We don’t know of any Airbnb injury cases in Massachusetts, but in an unfortunate case that took place at an Airbnb in Salta, Argentina, it seems clear that there is not a strong likelihood of compensation for pain and suffering in a premises injury and dog bite case.
Airbnb Dog Bite Case in Argentina
Our understanding that a US citizen, Mike Silverman, on a road trip with his wife from Alaska to South America, stayed in many Airbnbs. After several days staying at the particular home in Salta, the host’s Rottweiler bit his right arm, without any provocation. Perhaps fortunately Mr. Silverman had a prior motorcycle accident with injuries that necessitated installing a metal plate in his arm. When the dog’s teeth hit the plate it withdrew and Mr. Silverman was able to remove his arm from danger.
Mr. Silverman’s injuries from the dog bite required hospitalization in Argentina and may result in permanent nerve damage.
Are You Insured For Injuries at an Airbnb?
We don’t know how other countries’ laws work and in the US, each state has different and distinct personal injuries laws. If you are a Massachusetts resident in a Massachusetts Airbnb and are injured, you may be covered by the homeowners’ liability policy. But you may not. Most homeowner’s insurance companies require full disclosure regarding use of your home, and will not cover losses that result from non-disclosure. If the homeowner failed to report that she or he was renting out rooms, the victim may be faced with a determination that there is no coverage for injuries.
Airbnb may have an insurance policy that covers injuries to guests; but it is “secondary” meaning that a victim needs a determination that the homeowner’s insurance rejects the claim. Oftentimes, a rejection takes a while because the insurance company is “investigating.” Airbnb does have a policy of providing information regarding injuries and complaints about injuries.
Uninsured Homeowners Claims In Massachusetts
On the other hand, victims of personal injury as the result of negligence or dog bites at a Massachusetts Airbnb may sue the homeowner for their medical bills and pain and suffering and circumvent the homeowners’ insurance policy.
How? It’s the same case, with the same requirements of proving that the homeowner was negligent – failed to shovel snow resulting in injury, failed to install a smoke detector resulting in injury, or an attack by and unprovoked dog. The issue is if you win, who will pay the damages that you proved? Most homeowners have Homestead Act protection, and may or may not have sufficient equity in their homes. Does someone renting out a room necessarily have no equity in their home or no financial resources? It is impossible to generalize.
Retain An Expert in Premises Law If You Are Injured In Massachusetts
If you are injured at a home or business that you don’t own, contact an attorney that has represented victims of personal injury on premises of others since 1985. In a case with no insurance, we can determine the likelihood of recovery. In most cases, however, homeowners or business insurance covers losses for victims of injury on premises.
Attorney Neil Burns offers free consultations and no fee until we win. Call today: 917-227-7423.