Filing a Claim for Your Airbnb Injuries
Airbnb provides up to $1 million in host cover insurance. In addition, the individual host may have their own additional insurance because they would be personally liable for any damages in excess of Airbnb’s coverage. The host’s homeowners insurance policy would not cover any damages when the property is being used for commercial purposes, such as renting it out for profit.
When you are filing a claim, it would be against the property owner. Airbnb claims to just provide the platform for you to connect with a host. Thus, they claim that you have no legal relationship with them and cannot sue. Unfortunately, you do not have the ability to file a lawsuit against the really deep pocket.
The order of precedence in your case when recovering damages is:
- The Host Cover policy provided by Airbnb
- Any supplemental coverage that the owner has purchased
- If insurance does not cover all of your damages, the host may be personally liable to pay you the balance from their own assets (including real estate that is in their name that is not their primary residence)
Any Type of Slip and Fall Case Can Be Difficult
In general, slip and falls claims are not always the easiest cases to win. Insurance companies see scores of slip and fall cases and take a very skeptical view. They often deny slip and fall claims and force you to file a lawsuit.
The insurance company will make you prove your case, knowing that you may not always have the evidence that shows their policyholder was negligent. This practice is no different for any type of slip and fall accident, including those that happen at rental properties.
Further, insurance companies make paltry settlement offers when they do accept liability for your slip and fall injuries. It is in their financial interests to minimize the severity of your injuries.
They will claim that it was “just a fall.” even though you may have suffered serious injuries.
Obtaining Full Compensation for Your Airbnb Slip and Fall Accident
In any personal injury case, you have the right to be paid the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Embarrassment and humiliation
You need to negotiate a settlement agreement that fully pays you. From our experience, the insurance company will not even come close to offering you the money that you deserve. You may even be dealing with two insurance companies as you seek full and fair financial compensation. Our team can help.
Contact an Attorney in Wilmington, NC Today
If you have been injured after falling at an Airbnb property, you need prompt legal help to hold the host’s negligence accountable. We want to assist so you can get every dollar that is coming to you.
The attorneys at Horton & Mendez help our clients overcome legal barriers that are placed in their way. Reach out to us to schedule a free initial consultation about your slip and fall claim. You can reach us through our website or call us today at 910-405-7751.