Airbnb, the online service that lets property owners rent their homes, rooms, or other living spaces to travelers, has become incredibly popular. Airbnb properties are listed in more than 220 countries and regions. California is second only to Florida in the U.S. for the number of Airbnb listings. More than 350,000 properties are listed in such short-term rental markets as San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Napa Valley.

Who Is Liable If I Am Injured at an Airbnb Rental in California

As with any rental property, guests can sustain injuries in falls and other accidents if the property is not well maintained and kept free of hazards. A serious accident could leave an injured guest wondering whether they can hold the property owner or the online Airbnb company liable for their medical bills.

Fortunately, California law is generally on your side if you are injured in a slip and fall accident or another incident on someone else’s property that was not your fault. Sam & Ash Injury Law in Newport Beach can help you with an Airbnb accident claim in Orange County or elsewhere in Southern California. We’ll put our experience and resources to work for you because you deserve What’s Right.

Basics of California Premises Liability Law

Property liability law requires a property owner to take reasonable steps to be sure that their building and grounds are safe for visitors. If there is a hazard that the property owner knew about or should have known about and it leads to an injury, the property owner may be held financially liable. At the same time, a property owner may mitigate their liability if they provide a warning about a hazard.

For example, the owner of an Airbnb property with a pond on it might fence off the pond and post signs warning that it is not suitable for wading, swimming, or fishing. They might also state in rules given to renters that the pond is off-limits. With those warnings, a property owner could argue that anyone who ventured into the pond had neglected their own safety.

A guest might be seriously injured in an accident at an Airbnb property in numerous ways. A few accidents that the property owner might be held liable for include:

  • A slip and fall on a wet floor upon initial entry if the owner/property manager left the floor wet and slippery
  • Falling down a staircase with loose stair treads or an unlit staircase
  • Slipping on loose area rugs, floor tiles, or stepping stones in the yard
  • Tripping over holes or ruts in the yard
  • Falls due to inadequate night-time lighting
  • Falling objects from over-filled shelves
  • A treadmill that malfunctions, causing the guest user to fall
  • Assault by intruders due to inadequate security

Airbnb’s Host Liability Insurance Coverage

Injured guest at AirbnbAirbnb offers host liability insurance with every booking. It provides hosts up to $1 million in coverage for guest injuries – or theft or property damage to guest belongings.

Airbnb host liability insurance (HLI) covers residential or other property owned or controlled by a host, listed on the Airbnb platform, and booked using the Airbnb platform. Accommodations can include mobile homes, buses, airstreams, watercraft, treehouses, yurts, and other unique locations or properties that are used as accommodations.

The coverage provides up to $1 million per incident, with a total limit of $1 million available per host property during the life of the policy. This means that in an incident that resulted in several people being injured, such as a deck collapse, the $1 million per incident would be split among the victims if paid out. If there had already been one or more injury claims that resulted in insurance payments on that year’s policy, the total money available might be less than $1 million.

If the renter did not go through Airbnb’s website to book the rental, however, then Airbnb’s host liability insurance would not apply in the event of an accident.

Separate from Airbnb coverage, a property owner who rents out their home may have a short-term vacation rental insurance policy to provide property liability protection against claims brought by renters. This insurance also may be a source of compensation if you are injured while staying at a short-term rental. Our attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law can investigate to find all the insurance policies available to provide coverage after an accident claim.

Could Airbnb Be Held Liable for Guest Injuries?

Airbnb is a broker that does not own or manage the properties rented under its name. Holding Airbnb liable for an injury on a rental property would require showing that Airbnb had a direct role in the cause of your injury.

A case against Airbnb might be possible if you could show that there had been a series of injuries at rental properties due to this one particular property owner’s negligence. Evidence might demonstrate that Airbnb knew or should have known that this property owner’s negligence routinely puts guests in danger.

How Our Airbnb Injury Lawyers in Newport Beach, CA, Can Help

Airbnb or its insurer can object to a claim and refuse to pay, especially if there is reason to question the guest’s role in the accident. To prevail in a disputed claim, you would have to show that the Airbnb host’s negligence led to the accident that caused your injuries.

As your Airbnb injury attorneys, Sam & Ash Injury Law investigate the incident and help you document how you were injured and why it happened. We calculate the full compensation needed to pay your medical bills and other expenses and losses and negotiate aggressively to recover what you deserve. If necessary, we can file a personal injury lawsuit and be ready to present a persuasive case in court. You deserve What’s Right.

The lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law have recovered more than $400 million for unjustly injured clients throughout California and Nevada. Our legal team at Sam & Ash Injury Law is here for you. Call our Newport Beach office at  949-304-2000 or contact us online to get your free case review.

Who Is Liable If I Am Injured at an Airbnb Rental in California
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Author: Ash Watkins

Ash started her legal career defending insurance companies against injury victims. She saw how insurance companies treated people who had legitimate injury claims. But she also saw how notoriously sleazy the personal injury lawyers were. Neither side was focused on the injured person, so she decided to do something about it.