An Airbnb may seem like a convenient, affordable alternative to a hotel when you need a place to stay. But accidents can happen at an Airbnb rental if it is not well managed. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Airbnb has spent millions of dollars to discourage renters from discussing injuries they suffered while staying at properties listed on Airbnb. The properties may be dangerous if not maintained.
If you have been injured while staying at an Airbnb rental in Orange County, CA, whether as a renter or an invited guest, you may be unsure who to hold financially responsible. The attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law are here to help you. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions and have secured more than $400 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. We have helped people injured at Airbnbs seek financial accountability.
Contact our law office if you were injured at an Airbnb property during your stay. You deserve What’s Right, and we want to help you demand it.
Types and Causes of Injuries in an Airbnb
California ranks among the top states for Airbnb listings with more than 329,000 listings on average in 2021. Property owners have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to make sure the property is safe for visitors. Renters and guests can suffer serious injuries if a property is not properly maintained.
Some of the most common types and causes of injuries at Airbnb rentals include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents – If an Airbnb host or owner does not maintain the property, torn carpets, uneven floors, loose stairs, broken deck railings, or other hazards may cause someone to slip and fall. Many properties used as Airbnb rentals are not adequately maintained.
- Dog bites/animal attacks – An unattended dog or other pet might bite a renter.
- Burns – Faulty grills, stoves, or other appliances at an Airbnb can cause a fire, resulting in severe burns.
- Electrocution injuries – Defective appliances and ungrounded electrical outlets can cause a severe electrical shock to Airbnb guests.
- Exposure to mold or other toxic substances – If a property owner has allowed mold to grow in their Airbnb rental, anyone who stays there could be exposed and become ill. Paint fumes and other hazardous substances can also cause injuries at Airbnb properties.
Additionally, there is the risk of being physically attacked during your stay. Many Airbnb rentals have minimal security measures, leaving guests vulnerable to attacks. In some cases, hosts who were not properly screened later inflicted injuries on guests.
There is no single cause of accidental injuries at Airbnb rentals.
Some of the more common factors that can lead to an accident include:
- Structural collapses
- Defective or poorly maintained furniture
- Swimming pools
- Inadequate security
- Poorly maintained sidewalks or entryways
- Faulty appliances or electrical wiring
- Lack of proper safety equipment
Common Airbnb Slip-and-Fall Injuries and Their Causes
Slip-and-fall injuries are one of the most common ways people are injured at Airbnb properties. In many cases, the property owners or host may be at fault for the accidents. Some common causes of slip-and-fall accidents at Airbnb rentals include:
- Poorly maintained sidewalks – Broken or uneven sidewalks can cause guests to lose their balance and fall to the ground.
- Slippery or uneven floors inside the property – Torn carpeting, loose floor mats, slick tile or hardwood floors, and other slippery surfaces inside an Airbnb property can cause a slip-and-fall accident.
- Broken stairs and steps – Guests can take a tumble on broken stairs, or while using the stairs with missing or broken handrails.
- Leaky appliances, showers, and bathtubs – A leaky fridge, washing machine, shower, or bathtub can be a serious slip-and-fall hazard, especially if the guests are unaware of the leak.
- Cluttered walkways – If a host leaves hallways cluttered with toys, boxes, or other items, guests may have difficulty navigating the property safely.
- Holes in the yard – At properties where a host is in the middle of a yard project or simply does not take care of their yard, there is a high chance of guests stepping into a hole in the ground and suffering an injury.
- Swimming pools – An unguarded pool can present a drowning risk, especially for small children. If a property has a swimming pool, the pool must have some type of security such as a fence with a self-latching gate, a pool cover, or a pool alarm.
What To Do After an Airbnb Injury?
Knowing the proper steps to take after an accident at an Airbnb can affect whether you eventually recover compensation for your injuries. Here is what you should do if you are injured in an accident at an Airbnb:
- Call 911 – Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need emergency medical treatment. If your injuries do not require emergency treatment, you should contact the local police so that an officer can make a report.
- Document the accident – Take photos to document what happened, including pictures of the specific spot where the accident occurred, any safety hazards in the area, and your injuries. Write down the names of anyone staying with you at the time of the accident and any other eyewitnesses.
- Seek medical treatment – Get to a doctor as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. You may have internal injuries without realizing it. A doctor will record all your injuries related to the accident.
- Report the accident – After starting medical treatment, get in touch with Airbnb so you can report the incident. However, do not give any recorded statements until you have spoken to a lawyer.
- Save your medical records and receipts – Your medical bills, injury records, and other receipts related to the accident are critical pieces of evidence in a personal injury case.
- Hire an Airbnb accident lawyer – Identifying the parties liable for your injuries, gathering evidence to support your claim, and negotiating for a fair settlement requires time and effort. Hiring an Airbnb accident attorney to investigate the accident allows you to focus on healing.
What Is Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance Coverage?
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover injuries related to commercial or short-term rentals. However, a property owner who rents their home through Airbnb should have renter’s insurance to provide liability protection in the event of claims brought by renters. If you are injured at an Airbnb, you may file a claim against that renter’s insurance seeking compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.
Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance covers guests and hosts for up to $1 million per incident in bodily injuries or property damage. This liability insurance covers residential or other rentals listed on the Airbnb platform, controlled by a host, and booked online through Airbnb. This insurance is automatically included with every approved Airbnb listing and should cover any injuries you suffered in an accident.
However, there are some things Airbnb’s host liability insurance does not cover, such as:
- Injuries or property damage resulting from someone’s intentional acts (sexual assault, battery)
- Bodily injuries caused by hazards on the property (mold, asbestos, bedbugs)
- Injuries related to motor vehicle accidents on the premises
How Can You Prove Liability in an Airbnb Accident?
Determining liability for an Airbnb accident can be tricky. The Airbnb host and whoever manages the property may share responsibility depending on the facts of the incident. To build a case for compensation for your Airbnb injuries, your attorney will need to gather evidence, such as:
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Medical records
- The police accident report
- Eyewitness accounts
- Property records
- Expert testimony
Can You Directly Sue Airbnb for Your Accident?
It’s understandable to have questions about who is financially responsible if you have been injured while staying at an Airbnb. Airbnb is an online service that does not own or manage the properties listed for rent on its website.
You may be able to sue Airbnb for an accident if it had a direct role in the accident. More likely, you would file an injury claim against the host liability insurance provided by Airbnb and the property owner’s renters’ insurance policy.
An Orange County personal injury attorney at Sam & Ash Injury Law can review your case and evaluate who may be liable for your injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover After an Airbnb Accident?
Your injuries and financial losses may be substantial after an Airbnb accident. A personal injury attorney can help you demand compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced future earnings
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property
Contact Our Orange County Airbnb Injury Lawyers
The knowledgeable legal team at Sam & Ash Injury Law is ready to advocate for you and help you pursue compensation for your injuries so you can focus on healing. Our attorneys have secured more than $400 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. We are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work on your behalf. You deserve What’s Right. Contact our office in Orange County, CA, today for a free consultation.