AB5, AirBnB, and Premises Liability
What Does AB5 Mean for AirBnB Liability Cases?
Since its conception in 2008, popular home-sharing services such as Airbnb have rapidly built a community of over 6 million listings and 2 million users worldwide. Whether just earning extra cash or solely relying on that income, plenty of renters have taken financial advantage of this clever home-share system.
However, with the introduction of California’s AB5 regulation, the “gig economy” has been changed forever. If you’ve been injured in an Airbnb and are confused about liability, contact the premises liability lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyer for a free consultation.
Are Airbnb Renters Independent Contractors?
When you earn income from Airbnb you are required to file a1099. There are a number of different types of 1099 forms that vary based on your earnings, but all are ultimately used to report to the IRS your extra income or income received outside of your employment.
As a result, the Airbnb renter is considered an independent contractor. California’s AB5 has completely changed the game by considering all “gig employees” or “independent contractors” as employees under the law. The changes have already started to affect the way Uber and Lyft drivers are treated.
With the developments of AB5, the following alterations will be made:
- Minimum wage protection
- Paid sick days
- Paid overtime
- Vacation days
- Compliance with California paycheck rules
- California unemployment insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
- California Paid Family Leave
- Short-term disability benefits
An Airbnb guest can incur a plethora of physical and mental injuries, as well as property damage. Bodily injuries include slip and fall accidents, cuts and bruises, injuries to the face, or disease and dangerous bacteria or chemicals. Mental damages can include sexual assault or harassment, while property damages affect your property.
Airbnb’s terms of service explicitly mention that they are not responsible for many of the incidents that may occur within your home. This disclaimer also accounts for the requirements a host’s home must meet before they can rent out their space. Airbnb does assume some responsibilities and offers a liability coverage policy for up to $1 million, but suggests that you have your own home insurance in place.
Airbnb Protections and Insurance
Airbnb has two fields of protection, which include:
- Host Guarantee. This protocol is put in place when a guest damages a host’s unit or possessions.
- Host Protection Insurance. This type of insurance is made to cover the hosts in case of a third party accident, such as a bodily injury or property damage during an Airbnb stay.
Airbnb Health Insurance
As the gig economy is still up in the air, it is likely that Airbnb will have no choice but to reconfigure its payment structure. Like Uber and Lyft drivers, under AB5, hosts are expected to receive some type of health insurance. In the upcoming months, the worldwide hosting megacorp is predicted to completely change its policy regarding protections to and for the hosts.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Commercial general liability (CGL) is a form of an insurance policy that offers coverage to a business for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage. CGL is identified as a comprehensive business insurance. However, it does not cover all of the risks an organization could face.
Neither Airbnb nor your personal home insurance will cover all of your expenses. However, with the introduction of AB5, a host will be considered an employee and Airbnb may be held liable for the actions of their employees.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a premises liability accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.