Tampa Airbnb Accident Lawyer
Our attorneys fight for the rights of victims of Airbnb negligence
Airbnb rentals have swept across the country as cities reopen. The internet-based, P2P vacation rental concept affords travelers flexible accommodations. People who are traveling to virtually any city can now visit the Airbnb website or log onto the corresponding app. Through the website or the app, guests can book accommodations in privately-owned homes. Airbnb provides accommodations at all price points. The platform also allows property owners to earn income by hosting travelers in their guestrooms, vacant apartments, guesthouses, and entire homes. Some hosts even host guests on their spare couches. Airbnb offers allows private hosts to generate income by sharing their spaces with guests. With hosting guests comes liability. Tampa Airbnb negligence claims have emerged as the vacation rental trend has steadily grown in popularity. Guests who are injured in Tampa Airbnb rentals have legal recourse. An injured guest may file a claim personal injury claim in civil court to receive compensation for his or her injuries.
Determining liability in Tampa Airbnb accident cases
If you are injured while staying at an Airbnb rental, you may file a claim if someone else’s negligence caused your injury. Examples of Airbnb accidents caused by negligence include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injuries caused due to improper maintenance
- Injuries caused by criminal acts
- Illness caused by toxins on the property
- Injures caused by Airbnb amenities
In most cases, the person who owns the Airbnb listing is liable if a guest’s injury is caused by a negligent condition on the property. There are also cases in which Airbnb or a third party may be liable.
SLIPS AND FALLS IN RENTAL UNITS
Vacation rental hosts are required to maintain reasonably safe, clean conditions for guests. As a paying customer, an individual who reserves a stay at an Airbnb property is an invitee. Thus hosts owe their guests the highest level of duty according to Florida’s premises liability laws.
HOSTS HAVE A DUTY TO KEEP GUESTS SAFE
Florida law requires the owner or manager of a property to exercise reasonable efforts to keep the property free of safety hazards. If the property owner fails to keep the property safe and a visitor gets injured, a Florida court may find that the property owner, manager, or business has breached its duty to maintain safe premises. Invitees are owed the highest level of duty. Licensees and trespassers are also owed a duty under the law. Therefore, a guest who checks in early or is late checking out is still owed some level of protection in most cases. Similar to business customers, Airbnb guests visit host properties after initiating a financial transaction to cover their stay. Therefore, guests are invitees for the duration of their planned stay.
A GUEST MUST SHOW BREACH OF DUTY
Duty is usually a very straightforward element for accident victims to prove in Airbnb accident claims. After establishing the existence of a duty owed by the host, the injured party must show the host breached the duty. A guest who may sustain an injury as a result of slipping on a loose floorboard while walking down a set of stairs in an Airbnb rental. The guest may establish a breach by proving the host had prior knowledge of the floor board. For example, the accident victim may present an email in which the host tells the victim he or she forgot to mention the floorboard. If a host is aware of a hazard, he or she must make a reasonable effort to fix the hazard in a timely manner. In the interim, the host must restrict the guest’s access to the hazardous area or provide an adequate warning to the guest.
THE BREACH MUST HAVE CAUSED INJURY
After establishing duty and breach, the accident victim must prove the hazard created by the negligent breach caused the injury. A slip and fall accident victim’s attorney may present x-rays, medical records, or testimony from a medical expert to establish the victim’s injury was caused by the hazard, which resulted in the victim’s fall.
INJURIES CAUSED BY IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
Part of making a reasonable effort to keep an Airbnb rental safe is keeping up with the property’s regular maintenance. An unstable floor, exposed electrical wires, a decaying roof, and outdated, leaky gas appliances are all hazards that can cause injury to an Airbnb guest. Neglect in areas of the home that require routine inspection immediately suggests negligence on the Airbnb host’s behalf. If a host claims he or she was unaware of a loud, noisy furnace that caused a gas leak or a fire, the injured party’s lawyer may prevail if he or she argues the disrepair would have been discovered during regularly-scheduled maintenance.
INJURIES CAUSED BY CRIMINAL ACTS
An Airbnb host may be liable if a crime that took place on the property caused a guest’s injury. There are several ways an Airbnb host’s negligence may cause a guest to be victimized by criminal activity. A host may be liable for a guest rental property that lacks working locks in the event of a burglary that results in the victim’s injury. If the host previously used the property to conduct illegal activity like selling drugs or human trafficking, the host may be liable if someone who is related to the previous criminal activity enters the property and causes injury to the Airbnb guest. As part of the host’s duty to keep the premises safe, the host must ensure the property has properly-working security measures and ensure the guest knows how to use installed locks and other security devices. Hosts are also responsible for making reasonable efforts to keep dangerous elements of their personal life away from the property while hosting guests.
