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Airbnb Injuries: Who is Liable?

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Posted By Legal Team | May 13 2024 | Premises Liability

Airbnb provides great options for those who need somewhere to stay for a night or two. However, what happens if you or someone you care about sustains an injury on an Airbnb property? Individuals who sustain injuries on an Airbnb property may be able to recover compensation for their losses, but determining who is liable after these incidents occur can be incredibly challenging.

Liability of the Host (Property Owner)

Hosts, or property owners, have a duty to provide safe conditions for their guests. Under Florida premises liability law, this means that hosts are responsible for:

  • Maintaining safe conditions. Hosts should ensure their properties are free from known hazards like broken stairs, exposed electrical wiring, or slippery surfaces.
  • Providing adequate warnings. If the host is aware of any dangerous conditions that cannot be immediately fixed, they must warn guests of these hazards, such as posting signs or blocking off unsafe areas.
  • Regular maintenance. Hosts are expected to routinely inspect their properties and conduct necessary repairs to minimize risks.

A host could be held liable if a guest sustains injuries due to negligence in these areas. However, proving liability can require detailed evidence, including maintenance logs, inspection reports, and prior guest complaints.

Airbnb’s Liability Protection

Airbnb itself offers a $1 million Host Protection Insurance policy that covers injuries to guests. However, there are limits and exclusions to this coverage:

  • Negligence-related claims. The policy only covers injuries resulting from the host’s negligence, such as a failure to repair a known safety hazard.
  • Exclusions. The policy does not cover injuries resulting from pollution, mold, or intentional acts like assaults by the host.

Airbnb typically remains protected from direct liability due to the nature of its business model, which views hosts as independent contractors. However, it may face scrutiny if it is found to have knowingly allowed dangerous conditions to persist.

Liability of Third-Party Vendors

In some cases, third-party vendors may also be liable if their products or services contributed to an injury:

  • Contractors or maintenance providers. If an injury was due to poor maintenance or faulty repairs made by third-party contractors hired by the host, those contractors could share liability.
  • Manufacturers. Injuries caused by defective equipment or appliances provided by the host, such as malfunctioning heaters or faulty electrical wiring, could result in claims against the manufacturer.

Steps to Take After an Airbnb Injury in Florida

If you or somebody you love has been injured after an incident at an Airbnb in Florida, there are various steps you can take to help improve your chances of recovering compensation for your losses:

  • Notify the host. Immediately inform the host about the accident and its circumstances.
  • Document the scene. Take detailed photographs and videos of the accident location and any visible injuries. This evidence will be crucial to your claim.
  • Seek medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, visit a healthcare professional to document the harm. Medical records and bills will be important for proving your claim.
  • Gather witness information. Collect contact information from any witnesses present.
  • Consult an attorney. An experienced premises liability attorney in St. Petersburg will understand local laws and work to identify all liable parties. They will also help you build a strong case to recover compensation.

Potential Compensation After an Airbnb Injury

If a host or third party is found liable for your Airbnb injury, you could recover various types of economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical expenses. Emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and follow-up care.
  • Lost wages. Compensation for wages lost due to being unable to work.
  • Pain and suffering. Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and any reduction in quality of life.
  • Property damage. Costs of replacing damaged personal items.

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