Who Is Liable for the Victim's Damages in an Airbnb Accident?

Over the past decade or so, many travelers have been choosing to rent living spaces at someone’s home instead of booking hotel rooms for their vacations or business travels. Companies that provide this service, like Airbnb, provide consumers an easy way to find convenient locations, great deals, and many of the amenities that hotels just aren’t able to accommodate travelers with.

Unfortunately, there are situations where the renter sustains an injury because of some condition that was present on the property. When this happens, they may be entitled to financial compensation for any of the losses their injuries cause them to suffer.

Duty to Protect

Under North Carolina law, all property owners have the duty to protect any visitors to their property. This means owners are responsible for:

  • Maintaining the condition of the property.
  • Conducting regular inspections and repairing any dangerous conditions that may occur in a timely manner.
  • Warning visitors about any dangers that may be present.

When an owner fails to provide a duty to protect and a visitor is injured, the law allows that victim to recover damages from the negligent property owner. These damages can include medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering, scarring, permanent disability, and more.

Liability for an Airbnb Accident

When an Airbnb renter is injured, they may be unsure who is liable for their losses – the property owner or Airbnb. While it is actually the owner of the property that is liable, there are some factors that renters should be aware of.

Airbnb requires each rental property owner to enroll in Host Protection Insurance, a special premises liability policy. This coverage takes precedence over other forms of homeowner, business, or renter’s insurance that is carried by the property owner who rents out a property through Airbnb. If a renter is injured, they should file a claim through Airbnb. This special insurance will cover up to $1 million in damages.

While Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance takes precedence for most personal injury claims arising from accidents, there are some accidents that are not covered through this policy. 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.

Before renting a property, always make sure to check to make sure the property owner has both Host Protection Insurance and their own private homeowner’s insurance policy. Also, read all the reviews by other renters of the property and check to see if there have any complaints and/or reports about any potential hazards.

Contact a Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a family member has been injured at a vacation rental property, contact a seasoned North Carolina premises liability attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Even if it is not entirely clear who is the at-fault party, a Carolinas injury attorney will be able to determine which party or parties are liable. At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, our injury attorneys have successfully represented numerous accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results. Call 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.

 

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Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia