Airbnb functions like Uber or Lyft, providing a platform for people who want to rent apartments or houses with people who have places to rent. Airbnb has developed a large network of hosts, ranging across the country and the world. Typically, the cost is much more affordable than hotels because of the lack of overhead. Additionally, Airbnb lodgings rarely offer many of the amenities available in hotels, such as room service. However, if you are injured in a Maryland Airbnb, you might wonder who is responsible for your injury. Luckily, Airbnb provides insurance coverage for their hosts, but that does not mean the property owner cannot also be held liable. Below, our Maryland premises liability attorney takes a closer look at what you need to know if you are injured at an Airbnb.
Premises Liability and a Maryland Airbnb
Most injuries that occur in an Airbnb fall under premises liability. Under the principle of premises liability, property owners, including landlords and homeowners, are responsible for keeping their property relatively safe for any visitors or guests. Airbnb hosts are also included in this list. However, for a property owner to be held legally responsible for your injuries, you must prove that the owner knew of, created, or should have known about the unsafe or hazardous condition. Additionally, the owner must have failed to fix, address, or provide adequate warnings about the dangerous condition.
Airbnb guests, like guests of a hotel, are usually considered invitees under the law. This means that they are invited onto the property for a business reason. Because of this relationship, the property owner owes their guests the highest degree of care and a duty to take reasonable steps to address any hazardous conditions.
Who is Liable if I am Injured in a Maryland Airbnb?
If you are injured while staying in a large hotel, liability is often clear. Experiencing a slip and fall accident in a Maryland hotel will mean you can typically recover damages directly from the hotel. With a Maryland Airbnb, things become more complicated. A potential claim could be filed against the property owner, a landlord, and Airbnb itself.
If you are injured in an Airbnb, you are afforded some protection. Perhaps the most important one is the host protection insurance provided by Airbnb. This policy provides compensation for personal injuries up to $1,000,000. If you are injured at an Airbnb, this insurance policy kicks in first. However, there are some exemptions to Airbnb’s host protection insurance, including:
- Intentional acts of violence, including assault and rape
- Acts of terrorism
- Products liability injuries
- Car accidents
- Sickness due to pollution, lead, mold, asbestos, bacteria, or infestation, such as bed bugs
- Natural disasters, including floods or earthquakes
Suing the Property Owner of a Maryland Airbnb
In some cases, the insurance offered by Airbnb might not be sufficient to cover your damages. Or the cause of your injury might be excluded by the provisions in the policy. If you have significant losses, such as damages associated with permanent paralysis or a traumatic brain injury, the $1,000,000 limit could be quickly exhausted because of extended hospitalization, surgeries, or the inability to earn an income. This situation makes filing a personal injury lawsuit more complicated.
Most people carry homeowner’s insurance to protect themselves from liability if someone gets hurt on their property. Unfortunately, many insurance policies explicitly do not cover injuries if the homeowner was using their property for profit or business purposes. If the owner of the property you were renting from never informed their insurance provider that they were renting their home, it could present several issues if you are seeking compensation for your damages.
Another potential issue is when the person renting the space to Airbnb is not the owner of the property. Many renters are trying to find ways to make extra money. it is unlikely that any renter’s insurance policy will cover injuries when the property is rented out to a third party. Additionally, if the tenant did not notify their landlord, then it is possible the landlord’s insurance would not cover your damages. Injuries sustained in an Airbnb require the assistance of our knowledgeable Maryland Airbnb rental injury attorney.
Steps to Take After Being Injured at a Maryland Airbnb
First, whenever you are injured, you should seek immediate medical attention. If you need to pursue an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit, documenting and tracking the injury back to the accident is critical. Without proof of an injury, you do not have a good chance to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit.
Next, you should gather evidence from the scene of the accident. Photographs of the hazardous conditions are often vital in proving negligence in a lawsuit in Maryland. Be sure to take pictures from several different angles. Also, take photos of your injuries. If you can, you should have each photo time-stamped with the date and time to establish when your injury occurred and the condition of the property at that time. If you do not have photographs, the property owner might address the issue after the accident. If there were any witnesses, you should get their contact information.
While you should file an injury claim with Airbnb, you should contact our Baltimore Airbnb rental injury attorney before doing so. You do not want to say anything on the record that could hurt your chances in a personal injury lawsuit or give Airbnb cause to deny your claim.
Call Our Maryland Premises Liability and Personal Injury Attorney to Schedule a Free Consultation
Many people prefer the feeling of home that accompanies staying in an Airbnb. If you are injured while staying at an Airbnb, it will not only ruin your vacation; it will present a set of complicated legal questions and issues. Our experienced premises liability and personal injury lawyers in Maryland understand the problems associated with filing a claim against Airbnb and the property owner. Our office will fight for your just compensation. You should not talk with an insurance company or Airbnb without talking to us first. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.