In recent years, many visitors to Wilmington, NC, have started to turn to Airbnb rentals instead of hotels. These short-term rentals tend to be more affordable and often offer many of the same amenities.
Unfortunately, Airbnbs, like any other rental property, can be unsafe. Many times, hosts are aware of these unsafe conditions but choose to rent out their property anyway. If you were injured while staying in an Airbnb property, you may be wondering whether you can file a lawsuit against an Airbnb host.
Can You Sue an Airbnb Host or the Company Itself?
The home rental company Airbnb does not cover lawsuits from hosts or guests. Hosts and guests should be aware they are responsible for any potential legal issues that occur as a result of their actions while using Airbnb’s platform.
The company does, however, offer liability insurance as a component of its Host Guarantee program. The coverage offered by this insurance can help hosts recover losses under certain conditions up to $1 million in the United States. Although this is great for hosts, guests typically do not have much protection from the company in the event of an incident.
Fortunately, it is possible for you to sue both Airbnb and the host if you are injured on a property.
Frequently, injured guests only consider holding the property host legally liable, but the Airbnb company can be held liable as well. Though Airbnb requires its hosts to have homeowners insurance if they want to list a property, you can sue the company for failing to provide renters with a safe space.
No matter who you believe is responsible for your injury, you should consult an attorney if you want to file a claim with Airbnb.
Establishing Negligence by an Airbnb Owner
A lawsuit against an Airbnb host is generally considered a tort claim that hinges on the concept of negligence.
To win a case, an injured guest must prove the property host, or Airbnb was aware of unsafe conditions but acted carelessly or without reason. Most cases depend on proving the host neglected to properly maintain their property.
Premises liability cases often are over fall-related injuries, but they can involve the following as well:
- Broken steps
- Faulty appliances
- Outdated or failed building codes
- Insufficient or dim lighting
- Exposed splinters, nails, or other building materials
- Torn rugs or loose carpet
- Spills left by housekeeping or other guests
- Holes in the front or backyard
Fire hazards are also a major concern, especially when a property host fails to adequately maintain their property’s wiring or appliances.
You may be entitled to financial compensation if you were injured while staying at an Airbnb property. If a court believes you suffered any type of damages during your stay, you may be able to recover them.
It may be possible to get compensation if you incurred any of the following due to your injury:
- Current or future medical expenses
- Damaged property
- Lost earnings
- Loss of employment
- Loss of business opportunities
Your psychological and emotional health is important as well, so you may be entitled to compensation for emotional damages. If you incurred any of the following, you may be able to recover damages in court:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Ultimately, a court will decide how much compensation you deserve. It will take various legal factors into consideration to do so.
Filing a Lawsuit Against an Airbnb Host
If you believe you suffered damage as a result of a property host or Airbnb’s negligence, you may want to proceed with a claim. Before doing so, you should reach out to an experienced attorney in Wilmington, NC. An attorney can help you better understand if you have a case and assist you during legal proceedings.
Your attorney will also be responsible for submitting an evidence preservation letter to ensure any evidence can be collected in the future. If you cannot reach a settlement with either Airbnb or the property host, an attorney can help you proceed with filing a claim.
Proving Your Case
To win a case, you must be able to establish proof another party is responsible for your injuries. To do this effectively, you will need to collect as much evidence as possible. This evidence can come in the form of photographs, videos, medical records, and witness testimony.
Visible medical conditions, such as scars, burns, crush injuries, or amputations, can be an essential form of evidence. Any communication you had between Airbnb and the property host can also be helpful. Due to the complicated aspect of evidence collection, it is always wise to seek legal counsel.
What about lawsuits for hidden cameras at an Airbnb?
Airbnb properties should be safe, but in recent years, Airbnb has had to deal with lawsuits from guests whose privacy was invaded. Most of these cases involved the use of hidden cameras and other serious privacy violations.
To counteract these claims, Airbnb has hired attorneys with a hospitality background to review each case and help hosts better protect guests. The attorney is also responsible for ensuring each property complies with national and international regulations.
Unfortunately, even an attorney cannot stop determined individuals from installing hidden cameras. Although guests typically do not sustain physical injury from hidden cameras, they are often left with emotional scars.
Airbnb’s Response to Lawsuits
Airbnb has had to respond to a variety of lawsuits over the years. Many of these lawsuits involve premises liability, discrimination, and breach of contract allegations. Airbnb typically responds by consulting and hiring numerous high-profile attorneys to protect its interests. However, even with high-profile attorneys on its side, Airbnb has had to pay out many settlements since its launch in 2008.
Learn How To Sue an Airbnb Host Today
If you have sustained any type of physical or psychological injury in Wilmington, NC, while staying at an Airbnb property, you may be able to file a legal claim. You should safeguard your legal interests with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney. Contact Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys today to learn about your legal options against Airbnb or your rental property’s host.