HOSTS ARE LIABLE FOR TOXINS
A guest may become ill after prolonged exposure to mold, noxious gases, and other toxins. Hosts should take reasonable measures to have their properties inspected for mold. Once a host becomes aware of the presence of mold, the host should not list the property on Airbnb until after the mold is eliminated from the property. Having gas appliances inspected annually or semi-annually will allow gas appliances to be repaired or replaced before they create a hazard. Keeping a working carbon monoxide in the home will reduce the risk of guests being poisoned by toxic gas. An accident victim who becomes ill as a result of an Airbnb host’s failure to have the home’s HVAC system inspected as recommended by an HVAC professional may receive compensation for his or her resulting injuries. Guests who become ill due to exposure to toxic gas in homes that do not have working detectors may also file a claim for compensation.
Airbnb guests must prove damages
In premises liability cases, the injured party must establish his or her injuries. An Airbnb guest who sustains physical injury will likely have an easy time proving damages. Medical bills, doctor’s notes, and documentation showing the injured party missed work due to the injury are most often presented as evidence of physical injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses. If the victim is severely injured, he or she may have emotional damages. Courts are more likely to award compensation for pain and suffering in cases that involve injuries that affect the injured party’s quality of life. Accident victims most often receive emotional damages for accidents that cause paralysis, brain injuries, spine injuries, and other injuries that have very long, intensive recovery timelines.
Injuries caused by Tampa Airbnb amenities
Sometimes Airbnb listings will include amenities for guest entertainment. These amenities often include access to a swimming pool, bikes guests may use to explore the local area, hot tubs, in-home gyms, and firepits. A host may be liable if there is a hazard created by an amenity that causes injury. The host may be liable if a guest who is involved in an accident while riding a bicycle that was offered as part of the Airbnb rental. Hosts have a duty to maintain amenities in proper safe working order if they choose to make the amenity accessible to guests. Therefore, an injured bicycle accident victim may file a claim against an Airbnb host if the bicycle was an amenity that was improperly maintained. Airbnb hosts may also be exposed to liability through Florida’s swimming pool statute.
Swimming pool laws applicable to Airbnb hosts
If an Airbnb property has a swimming pool or hot tub onsite, the host is required to follow Florida’s swimming pool safety laws. All outdoor swimming pools are required to be surrounded by a gate or wall that is at least four feet high. The barrier must not have any gaps that allow a small child to gain unauthorized, unsupervised access to the pool. The gate should be located far enough away from the edge of the pool that a child or medically frail person would not immediately fall into the pool if he or she were to gain access. The surrounding barrier must include a self-closing gate equipped with a self-latching, self-locking device.
An Airbnb host may be liable for drowning or near-drowning accidents that involve small children. If a small child is staying at an Airbnb property, the host may be legally responsible if the child accesses an improperly-secured pool and becomes injured.
Other parties may be liable in Florida Airbnb negligence cases
There are some instances in which someone other than the host may be liable. As the platform through which vacation rental transactions happen, Airbnb may be legally responsible if the company or its representatives knowingly conceal a hazard on a property.
In other cases, a product manufacturer or maintenance service provider may be liable for accidents caused by a product defect or a service provider’s error. A defective swimming pool slide may cause injury to a guest who uses the pool. A plumbing technician may improperly repair a pipe or fixture and cause an unexpected water leak. If a guest slips and falls because of a puddle caused by a water leak that was caused by a maintenance technician, the accident victim may file a claim against the service provider.
Filing an insurance claim for Tampa Airbnb accident injuries
Airbnb listings are insured. An accident victim may file a claim with the host’s insurance company to receive compensation for his or her injuries. Insurance companies investigate the accident to determine whether the insured host is liable. If the insurance company agrees to cover the accident, the company will offer a settlement amount. Insurance companies dedicate an entire department to applying formulas and calculating settlement amounts that protect the interests of the insurance company. Therefore, accident victims should not rely on the insurance company to look out for the injured party’s best interests. Accident victims should obtain legal representation to handle settlement negotiations with insurers. Insurance companies are most often large corporations that employ corporate lawyers to routinely handle settlement negotiations. Accident victims require an experienced, trained, knowledgeable lawyer to represent their interests and defend their rights during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, at trial in civil court.
Contacting a Tampa personal injury lawyerIf you or a loved one has been injured while staying at a Tampa Airbnb, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer immediately. A personal injury attorney can gather evidence on your behalf, ensure you receive the appropriate medical attention, document your injuries, and navigate the process of filing accident claims. Airbnb accident cases often involve multiple layers of insurance coverage that may compensate the victim for his or her injuries. Your attorney will be familiar with the different possible coverages that may offer compensation. The attorney will help you file all the appropriate claims. Insurance claims are often limited in the scope of injuries for which they are willing and able to provide compensation. If insurance does not cover the full scope of your injuries, your Tampa Airbnb accident lawyer will file an action in civil court, depending on the details of your case.
Contact us today to receive a free case evaluation. Our Tampa personal injury will work tirelessly to fight on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.