In more recent years, longer Airbnb stays have surpassed that of hotels by about 2.4 times. While both hotels and Airbnb stays will always have a place in the market, understanding the liability that each holds in differing situations can be beneficial for the traveler.
As the home-stay model of Airbnb offers a unique overnight experience compared to that of the hotel industry, guests staying on any other property outside of their home could experience significant risks.
If you sustain an injury while staying at an Airbnb or a hotel, you may wonder what your legal options are for pursuing an injury claim. Determining liability in such cases can be complex and involve multiple parties.
What you need to know about hotel & Airbnb liability:
- Common Overnight-Stay Accidents
- Tennessee Premise Liability Law
- Property’s Role in Liability
- Filing a Lawsuit
Common Overnight-Stay Accidents
A paying guest at a hotel or Airbnb expects to remain in a safe and clean environment while visiting the property. In reality, that is not always the case.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the property of a hotel or an Airbnb, you may be entitled to some form of compensation. To better understand how you could be injured when staying overnight in a hotel or other facility, we’ve compiled a list of some possible scenarios below.
Slip & Fall Accidents
Broken bones, head injuries, and severe sprains are often the result of slip and fall accidents. When you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, you won’t always be able to rely on a safe living environment.
From worn out carpeting, uneven flooring, icy walkways, spilled beverages, and other hazards, a guest can find themselves in a slip and fall accident situation.
When it comes to an overnight stay in a hotel or Airbnb, a lot of the time, broken pieces of furniture or other amenities may have undergone in-house repairs. This can help facilities save or cut down on repair costs but can also lead to occurrences of guest or employee injury. From a collapsing chair to stepping or sitting on a nail, broken amenities are a common cause of Airbnb or hotel accidents.
Swimming Pool Injuries
The majority of hotels are not required to have lifeguards on duty. To keep pool areas safe and clean, hotels and Airbnbs must post warnings, rules, and regulations. Proper temperature, chemical balance, and pool management are among the safety measures.
From chemical burns to bacterial infections, drownings and more, if you’ve experienced a swimming pool injury at a hotel or Airbnb, you may be entitled to compensation.
A bed bug is a very small, slender insect that can infest mattresses, pillows, furniture, and even light switches. These insects are extremely difficult to find and eradicate. Infections and severe allergic reactions may result from contact with bed bugs.
When hotel guests or Airbnb guests unwittingly carry these items home in clothing or suitcases, serious problems can arise. Scenarios such as these could lead you to file a lawsuit against your overnight-stay facility, depending on the severity.
Tennessee Premise Liability Law
The state of Tennessee recognizes that any party accountable for maintaining a property may be a defendant in a premises liability lawsuit arising from negligent maintenance. If you file a lawsuit, you may be able to collect damages for your injury, including medical expenses and lost wages during the time of your recovery.
It should be stated that if the listing owner or property manager cannot guarantee the safety of certain aspects on the Airbnb or hotel property, they must warn guests of potential danger. You may be able to name up to three people in your lawsuit based on the circumstances of your accident in an Airbnb or hotel.
Here are the three people:
- The owner of the property or Airbnb listing
- The property landlord
- Airbnb or hotel Property
Property’s Role in Liability
When you book an Airbnb specifically in the United States, the listing website should provide guests with liability insurance. Airbnb hosts can be covered up to $1 million in case of property damage or premises liability lawsuits.
Airbnb does not provide liability coverage while traveling outside the United States.
In the event that you are injured on an Airbnb property, the company will likely encourage injured parties to make a claim with their own insurance company before filing a claim against Airbnb. In the event the insurance company turns down your claim, Airbnb will provide coverage. In addition, the company only provides coverage to property owners who have homeowner's or tenant's insurance coverage that exceeds their policy limits.
When it comes to hotel facilities, hotel owners, and property managers legally owe a duty of care to protect their guests. In cases where the premises are not adequately maintained or if hazards and dangerous conditions are not repaired, the above parties will likely be held responsible for any injuries sustained by guests on their hotel property.
Filing a Lawsuit
According to Tennessee premises liability law, you may sue the owner of the property and/or the owner of the Airbnb listing for personal injury. Establishing negligence in premises liability cases can be challenging. You can strengthen your case and find key pieces of evidence to support your claim by hiring a personal injury attorney to investigate the incident on your behalf.
By suing, you can recover compensation for the following losses:
- Medical Expenses Related to the Injury
- Hospitalization Costs
- Physical Therapy
- Lost Income Due to Recovery Time
- Pain & Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Out-of-pocket Costs Related said Injury