Vacation rentals are popular for summer getaways, with about 1.3 million properties available across the U.S. In 2022, around 60 million people chose these rentals for their accommodations.

While many vacations focus on dining, nightlife, and sightseeing, some unfortunately include hospital visits after unexpected accidents and injuries due to property owner negligence.

Whether you’re a vacation rental owner or a guest, understanding common hazards and preventive measures is crucial for safety. If you suffer an injury due to poor vacation rental maintenance, consult our Michigan premises liability attorneys at Fieger Law to explore your legal options.

Common Hazards in Vacation Homes and Airbnbs

Vacation rental homes and Airbnbs provide a more personalized stay compared to traditional hotels. However, when owners fail to maintain or inspect their properties properly for hazards, it can result in accidents and injuries. Common hazards to watch out for include:

  • Trip, Slip, and Fall Hazards: Guests often fall after slipping on slick floors, tripping over loose rugs or extension cords, or due to wobbly stair railings, to name only a few hazards. These incidents can cause a range of injuries, from minor contusions and sprains to serious bone fractures or even paralysis.
  • Faulty Wiring: Electrical shocks or burns can occur due to defective appliances or exposed electrical wiring. Depending on the severity of the exposure, these shocks may result in minor discomfort or escalate to life-threatening injuries.
  • Carbon Monoxide Exposure: Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in homes with inadequate ventilation or malfunctioning gas appliances. Exposure often leads to symptoms like headaches and dizziness and can be fatal if not detected early.
  • Pool Safety Failures: Pool areas without proper signage or anti-slip flooring can be sites of slips and falls on wet surfaces, head injuries from diving into insufficiently deep water, and even drowning if a swimmer becomes trapped underwater by an unsecured pool drain.
  • Inadequate Security: Poorly lit areas and unsecured entry points can make it easier for intruders to enter, leading to theft or personal assaults. Victims might suffer from physical injuries or severe psychological trauma as a result.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to these hazards, contact our experienced team at Fieger Law. We can assist you in collecting evidence and filing a claim against the property owner to secure compensation for medical costs and other losses.

Who’s Liable for Injuries in a Vacation Rental

When property owners rent out their primary or vacation homes on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO, they assume legal responsibilities toward their guests. Under premises liability laws, owners are liable for damages, including medical expenses, if guests are injured due to neglected hazardous conditions. This applies to dangers the owner knew about or should have known about and failed to address.

To prevent injuries on the property and minimize the chances of an accident, vacation property owners should do the following:

  • Conduct Regular Inspections: Schedule routine safety inspections to identify and fix potential hazards like loose railings and broken tiles or floorboards.
  • Ensure Adequate Lighting: Install proper indoor and outdoor lighting to prevent trips and falls, especially in stairways and walkways.
  • Maintain Appliances and Electrical Systems: Regularly check and maintain all appliances and electrical systems to avoid malfunctions that could lead to burns or electrical shocks.
  • Install Safety Devices: Equip the property with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure they are working properly to prevent poisoning and increase fire safety.
  • Secure Pools and Water Areas: Implement safety measures around pools and water features, including proper fencing and clear signage about depth and safety rules.
  • Strengthen Security Measures: Improve property security by ensuring that all locks are functional and security systems are up to date to protect guests and reduce the risk of assault or theft.
  • Perform Due Diligence with Property Managers: If employing a property management company, thoroughly vet them to ensure they have a track record of proactive maintenance and safety compliance.

At Fieger Law, our experienced attorneys can defend your rights if you are harmed on vacation due to a property owner’s negligence or inadequate safety measures. We will assess your losses and pursue a settlement from their homeowner’s insurance to cover your damages.

What to Do if You’re Hurt at a Rental Vacation Property

If you experience an accident in a vacation rental, understanding the necessary steps to safeguard your safety and rights is crucial. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Immediately inform the property owner or manager in writing about the incident; keep all correspondence with the property owner or rental company regarding the event.
  • Take photos or video of the hazard and your injuries, capturing all relevant aspects, such as a lack of warning signs.
  • Visit a doctor or hospital to treat your injuries, even if you aren’t sure they are serious; keep records of medical treatment received.
  • Check your rental agreement for any mention of liability or insurance coverage, and share this with your attorney.
  • Enlist the help of a lawyer from Fieger Law to advise on your rights, help you gather evidence, and file a well-supported claim.

Take Legal Action After a Vacation Rental Accident with Fieger Law

Vacations should be enjoyable and relaxing, but injuries due to property owner negligence can lead to lasting consequences. We can help you obtain the financial support essential for your recovery.

At Fieger Law, we have secured millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients and are dedicated to ensuring that insurance companies offer the compensation you deserve for your injuries and emotional distress.

Contact us today for a free case review where we can discuss the accident and legal strategies for a successful claim.