California Vacation Rental Liability Injury Lawyers
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California Law Firm Specializing in Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO Liability Claims
Vacation rental apps are sweeping the nation, attracting all walks of life with gorgeous locations, cheap prices, and convenient reservation processes. Three of the most popular rental sites are Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO.
While these websites offer extraordinary travel and accommodation opportunities, they might not always be the safest option for vacationers. Since the debut of these types of apps, users have reported accidents, injuries, and assaults while staying in rentals. Our award-winning injury firm can help you if you recently experienced a similar situation with one of these websites.
What Happens When I’m Injured at an Airbnb?
In recent years, short-term rental properties have become hugely popular. This new type of rental property has created an entirely new question of premises liability. In many cases, the Airbnb host is a homeowner renting out their own private property.
But should they be treated as a homeowner for purposes of premises liability? After all, they are making money, so perhaps they should be treated more like a hotel. But hotels have more staff and far more experience at making properties safe. Landlords also have a legal obligation to keep the common areas safe for tenants.
Many premises liability claims arise from injuries that occur on stairwells, in pools or hot tubs, in parking lots, and in the other common areas of an apartment complex. It does not seem fair to hold an individual homeowner up to the same standard of care. This question is still being considered in courts across the country. While there is not yet a definitive answer, the general rule is that an Airbnb host can be held liable for their negligence.
If, for example, your host had a loose gas line that caused carbon monoxide poisoning, this would likely be negligence. Because these situations are still being considered on a case-by-case basis, it is important to get an attorney’s opinion about your unique situation. These rules apply to all short-term rentals, whether they are made through Airbnb, VRBO, or a property management company.
Property Owner Responsibilities
When you secure a rental on Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO, you assume the property is safe for occupants. As a paying guest of the property, you have every right to expect reasonably safe premises. If a property owner or landlord failed to repair a known hazard like a faulty staircase, resulting in occupant injury, the victim may have a premises liability case.
If the person knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard and failed to repair it, he or she is guilty of negligence. Property owners must also check for unknown injuries and warn guests of known hazards, such as the danger of diving into a shallow pool.
After sustaining an injury while on a rental property, take photos of the object, obstacle, or property condition that caused your accident. This might be loose carpeting, exposed electrical wires, leaking water pipes, loose shelving, or a ditch in the yard. Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible, and keep copies of all your medical records and expenses.
Contact the property owner and explain what happened. If you need to, contact an attorney and discuss the possibility of a premises liability claim against the landlord or property owner.
Verdict on a premise liability case involving a defective gate.– Judd Ross Allen
Rental Insurance Policies
Before someone lists a property on Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO, they should purchase special vacation rental insurance coverage. All three sites urge rental owners to carry insurance that covers rental activities or business activities.
Typical homeowners’ insurance will often not cover guest injuries, since the guest was not a resident at the time of the accident. HomeAway and VRBO offer insurance products right on their sites. Airbnb offers a Host Guarantee plan, but states that this should not replace homeowners/renters’ insurance.
When you stay at a vacation rental you booked through one of these sites, there is no guarantee that the property is safe. There is always the chance that the property owner is negligent and that the property has hazards. The property owner may also not have the proper insurance to cover guest damages.
These issues make cases involving an Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO rental complex. You may need professional help identifying the defendant and pursuing compensation for your injuries and related expenses.
If you believe you have a case against a property owner or landlord, check to see if you have the elements necessary to bring a claim. First, that it was the landlord’s duty to maintain the area of the property where your accident occurred. Second, that the landlord failed to reasonably prevent the accident (i.e., the landlord could have fixed the problem or given adequate warnings). Third, your injury resulted from the landlord failing to fix the problem. Fourth, that you suffered real damages because of the incident.
These four elements make up the basic necessities to have a strong claim against someone for your Airbnb/HomeAway/VRBO injury. When in doubt after a vacation rental accident, talk to an attorney at Arash Law led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. Don’t let a negligent or reckless landlord get away with causing or contributing to your serious injury. Call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online for a free consultation.