Posted on August 23, 2018 in General
The sharing economy has been a change to the economics of the U.S. and to the way people vacation. While these changes seem to be positive, insurers and legislation are still catching up in how they include these kinds of business practices. Uber and Lyft have navigated lawsuits regarding liability, but they are both massive corporations. Airbnbs haven’t had the same attention, but injuries do happen as a result of negligent property owners.
Steps to Take After an Airbnb Injury
If you’re injured while staying at an Airbnb, there are several things you should do. Waiting will only cause important information to disappear or become forgotten, so it is usually best to make a report right away. Here is a list of steps to follow after the injury occurs:
- Seek medical care for your injury: Even if it is a small injury, having a record of your visit to the doctor is a good idea for documentation. An injury can look small at the time, or adrenaline can kick in, making you not feel the pain for a while. Getting it checked out immediately is the only way to know what is really happening and to have an official report.
- Document everything: Take photos of the area where the injury occurred. If there is a part of the Airbnb property that needs repair and contributed to your injury, take photos of the area.Take photos of the injury itself, before and after medical care if you can. Have a friend take the photos if you can’t.Print out your itinerary from the Airbnb website to record the dates of your stay.Print the terms of the Airbnb rental. Provide photos of the same spots on the property that had photos online in an effort to show whether the listing was accurate.Keep any relevant communications between yourself and the Airbnb owner for future reference.
- Talk with the owner of the property about the issue: Inform them of the injury and tell them that you will be consulting a lawyer. They may be able to contact their home insurance to help pay for medical bills, however, not all home insurances cover Airbnb guests. If the property owner did not inform their insurance company they were renting out the site to guests for commercial gain, it may void their insurance policy all together. This is a risk that Airbnb guests take when staying on another property.
- Airbnb policy says the company is not responsible for injuries sustained during a stay: It may be in your best interest to still send a report about the incident, or at least post in the reviews for other potential guests to know the dangers.
- Contact your insurance to see if you have any coverage for an accident on someone else’s property: Most insurances will most likely not cover this, but it is worth double checking to be sure.
- Call an attorney: If the injury is significant and you need help paying the medical bills, it is time to call an attorney. He or she can help to walk you through the steps to get the financial support that you need to solve your medical bills.
When to Speak With an Attorney
Not all injuries are devastating, but, if you’re hurt and you aren’t near your primary care doctor, find an established walk-in clinic. If your injury is significant, go to an emergency room. Be sure to keep all documentation – it may be difficult to contact such a clinic for proof of injury. After seeking medical care, you should speak with an injury attorney who has a lot of experience with premise liability claims for the next steps. You shouldn’t suffer the costs of someone else’s negligence.