When we rent an Airbnb, we expect to receive safe and comfortable lodging that provides a home base for our adventures in a new city. Unfortunately, some Airbnb operators may not maintain their properties to a standard that protects you from harm and injury.
If you suffered injuries during a stay at an Airbnb, you may want to pursue damages against the property owner. However, many of us don’t know how to file an injury claim against Airbnb. Read on to learn more about these claims and what you may be entitled to recover.
What Is an Airbnb Lawsuit?
If a guest suffers injuries at an Airbnb rental, they may want to pursue compensation for their damages from the property owner. Unfortunately, many home insurance policies don’t typically cover short-term rentals like Airbnb.
Insurance companies deem Airbnb rentals as a business use, and as a result, homeowner’s insurance policies don’t extend to cover injuries occurring in these situations.
However, Airbnb offers comprehensive insurance plans to protect guests and hosts in the event of accidents. Aircover, the insurance program, is free upon booking an Airbnb rental and provides three host programs.
Host Damage Protection
Host Damage Protection covers the host property and protects the host if a guest damages a property. The policy covers up to $3 million in damages and protects against the following:
- Damage incurred to the furnishings and valuables in the rental;
- Damage to cars and boats;
- Unanticipated cleaning costs due to guest damage; and
- Income losses by the host needed to repair the property after guest damage and being unable to list the property.
Host Damage Protection is only available in exceptional circumstances, and hosts cannot file claims for general wear and tear from constant rental use.
Experience Liability Insurance
Guests who book activities and events through an Airbnb host may opt to obtain this insurance coverage. This policy covers any injuries or property damage during an Airbnb experience and covers up to $1 million in losses.
Host Liability Insurance
Host Liability Insurance provides Airbnb operators with $1 million dollars in coverage in incidents where they are responsible for any of the following:
- Guest injuries;
- Damage or theft of guest personal property; or
- Damage to common areas caused by guests.
Despite offering these policies for free, an Airbnb host may opt out of this coverage. An experienced personal injury attorney may determine whether you may be able to recover compensation under any of the Aircover policies or whether you need to pursue other avenues to get the compensation you need and deserve.
What Types of Accidents Happen at Airbnb Rentals?
An Airbnb is not unlike any other property. The only difference is these properties are advertised through the Airbnb online platform. Common accidents that usually occur at Airbnb properties are similar to those that may arise in private residences and public places, including:
- Slip and fall accidents. Uneven floor surfaces, poorly lit staircases, missing handrails, and cluttered walkways create hazardous conditions that may result in injury.
- Swimming pool accidents. Drownings, spinal cord injuries, and slip and fall accidents may occur around a swimming pool that is poorly maintained or enclosed.
- Burn and electrocution injuries. Faulty appliances or poorly maintained electrical systems can lead to electrocution, burning, fire, or death in certain situations.
- Dog bites. If an Airbnb owner allows their pets to roam the property, this can increase the risk of a guest being bitten in an unprovoked dog attack.
- Infections. Infections may occur due to bacteria, mold, or parasites like bed bugs at the rental.
- Assaults. Sexual assaults or other assaults may occur at an Airbnb with inadequate security to protect guests in an area with a higher crime rate.
To prevent Airbnb injury liability an owner must ensure that the properties they rent to guests are safe and free from potential hazards. They should regularly check the property for any change in its condition and warn guests of these dangers to avoid injuries.
What Can I Recover?
An injured victim in a New Jersey Airbnb lawsuit can recover compensatory damages through economic and noneconomic damages. In some situations, punitive damages may also be possible.
Economic damages are quantifiable losses that are directly related to your injuries. These damages include the following losses:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings; and
- Property damage.
In situations where you had to use vacation or sick days due to your injury preventing you from working, you may also be entitled to recover the loss of these benefits.
Noneconomic damages are more challenging to establish due to their intangible nature. These damages usually include the following losses:
- Economic distress;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Permanent injury or disfigurement.
For most personal injury cases, noneconomic damages play a large part in a victim’s recovery and are vital to moving forward after a traumatic accident.
Punitive damages are not commonly rewarded and differ from compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter future similar conduct.
If your attorney proves that the Airbnb owner acted in an intentionally harmful, willful, or wanton manner, resulting in your injury, your attorney may advise you to pursue these damages. New Jersey places a cap of 5 times the combined amount of compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
After an accident, choosing the right attorney is one of the most critical decisions in your life. At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, we pride ourselves on the settlements and verdicts we have obtained for our injured victims. Our dependability in the community has earned us an upstanding reputation, awards, and satisfied clients when they need it most.
Our attorneys and staff are ready to fight for you today. We are honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help people through the most challenging times in their lives. Contact us today by phone or email. A member of our knowledgeable team will respond as soon as possible to help you make sense of your situation.