The questions on this page were answered by our team of lawyers. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car wrecks, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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In North Carolina, can I file an injury claim with Airbnb and against the rental property owner?
Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance takes precedence for most personal injury claims arising from accidents like slips, trips, falls, near drownings and electric shocks. You may still have the right to file a claim against the owner of the Airbnb rental, however, because North Carolina’s Vacation Rental Act gives landlords legal duties to keep their properties in a safe condition and proper repair. Those duties extend to repairing or replacing major appliances, which the Airbnb policy does not cover.
How do I submit a claim for an injury at an Airbnb property?
On its website, Airbnb tells people who suffer injuries at properties rented through the company that “once you’re safe and your immediate concerns have been addressed, report the incident to us by going to the Profile tab of your Airbnb app and tapping Help & support, then choosing Contact Airbnb under your trip.” The bolding appears in the original instructions.
You may find it beneficial to consult with a North Carolina personal injury attorney, as well. Through a law called the Vacation Rental Act, the state requires landlords to ensure that the properties they rent out are safe and secure. Even if Airbnb covers medical bills and other expenses, the owner, landlord or rental agent may also have legal liability.
Whose insurance covers me if I get injured at an Airbnb rental?
Airbnb asks each rental property owner to sign up for a special premises liability policy that it calls Host Protection Insurance. This coverage takes precedence over other forms of homeowner, business or renter’s insurance that is carried by the person or company who rents out a property via Airbnb.
So, if you suffer an injury inside an Airbnb rental or on the grounds immediately surrounding the rental—for instance, on the stairs into the building or around the pool that residents can use—you should report the incident to Airbnb and submit your claim under the provisions of the Host Protection Insurance policy.
Be aware that the Airbnb policy will not cover injuries incurred while using dangerous or defective products. Also, claims will be denied if Airbnb determines that you hurt yourself intentionally or while doing something dangerous or destructive.
In some circumstances, you may be able to file claims with both Airbnb and the property owner. This is particularly true in North Carolina, where a law call the Vacation Rental Act places enforceable legal duties on owners of vacation properties to ensure the premises are safe and secure.
Do I have a claim for a slip and fall accident?
You may not know for sure whether you have a winnable slip and fall case until you speak with an experienced and knowledgeable North Carolina personal injury, but you must be able to answer the following questions on your own:
Do you know where you fell?
You need to know where the fall and injuries took place in order for an attorney to pursue recovery.
Were you aware of the hazardous condition before you fell?
Being aware of risks will not automatically negate your claim, but the property owner may try to use that information against you.
Did you sustain injuries from the fall?
In order to seek compensation, you must show that you suffered serious injuries that required medical care.
Have you received a medical diagnosis for your injuries?
If you have not seen a doctor yet, consult with one right away in order to have your injuries diagnosed and what treatment will be needed.
- Steps to Take When You Are Injured While on Vacation
- Know What to Do if You Get Injured at an Airbnb Rental in North Carolina
- What Duties Do Rental Agents Have Under the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act?
Do homeowners who host holiday parties have legal duties to protect guests from injuries?
Absolutely, though the duty is relieved when party guests intentionally or recklessly put themselves in harm’s way.
A centuries-old legal principle called premises liability places legal duties on homeowners and apartment owner to protect the health and lives of guests. This duty extends to preventing falls, electric shocks, drownings, dog bites, and attacks by other guests.
A holiday party host would meet this duty by, for example, keeping their home in good repair, covering or supervising a pool, and controlling animals. It is not always clear, however, whether a host has done enough in any of those areas, especially when the issue may be a failure to do proper maintenance. Speaking with a Virginia personal injury attorney who handles what are often called slip and fall cases can clarify whether the legal standards for premises liability apply.
How do I know if the owner of the property is responsible for my fall?
In a premises liability case, we need to prove that the owner or operator of the premises knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed at the time of your fall. This can be proven in many ways. Failure to do adequate safety checks, failure to put out necessary signage and warnings, and failure to comply with state and federal building codes are all ways to prove the property owner was negligent.
What type of recovery can I expect if I've been the victim of a slip and fall injury?
Monetary recovery in a successful lawsuit will vary in every slip and fall personal injury case. Typically, you can seek recovery for your medical bills, your pain and suffering, and your lost wages if your injury causes you to miss work.
What needs to be done after a slip and fall injury?
The first thing you need to do is inspect the area where you fell. Important questions to try and answer include: What caused you to fall? Did anyone see you fall?
Get the phone number and e-mail of anyone in the general area where the incident occurred - both those who saw you fall, and others who were there after the fall - since they may be needed as witnesses on your behalf if the landowner potentially disputes your claim. Even if no one saw you actually fall, an individual could help describe your pain and the conditions of the area immediately after you fell.
If the incident occurred in a store or place of business, immediately speak with the manager or supervisor on duty. Have them document the incident, and get a copy of anything prepared by the business. If anyone suggests this type of incident occurred before, or they were aware of the condition before your fall, make a note and get the name and contact information of the individual who made that statement. This would potentially imply prior knowledge of the dangers associated with the area where you fell.
Even if the condition that caused your fall is permanent, or temporary (i.e. icy street), take photographs of the area as soon as possible so a record is available. Even"permanent conditions" could change if the landowner thinks you might file a claim for an injury.
What if I slip and fall on my landlord's property, at work, or at a public location like a mall? How does the location affect my claim?
Property owners should have some form liability insurance in the event someone is injured on their property.
You need to speak with an attorney regarding the severity of your injury and whether liability can be determined. An experienced attorney, like those working for Shapiro, Appleton & Washburnwould investigate and research who the responsible party is, and get details about the insurance coverage of the other party or their carrier that they may not be willing to provide to you directly.
A slip and fall injury commonly occurs at an apartment building. If the slip and fall injury occurred in a common area where the landlord has control such as a hallway, parking lot, elevator, etc. the landlord may be liable.
On the other hand, if the tenant who slipped and fell created the danger such as leaving items around the stairwell and it impedes another individual, then the tenant is liable.
As a tenant, you may be liable for injuries if someone slips on a loose and worn-down carpet in your apartment. Nevertheless, the landlord may share responsibility if they were aware of the loose carpet and failed to fix it.
Do not hesitate to make a claim against your landlord for fear of disturbing the relationship or facing eviction. This is a good reason why you need to get an injury lawyer to handle the matter more objectively.
Injuries at the workplace potentially have additional complications. In some instances, you can't sue your supervisor.
A slip and fall injury at a public mall could be challenging when trying to determine who is at fault. This is because there are various levels of ownership and management. For example, there may be a store owner, a mall management company, and a corporate ownership entity. Again, an experienced attorney would be extremely helpful in determining which entity or company is at fault.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburnlaw firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.
What exactly are slip & fall and trip & fall injuries?
A slip and fall or trip and fall is the term used for an injury occurring when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on another person's property. Slips, trips, and falls commonly occur as a result of water, ice, snow, changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard.
More than eight million people were injured in falls in 2004, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. A majority of slip and fall injury victims are over the age of 65. In 2005, over 15,000 people age 65 or older died from injuries attributed to a fall, according to the Center for Disease Control. Roughly 1.8 million age 65 and older were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, and over 433,000 of these people were hospitalized.
If you are on someone else's property and are injured as a result of a dangerous condition on the property, the landowner may be liable for the injury or injuries. The person or company using the land can also be liable, like the store,restaurant or business renting the building,if they were the ones at fault. The injured person must show that the land owner or user did something wrong to hold them responsible, like that they created a danger, failed to inspect the premises, or carelessly failed to warn of a hidden hazard.