Many clients come to us after they suffered an injury at an Airbnb property. This can be a complicated issue, since you typically do not know who actually owns the property you stayed at. The person who you booked with on the Airbnb site, the person who is your contact point, and the person who actually owns the property can often be three different individuals. Also, Airbnb's role can sometimes be difficult to determine, presenting two different problems:
Who is at Fault?
Just because a property is rented through Airbnb does not mean that the company is automatically at fault, as this could leave them open to massive liability for thousands and thousands of properties worldwide. It may be necessary to show that Airbnb had some knowledge of the issue that caused you to get injured, e.g. a dangerous condition on the property.
You can generally assume the owner of the property is at fault if your injury was caused by something dangerous in the house, but that danger might also have been caused by the host of the house, leaving a confusing scenario where it is not clear who you should try to recover from.
Is Your Claim Subject to Arbitration?
Any Airbnb user (host or guest) that uses the platform must agree to waive their right to a lawsuit in court and instead arbitrate all claims. Airbnb will vigorously enforce this clause, and they have extensive experience arguing in favor of it, even if the vast majority of users never read the terms of service and have no idea they agreed to arbitration.
Airbnb does this because they know arbitration is much more beneficial to them in that it is cheaper and the risks are much lower than a traditional lawsuit.
As you can see, there are a number of issues at play. We have experience with these types of lawsuits and can help guide you through the process and tell you what you need to know.
If you've been injured at an Airbnb property, either as the person renting the property or as a guest of that person, contact us to discuss your claim.
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