After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many people are starting to think about booking that much-needed vacation! And with hotel rates predicted to increase again in 2023, a lot of us will turn to Airbnb or similar sites to find the perfect accommodation in that perfect location – whether it’s lying by the pool, hitting the slopes, or soaking up the local culture.
As we all know, Airbnb is founded on the concept of renting someone else’s private home, which means you need to trust a complete stranger that their premises are indeed safe and secure.
Unfortunately, while the property might look like your dream vacation rental in the online photo gallery, the reality might be quite different. And as a result of less regulation and oversight than is required for hotels, there have been numerous reported instances of serious injuries, accidents and even assaults while staying at an Airbnb, many of which could have been prevented.
Common causes of accidents and injury during an Airbnb stay include:
- deficient structures
- broken furniture
- swimming pools
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- gas leaks
- swing sets and trampolines
- dog bites
- cracked sidewalks or entryways
- poor lighting in hazardous areas
- absent handrails
- faulty appliances
- or even faulty wiring.
Can I Sue If I’m Injured At An Airbnb?
Not every accident is bad enough to warrant a lawsuit, but if you suffer a serious injury as a result of negligence on the part of the host or owner, you may have a legitimate personal injury claim. Airbnb provides hosts insurance coverage of up to $1 million, but that is often not enough compensation for someone who has suffered a grievous injury.
Immediate Steps If You’re Injured At An Airbnb
If you or a loved one experiences an accident or injury while staying at an Airbnb, there are several things you should do to increase your chance of success in a potential personal injury claim:
- Call 911: for immediate help in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, call 911 (in the United States or Canada.) If you are in a foreign country, it’s a good idea to learn the appropriate emergency number to call before you arrive.
- Photograph the area: while you may not have the presence of mind to pull out your phone right after an accident, it is important that you capture the exact circumstances of the event. Take a few shots from several different angles. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, might reveal details that you may not recall after the accident. And once you have left the home, it’s not likely the host will let you or your lawyer back in to gather any potential evidence.
- Photograph the injuries: if you can, take a quick photo of any injuries sustained as a result of the accident. Obviously, if they are severe, tend to the victim as best you can, but it will be important to show the injury should any claims arise.
- Notify your host: call the host right away if there has been an accident during your stay. They will most likely be able to point you to the right emergency resources. It’s a good idea to have the incident on record for any future claims.
- Call Parker Scheer: in Massachusetts, generally, you must file a lawsuit for this type of claim within 3 years, so please call us as soon as possible.
The personal injury team at Parker Scheer has represented hundreds of clients in complex personal injury cases, oftentimes securing significant financial compensation. Experienced personal injury lawyers are in the best position to tell you if you have a case and they know how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. Moreover, we are not afraid to pursue other options such as filing a lawsuit, especially when you have a strong case. We understand what you are rightly entitled to, and will not settle for less.
Our Top Tips For A Safe And Enjoyable Airbnb Stay
Before you book:
- Read the reviews – they can tell you a lot about both the host and the location.
- Use Google Maps street view to check out the neighborhood and the premises; if you get a bad impression, book elsewhere.
- Make sure all communication with the host is done through the Airbnb site to avoid scams.
- Ask the host what the equivalent to the “911” is for that location, or who to call in case of emergency.
- Make all payments through the official Airbnb site.
When you arrive:
- Make sure you know how to navigate the Airbnb app to get help in case your accommodation is not available or unacceptable for some reason.
- Check the space for possible hidden cameras.
- Locate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they’re working properly.
- Check the property for entry and exit points and make sure they’re secure.
- Locate the fire extinguishers and first aid kit.
- Secure your valuables.
- Enjoy your vacation!
Connect with the Parker Scheer Personal Injury Team: