Can I Sue a Virginia Airbnb Owner For My Injuries?

Until recently, vacationing travelers had very few options in terms of lodging; namely inns, motels, or hotels. In more recent years, tourists and families on holiday have started to stay more often in private houses rented out through companies like Airbnb and Staying in a rented home is usually more convenient, more comfortable, and more affordable. A Virginia Airbnb also offers various other benefits to travelers, like more space, and access to a kitchen and a yard. 

Regrettably, as more and more people rent out their homes, more injuries inevitably take place. When someone sustains a serious injury in a rented home, they understandably wonder whether or not they can sue the owner of the Airbnb for their damages. In some situations, the homeowner could be liable. If you were injured in a rented residence, the experienced Virginia premises liability lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can explain any applicable liability laws to you and help you seek the compensation you are entitled to. 

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Claims

Hampton VA personal injury law firm

Unanticipated and sudden injuries can create confusion and disruption in all aspects of someone’s life. They may be forced to withstand painful medical treatments and learn to cope with emotional and physical limitations relating to their accident. If they are unable to work due to their injuries, their hospital bills and other expenses will quickly begin to stack up. 

Normally, when someone is injured on another person’s property, the liability policy of the homeowner’s insurance enables them to collect damages. When someone rents out their home on or Airbnb, however, it is considered commercial use of a property. This means that most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover the cost of any damages to renters.

Some homeowners, especially those who have lots of experience hosting, choose to buy additional limited-use or Virginia commercial insurance coverage. Our dedicated attorneys can review the host’s insurance policy and see if it provides any protections to renters who are injured. 

Host Protection Insurance Claims

Even if the host’s private insurance excludes renters from the terms of its coverage, other viable avenues of compensation could still be open. Recently, Airbnb has started offering liability protection to hosts of up to $1 million. This coverage is only available under certain conditions. Typically, the victim’s injuries must be accidental, directly related to the rental property, and caused by the host’s negligence.

For example, host protection insurance could apply in the following situations:

  • Tripping on uneven flooring or torn carpeting
  • Falling down stairs because of a loose handrail 
  • Falling on a damaged or broken sidewalk
  • Falling due to insufficient lighting
  • Tripping caused by other hazards

Where Does Host Protection Insurance Not Apply?

The host protection insurance offered by Airbnb will not cover any injuries arising from deliberate, willful harm, like abuse or assault. Host protection insurance also precludes any injuries that are not directly associated with the property. For example, a motor vehicle accident that takes place very close to but not on the premises would probably not be covered. Our legal team is able to determine whether host protection insurance applies to your unique situation and review other potential options for economic recovery.

Discuss Your Virginia Airbnb Case With an Experienced Lawyer

Airbnbs are meant to be relaxing and enjoyable; a fun getaway for you and your family. Sadly, unsafe situations in your rental can turn an exciting holiday into a legal horror. If an accident takes place because of dangerous conditions in your Virginia Airbnb rental, you should not be forced to pay the cost of your damages out of pocket. The Virginia personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can examine the facts of your case and determine if you have grounds to bring a suit against the homeowner for your injuries. Call us at (833) 997-1774 and schedule your free consultation as soon as possible. 

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