You never quite know what you will get when you select a vacation rental. The property could be dangerous, and the owner has not taken any steps to keep you safe. There is potential legal recourse when you have been injured by a property owner’s negligence.
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney fights for accident victims to get a fair settlement. Reach out to our Charleston vacation rental injury lawyer today to schedule a time to discuss your case.
Does Airbnb Cover Injuries at a Rental Property?
Although Airbnb makes money from every one of your stays, the company does everything that it can to escape liability when you were hurt at a property. The company claims that your relationship is with the host, and that they are just a middleman. Thus, you cannot sue Airbnb directly when you suffered an injury at a property.
You are not completely left out in the cold. Airbnb does maintain an insurance policy that covers up to $1 million in damages when you are able to prove that the host was at fault for your injuries.
Your legal action would be against the host, and you would file a claim against the insurance policy. If you needed to file a lawsuit, it would involve the host directly, and you generally could not name Airbnb as a defendant.
Your Actions Matter After an Airbnb Accident
Once you have been injured in a premises liability accident, you need to take the necessary steps to put yourself in a position to file a claim.
The insurance company will need to see proof that the owner was responsible for the accident that injured you before they will even make you a settlement offer. You have the legal obligation to demonstrate that the host was negligent, and that their wrongful action caused your injuries.
In any personal injury case, it is not what you say tips the scales in your favor.
Instead, your case is only as strong as the evidence that backs it. You would need to have documentary proof of what happened and what the owner may have done wrong in order for the insurance company to accept liability.
Documenting Your Airbnb Accident
Many Airbnb cases arise from dangerous conditions at the property. These conditions may be apparent from both pictures and testimony. Accordingly, if you are able to, you should do the following after your accident:
- Take pictures of the dangerous condition as it appeared at the time of your accident.
- Get contact information for anyone else who saw what happened.
- Report what happened through Airbnb through their system, so you have a record of the incident.
- Immediately report the incident to the host.
The problem is that Airbnb properties are usually not open or available to the public. There may not be anyone else outside of your own party who saw the dangerous condition. There may not even be any witnesses to testify in your favor.
This makes your own documentary evidence even more important. Once you lose the ability to take a picture, you would then go without critical proof that can back up your case.
Get Medical Help After Your Accident at an Airbnb
The steps that you take after an Airbnb accident also matter. Besides documenting the case as best as you can, you should also seek immediate medical attention for the following reasons:
- Your accident injuries can get worse without prompt medical treatment, and seeing a doctor could put you on the road to recovery more quickly.
- The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more the insurance company could argue that you made your own condition worse. They could also dispute the causal connection between the accident and your injury.
- It takes some time to reach the point of maximum medical improvement — the point where you can file a claim with the insurance company.
- You need documentation of your medical condition and prognosis, so you can quantify and prove your injuries.
Hire an Attorney to Represent You
You should also get an attorney as soon as possible. You are dealing with a large insurance company, which is out to get you at every single turn.
The insurance company is more than happy to deal with you on their own because it means that they will save money. They will certainly not take your word for what happened and will only offer you any money at all if you have a well-documented case. For the reasons described above, it would be difficult for you to investigate and prove your own case.
You must also have detailed knowledge of how much you may be due in a settlement. It is virtually impossible for you to come up with that number on your own. You would not know how to estimate your future damages, nor would you understand how to quantify pain and suffering. An attorney knows how to value your case, so you can seek the proper amount in settlement negotiations.
Your attorney would be your point of contact when you are dealing with the insurance company. You would not have to speak with the insurance company at all. Your attorney would also negotiate on your behalf when it comes time to talk settlement.
The insurance company would respect an attorney far more than you. When your attorney speaks, the insurance company will listen, understanding that your lawyer is your credible threat of litigation. Personal injury claimants who have lawyers generally far more than those who represent themselves, even after paying the attorney’s fee.
Contact a Charleston Airbnb Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured at a vacation rental, you have the right to financial compensation if you can prove negligent. As you can see, these cases are not necessarily easy ones. You need the help of an experienced lawyer who can represent you throughout the process.
Contact our team at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney in Charleston to discuss your case in a free initial consultation.