Short-term vacation rental companies like Airbnb have transformed the way we travel, offering unique accommodations and experiences around the world. But what happens if a guest is injured while staying at a vacation property? Who bears the responsibility for injuries sustained during their stay?
Premises liability and commercially rented properties
Premises liability is the legal concept that property owners must ensure the safety of their property. This is a responsibility to prevent or warn of hazardous conditions that could cause harm to visitors, guests or neighbors. If a guest is injured due to a hazard that the owner knew or should have known about, they may be able to file a claim against the property owner or the company facilitating the short-term rentals (i.e., Airbnb, VRBO and similar operations).
This can get complicated, since injuries at a private home are usually covered by homeowners’ insurance. However, homeowners' insurance policies do not cover injuries or damages when a property is used for commercial or business purposes. Property owners must modify this exclusion with their insurance agent before renting out their property. While companies like Airbnb provide insurance up to $1 million for hosts without sufficient coverage, this amount might not fully cover major injuries or lifelong disabilities.
What to do if you’re injured on a vacation rental property
If you’re injured at a short-term rental property, seek immediate medical care and document the accident as best you can. Take photos of the scene and your injuries as soon as possible. Keep track of your medical records, related expenses, pain levels, health prognosis and any other documentation available.
Finally, contact a trusted Sarasota, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for assistance with your claim against the property owner, parent company or other responsible parties.