The ever-growing popularity of Airbnb is a wonderful example of a successful online marketplace that can benefit both property owners and travelers. Airbnb has become an integral part of the Internet economy, because it lets property owners in the U.S. and all across the world to rent out their properties or rooms, and on the other end of the spectrum, it lets people looking for accommodations to rent properties or rooms for a very affordable and reasonable price.
Yes, Airbnb is one of the most successful broker-based online services in the modern era, but it is also full of uncertainties for both Airbnb hosts and guests. “In particular, people are uncertain about the allocation of liability in the event of Airbnb accidents and injuries,” says our Kansas City Airbnb accident attorney at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C.
Although these uncertainties do not discourage hosts and renters from using Airbnb, they do cause certain legal challenges when a guest sustains an injury in an Airbnb rental.
The most obvious uncertainty surrounding Airbnb accidents is which party will be held liable for your injury in an Airbnb rental. “When you get injured in a hotel, it is immediately clear that the hotel will be held liable for your injury if it failed to maintain safe conditions on the premises,” explains our experienced Airbnb accident attorney in Kansas City. “With Airbnb, on the other hand, the allocation of liability is not as clear.”
In fact, multiple parties may be held liable for injuries occurring in an Airbnb rental, including but not limited to the renter, property owner, landlord, and even Airbnb itself.
To determine whether or not the host of an Airbnb rental in which you were injured can be held liable for your injury, it is important to understand the liability of Airbnb property owners.
In a nutshell, all property owners in Kansas City and all across Missouri owe their guests a duty of care to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition and free of any hazards as well as to warn their visitors of any hidden and non-obvious dangers.
This duty of care extends to Airbnb property owners as well. Therefore, if you are lawfully on someone else’s premises (renting an Airbnb rental means being lawfully on that property), and you sustain an injury due to an unsafe or unreasonably hazardous condition, you may be able to sue the Airbnb property owner for your injury to recover damages.
The only way the property owner can escape liability is if he or she can prove that adequate notice was given to the injured guest prior to the Airbnb accident, if he or she can prove that the defect or hazardous condition was repaired or fixed, or if the Airbnb host can prove that the accident could not have been prevented because he or she maintained the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
Okay, now that we have established that you may be able to hold an Airbnb property owner responsible for your injury occurring in their rental, prepare for some bad news. Recovering damages from property owners who rent out their properties or rooms via Airbnb is not always easy, and in many cases, not possible.
Our Kansas City Airbnb accidents and injuries lawyer from Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C., explains that most insurance policies state that coverage does not include injuries that occur on properties that are being used for business purposes. Renting out a property on Airbnb fits the description of “using for business purposes.” Luckily, Airbnb has managed to address this issue by providing every host with $1 million in liability coverage for any injuries occurring on that property when it is being rented out.
However, as you can guess, Airbnb and its defense lawyers will do whatever it takes to shift the blame onto the renter to escape liability for injuries to renters. Speak to our premises liability lawyers at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C., to discuss your case.
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