When you book a vacation rental property in the U.S., you anticipate a relaxing getaway. Many families seek rentals through services like Airbnb, with a 30% increase in searches for spaces featuring outdoor amenities like pools in the summer months.

However, hazards such as slippery floors, exposed wiring, or pool dangers can disrupt your trip if the property owner neglects maintenance and basic safety precautions. If you have been injured due to a rental property owner’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit.

Understanding the process is crucial for protecting your rights and securing compensation. An experienced Michigan vacation rental lawyer from Fieger Law can guide you through every step, from gathering evidence to negotiating a fair settlement.

How to Initiate Your Lawsuit After a Vacation Rental Accident

If you’re injured by a hazardous condition at a rental property, it’s essential to take specific steps to initiate a claim, preserve evidence, and protect your rights. Here’s what you need to do to start your claim:

  • Seek a Medical Evaluation: Your priority should be to seek professional medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible, even if you initially believe your injuries are not severe. This is important for your health and will create official documentation linking your injuries to the rental property accident.
  • Report the Incident: Report the incident in writing to the property owner or manager, providing all details, such as the date and time, description of the hazard, and information about your injuries. Get a copy of the report and save any further communication with the owners.
  • Gather Evidence: Carefully gather and preserve all relevant evidence, including:
    • Full rental agreement and any written communications with the owner, including texts or emails
    • Photographs and video footage clearly showing the hazardous conditions
    • Contact information for any guests or staff who witnessed the incident
    • Copies of all medical reports, treatment records, bills, and receipts
  • Contact an Attorney: Contact Fieger Law for a free consultation. We will review the details of your case and discuss your options for filing a premises liability claim against the negligent owner.
  • File Your Claim: File a claim with the property owner’s insurance, whether it’s homeowners’, vacation rental, or policies provided by Vrbo or Airbnb. Our attorneys can help you calculate a fair settlement and submit a detailed claim report and evidence. We’ll handle negotiations with the insurer to secure compensation based on your injuries and the policy details.
  • Take Your Case to Court: We can take the case to court if the owner’s insurance offers an insufficient settlement or disputes liability. We can file appropriate legal documents, present your case to a judge or jury, and argue for damages based on negligence and its impact on your life.

What Do You Need to Prove to Win Your Case?

You have the right to hold a negligent vacation rental owner liable for your injuries under premises liability laws. However, establishing fault requires proving several critical elements, including:

  • The property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazardous condition on their property that caused your injury.
  • The owner failed to take reasonable steps to fix, restrict access to, or adequately warn guests about the hazard within an appropriate time frame.
  • You were an invited guest with a legal right to be on the property when the injury occurred.
  • The owner’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the incident and your injuries.
  • You have medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering resulting from your injury.

Legal Considerations for Vacation Rental Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability claims involving vacation properties differ from those related to businesses or primary residence properties. Below are the legal considerations and how our team at Fieger Law can assist:

  • Liability Waivers: Guests often sign waivers designed to limit their ability to sue the owner. However, these waivers do not protect owners in all scenarios, such as cases of gross negligence. Our team can review any waivers you signed to determine if they are valid or if they can be contested based on your specific situation.
  • Insurance Coverage: Vacation homes may be insured under various policies, including homeowner’s, short-term rental, or landlord insurance, each with different coverage limits and conditions. Our team can identify the policy in place and analyze its terms to ensure you receive the fullest compensation possible, effectively addressing any exclusions that could impact your claim.
  • Shared Fault: In Michigan, if a guest’s actions contribute to their injury, such as running near a known to be slippery area, their compensation can be reduced according to their share of fault under modified comparative fault rules. Our attorneys can address this by demonstrating the extent of the property owner’s responsibility and minimizing your share of the fault to maximize your damages award.

Claim the Compensation You Deserve

Vacations are meant for relaxation and enjoyment with family or friends. However, a premises liability accident can spoil your trip and lead to lasting physical and financial stress.

At Fieger Law, our skilled legal team can help you understand your legal options for seeking compensation and hold a negligent vacation homeowner accountable for failing to ensure a safe environment.

We represent clients nationwide and can take on your case to help you get the compensation you deserve for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering due to your injuries. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation on your potential premises liability case.