When you embark on a relaxing vacation, the last thing you expect is an accident or injury at your vacation rental. However, the unthinkable can happen and knowing what to do in such situations is essential. This guide will shed light on the key aspects of handling injuries at vacation rentals.
What is a Vacation Rental?
A vacation rental is the renting out of a furnished apartment, house, or professionally managed resort-condominium complex on a temporary basis to a guest as an alternative to a hotel stay. Guests typically have access to all amenities on the property which can include hot tubs, gyms, pool tables, etc. The most common types of Vacation Rentals are those through websites such as Airbnb and VRBO.
What Happens if I Fall at a Vacation Rental?
Incidents, like slip and fall accidents, can occur at vacation rentals, just like anywhere else. If you’re injured due to negligence or hazardous conditions, you may have grounds for a claim. In order to proceed forward with a claim, you should document the incident. This includes a combination of the following:
- Take photos of the scene of the incident, ensuring that the hazard that caused you harm is clearly visible;
- Take photos of any visible injuries that you suffered;
- Report the slip and fall accident to the party with authority (the host, the landlord, Airbnb, etc.);
- Seek medical attention;
- Seek legal assistance.
Will Vacation Rental Companies Cover My Injury?
Many vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO offer host liability insurance for instances where the condition of the property causes harm to another. However, this insurance may not cover all damages or injuries, and policies can vary.
While vacation rental platforms provide some insurance coverage, it is crucial to understand the limitations. Hosts may also have their own liability insurance, but it is not guaranteed. For example, when you are staying at an Airbnb, you are covered by an Airbnb policy. Personal injury accidents at Airbnb rentals are always possible; therefore, it makes sense that Airbnb has a $1 million policy to cover claims of bodily injury. Airbnb offers something that they call the Host Protection Insurance program.
Vacation Rental Liability Coverage
This insurance program provides primary liability coverage of up to $1,000,000 per incident specifically for third-party claims of bodily harm or property damage directly related to an Airbnb stay. This program will only provide insurance coverage for incidents directly related to an Airbnb stay (hosts have access to this program regardless of their own insurance measures).
What Does Vacation Insurance Cover?
In general, the insurance program covers a variety of accidents – such as slip and fall accidents. Although the insurance program can provide coverage under many circumstances, some incidents will not be covered. Some of the incidents that will not be covered by Airbnb’s insurance program include the following: intentional acts; slander or defamation; auto accidents; issues with property (asbestos, pollution, bed bugs, mold, etc.).
Experience Protection Insurance
In addition to Airbnb’s Host Protection insurance program, there is also something called Experience Protection Insurance. This insurance program only applies to incidents that occur during Airbnb experiences (activities hosted by locals) and only when the harm suffered is accidental. Depending on the specific details of the accident that you suffered, you might be covered by Airbnb’s insurance program.
While there are no guarantees of coverage, if you have suffered an injury, it is best to move forward with filing a claim with the Vacation Rental to determine what options are available to you.
Should I Receive Medical Treatment?
One of the most critical aspects of dealing with an injury at a vacation rental is seeking immediate medical treatment. Your health and well-being should be your top priority, and obtaining prompt medical care is not only essential for your recovery but also for your potential injury claim.
Here are some important points to consider regarding receiving medical treatment after an injury at a vacation rental:
- Prioritize Your Health: Regardless of the circumstances, if you’ve been injured, it is crucial to prioritize your health and safety. Do not delay seeking medical attention. Even seemingly minor injuries can have hidden complications, so it is essential to have a healthcare professional assess your condition.
- Visit a Healthcare Facility: Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to visit an emergency room, urgent care clinic, or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The choice of facility should be based on the nature and urgency of your injuries.
- Keep All Medical Records: Once you receive medical treatment, be sure to retain all records related to your injury. This includes medical reports, bills, prescriptions, and any recommendations for ongoing treatment or therapy. These documents will be crucial when pursuing an injury claim.
- Follow Medical Advice: Follow the instructions and advice of your healthcare provider diligently. Compliance with medical treatment plans and recommendations is not only essential for your recovery but also demonstrates your commitment to addressing the injury properly.
- Preserve Evidence of your Injury: If possible, take photos of your injuries as they develop and heal. This visual evidence can be valuable when documenting the extent of your injuries for your claim.
- Document Pain and Suffering: Keep a journal documenting the pain, discomfort, and limitations you experience due to your injuries. This can provide a personal account of your suffering, which may be relevant when seeking compensation.
- Consult with an Attorney: It is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in vacation rental injury claims. They can help you navigate the legal aspects of your case, ensure you receive proper compensation for medical expenses, and guide you through the claims process.
Remember that receiving immediate medical treatment not only contributes to your recovery but also strengthens your position when filing a claim for compensation. Your health is paramount, and seeking medical care promptly is a responsible and necessary step after experiencing an injury at a vacation rental.
How do I Pay for my Medical Bills?
Paying medical bills can be daunting after an injury. However, as your health should be a priority, there are potentially different resources available to you to help cover the cost of medical expenses:
- Health Insurance: If you have health insurance, it should be your primary source of coverage for medical expenses resulting from an injury.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Some vacation rental platforms and hosts may include Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) as part of their insurance policies. This coverage can help pay for medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. Check the terms and coverage limits of your rental agreement.
- Payment Plans: If you have substantial medical bills that are not covered by insurance or other sources, contact the medical providers and inquire about setting up a payment plan. Many healthcare facilities offer flexible payment options which allow you to avoid collections while working towards a resolution of your claim.
- Liens: Another option is having the medical providers place a lien on your personal injury claim. A lien is a type of pre-emptive claim a creditor makes against future financial proceeds by a debtor to be compensated for money owed by the debtor. In a lien agreement, the medical provider agrees to provide medical care and, in return, the injured party agrees to reimburse the medical provider with proceeds from a personal injury settlement.
Managing medical bills after an injury can be overwhelming, but it is crucial to explore all available options, including insurance coverage, legal remedies, and payment arrangements. If you have concerns about the cost of medical treatment, you should consult with an experienced attorney at Bowman Law, LLC to discuss your options.
Consult a Colorado Personal Injury lawyer
Vacation rentals offer fantastic opportunities for rest and relaxation, but accidents can disrupt your plans. Understanding the steps to take in case of an injury is essential. While vacation rental companies and hosts may have insurance, it is important to be prepared and gather evidence to support your claim.
Remember, your health and safety should always be the top priority, and seeking professional legal advice is advisable when dealing with injury claims at vacation rentals. The attorneys at Bowman Law, are experienced in various areas including vocational rental incidents and will fight to make sure you are treated fairly.
Get Started With Our Colorado Law Firm Today
Schedule a free consultation to speak to one of our personal injury attorneys about your claim. Our office is located in Denver and we serve Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, Aurora, and the surrounding areas.
Jessica is a Colorado native. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Colorado as well as the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Jessica is an active member of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice.