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Can I Sue if I Am Injured While Renting a Property on Airbnb?

Dan Brian   |  November 8, 2017   |  

If you do not already know, Airbnb is a property rental app that has grown in popularity in recent years. Instead of booking a hotel room while traveling, you can use Airbnb to find hosts who are renting out properties.

While Airbnb can in some cases be cheap or convenient, properties may contain safety hazards. Several years ago, a man was killed by a hazard while renting an Airbnb property in Texas. According to the man’s son, his father had attempted to use a swing hanging from a tree branch. The man died from a fatal brain injury after the branch snapped and fell on his head.

Liabilities for injuries on Airbnb properties have historically been problematic. If a homeowner rents out a room using Airbnb, it is possible the injured guest would not be covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. Many of these policies have clauses that exclude commercial activity. In other cases, a tenant who is renting property may be violating his or her lease by hosting Airbnb guests. Landlords would try to claim they were not liable for damages if tenants were violating the terms of their leases and that they were not aware guests were present.  In this situation, there may only be insurance coverage if the tenant purchased his own premises liability coverage often called “renter’s insurance.”

In 2015, Airbnb began offering liability coverage to try and alleviate this problem. Depending on the circumstances, this coverage might cover up to $1 million per incident. But is this $1 million host liability coverage enough? Does the coverage work as advertised? These are questions that may not have easy answers because Airbnb and other services like it are still very new.

Spinal cord injuries that result in quadriplegia could incur millions of dollars in medical, home modification, lost income and rehabilitation costs. Brain injuries may incur similar costs. In such cases, injured guests may need more resources than what is offered by the $1 million host liability coverage. It would be wise to have an attorney review the situation to determine whether other parties may be responsible for what occurred.

Should I Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney After an Airbnb Accident?

Injured guests or family members who lost loved ones should speak with a personal injury attorney. Multiple parties could be responsible for an injury that occurs on a rented Airbnb property. Depending on the circumstances, it could be possible to hold these parties accountable for damages.

The North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, LLP could review the details of your situation and inform you of whether you have legal options to pursue damages.

At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, Justice Counts.