What If I Am Injured at a Vacation Rental?

Who Is Responsible for My Injuries and How Do I Recover for Those Injuries?

It has been a long year and a half since Covid-19 shut the country and most of the world down. With vaccination rates up, more people are starting to venture back to the office, kids are back in school, and many people are taking long overdue vacations to see family members they may have only seen via FaceTime or Zoom since March 2020. With even more vacations and family reunions planned, especially as the holidays are right around the corner, many people will be gathering either at someone’s house or else taking the chance to book a vacation rental through Airbnb or VRBO for the whole family to gather. These platforms make it especially easy to find the type, size and location of rental you are looking for no matter the size of your group or where you are going. However, the downside of staying somewhere else for vacation is that sometimes vacation rental units may not be particularly well-maintained, and accidents can happen. A trip and fall over a broken stair, a slip and fall on a pool deck that is unnaturally slippery…the type of incidents or scenarios in which you could be injured is almost limitless. When utilizing a private vacation rental, you are at the mercy of the property owner and assuming that he or she takes good care of the property and that neither you nor anyone else is in danger of sustaining an injury at the vacation rental.

However, the good news is that both Airbnb and VRBO have liability protection that covers guests for any injuries they may suffer at a vacation rental that is booked using either platform to the tune of $1,000,000. This mean that, rather than having to pursue a vacation unit owner who may be uninsured or have insufficient insurance on his or her vacation rental unit, you can make a claim with either Airbnb or VRBO through whichever company’s platform you booked a vacation unit through to receive compensation for your injuries.

What Is the Difference Between Suffering an Injury at an Airbnb or VRBO Vacation Rental Versus a Hotel or A Vacation Unit Booked Directly through the Owner?

What makes suffering an injury at an VRBO or Airbnb vacation rental different than being injured at a hotel chain is that the platforms operate differently than a hotel or vacation rental that you book directly through the property’s owner when it comes to the liability protections they have in place. Whereas if you are staying at a Hilton in Orlando while visiting the area’s amusement and theme parks with your family, if you slip and fall in the hotel due to the hotel staff’s negligence in cleaning up a slip hazard in the lobby where a tipsy guest spilled a drink, the situation is fairly simple. If the property is owned and operated by Hilton, then you go after Hilton. If the property is owned and operated by a franchisee who is paying to use the Hilton name, then you might be able to go after both the franchisee, as well as, Hilton. However, you still do not have any information regarding how much liability insurance either of them have and how easy it might be to convince them to settle your personal injury claim.

Airbnb and VRBO are different than hotels or individual vacation rental owners. Both Airbnb and VRBO have programs for their hosts in which guests who are injured while staying at a host’s vacation rental unit have access to $1,000,000 in liability coverage, if that unit is booked through the company’s platform, which can make it easier for you to recover if you are injured while staying at a vacation rental you booked through either platform.

Say you are at an Airbnb or a VRBO rental and a rickety shower door in one of the bathrooms of the beachfront unit is bothering you the entire week you are staying there. The last day of your stay, the shower door comes off its track and shatters, causing you to incur cuts all over your body, necessitating expensive medical treatment and causing you to miss time from work, losing income in the process, while also suffering other economic damages. This does not even take into account the pain and suffering that such an injury can cause you to suffer. If the host is renting a property through either platform and you booked directly through the platform, then that can be a hook to file a claim with the platform’s liability protection for hosts that offer their units for rent through either platform. 

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of experience representing the victims of injuries due to the negligence of vacation rental unit owners in maintaining their properties, motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, and other personal injury scenarios.  If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in maintaining a vacation rental in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.