Airbnb Premises and Personal Injury Liability
How to Hold Airbnb Accountable for Personal Injuries on Rental Property
Los Angeles is a hot spot for tourists and a popular hub for business trips and transactions. It is no wonder that Airbnb in Southern California is a lucrative venture. From Pasadena to Glendale or Irvine, it is possible to rent a unique spot for $80 to $2,000 a night.
Homeowners and renters alike can make extra cash off their properties, especially if they are a verified host. In most cases, rental rooms or houses are generally safe. However, accidents do occur. If you were injured in an Airbnb, you may wonder about who is responsible: the homeowner, Airbnb, or yourself. For a free consultation regarding premises liability cases, call West Coast Trial Lawyers and find out how you can get maximum compensation.
Does Airbnb Have a Duty to Keep Me Safe?
To answer in short, yes. Like Uber and other community platforms, it is the duty of the company to perform a background check on all users in order to provide a safe environment for everyone. Of course, incidents happen. However, just like Uber and Lyft, they must show they have done their due diligence, and also have safety systems set in place.
When a couple was attacked by their Airbnb host in 2018 at a Los Angeles residency, a spokesperson responded with, “We are currently working with them to make this right, and we are reviewing every aspect of this case from the reports of the host’s disturbing behavior to our response. Our community’s safety is our priority, we are deeply sorry for the anguish and inconvenience our guests have experienced and again we are working to make it right.”
Can I Sue Airbnb for Injuries at a Rental?
Technically, you can sue anyone for almost anything. However, that doesn’t mean you have a real case. In the event of an Airbnb injury, the homeowner and the company may battle it out and blame each other. When making a decision in a premises liability claim, California law refers to the following elements:
- Who owns the property?
- Who possesses it?
- Who controls it?
Airbnb does not own the property, but they do have some control over the standards and the safety of the dwelling. The Director of Sales at PayneWest explains, “Lots of people don’t realize that the homeowners’ policy was written for an owner-occupied home. It comes with lots of coverage, but when you have a part-time tenant, like if you’re renting through Airbnb or VRBO, it’s a completely different situation”.
Premises Liability and Negligence
The main goal of a premises liability case is to prove the other party was negligent. To prove negligence, the injured victim will need to affirm that:
- A duty of care was owed to the victim
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach of duty caused the accident
- The victim suffered legally recognizable damages
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty doesn’t have to be a specific action. It could easily mean that the defendant didn’t do anything. For example, if the homeowner or renter doesn’t make any effort to warn guests about dangers in the home or try to fix these issues, then this can be considered as a breach of duty.
Slip and fall cases are very common under the breach of duty responsibilities, as even an unclean floor or crack in the pavement can cause a victim to become incredibly injured.
In order to win a breach of duty case, you must prove that the homeowner had existing knowledge of the danger and did not take any steps to fix it. The court requires the plaintiff to show that the controlling party had knowledge of the danger.
As a guest you will never be able to sue the hosts for a spill that they don’t even know is there. That is why it is necessary to get insurance for your home. After a death on a tire swing in Texas, Nick Papas, an Airbnb spokesperson responded by saying, “We are extremely confident in the finances underlying our program,” in an emailed statement. “When we were looking to expand it, we had multiple competitive bids from different insurers. The numbers show how low the risk factors are, and they’re eager to work with us.”
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, our skilled attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.