As the summer continues, more and more people are seeking to travel and enjoy various places in South Carolina. Vacation home rentals, such as Airbnb or Vrbo are becoming more popular for vacationers seeking a unique experience.
However, what happens if your unique experience turns into a disaster? If you or a family have been injured in an accident at your vacation rental, you can seek a trained injury lawyer in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover your expenses and recover from injuries suffered at a hazardous vacation rental.
Unsafe Conditions at Vacation Rental Properties
While many vacation rentals are well-maintained and photogenic, others may have hidden hazards due to poor maintenance. Examples include:
- Outdoor or indoor stairs may need repairs. This could result in a fall, which could lead to injuries.
- Wiring in the vacation rental may be defective, leading to a risk of fire or electric shock.
- Water pipes may leak, increasing the risk of slips and falls, as well as warping wooden structures or attracting pests.
Other injuries at a vacation rental may be more subtle:
- Older homes may often have lead paint or asbestos used in their construction.
- Toxic mold may be present in some structures, causing sickness.
- Some newer structures may contain drywall that releases sulfur dioxide in hot or humid weather, which can also cause illness and distress.
There may be external hazards outside the home which may cause injury:
- Holes in the yard may cause a visitor to the vacation home rental to be injured by stepping into the hole.
- Poisonous creatures like snakes, fire ants and wasps are common in South Carolina, and may cause injuries to guests.
- Rarely, a guest may be attacked by a robber or other home invader, and the property owner could be responsible for any injuries from a lack of security measures.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured at a Vacation Rental?
Get medical care
First, seek medical attention. If you delay treatment, you may not only worsen your condition, but also be at risk for not receiving damages from a lawsuit. By seeking medical treatment promptly, it ensures that the incident is linked to the medical care you could be compensated for.
At the doctor’s office, get a medical record of all the injuries that you sustained in the incident. This will not only ensure that your lawyers have as much information as they can, but it will be useful for future medical caregivers in your hometown to use. (If you were injured in an assault, get a copy of the police report as well.)
Document the scene
Make a photographic record of all the injuries sustained at the vacation rental, as well as the causes, if possible. This will ensure that the lawyers have evidence to use in their case, as well as informing the owners and rental company of what happened. Take the pictures as soon as possible, as if your stay ends before you get the chance to take the pictures, the owner may not allow you access.
Reach out to insurers and property listers
Some vacation rentals encourage guests to have their own travel insurance. Notify your insurance provider of the injuries. They may be able to help reimburse you for some of the damages from your vacation rental injury. In addition, they may aid you in your lawsuit, so they can reimburse what they paid you from the owner of the rental.
Make sure you notify the property owner as well as the service overseeing the vacation rental you were injured at. By notifying them, you let them know of the dangerous condition, and give them a chance to fix it. In addition, prompt notification helps should you decide to sue the owner, as they would not be able to claim a lack of awareness of the situation.
Contact an attorney
Lastly, it is important to contact an attorney should you be injured at a vacation rental. Their experience would be able to advise you through the recovery process, and inform you of your legal rights and potential legal remedies you may seek. Even if the case does not go to trial, they may help obtain a settlement for your injuries.
It is vital to begin your case as soon as possible to ensure that the evidence is easily accessible and not destroyed. In addition, South Carolina imposes a three-year limit on personal injury lawsuits, beginning at the time someone became aware of the injury. If a suit is filed after the three year deadline has passed, then the case will be dismissed and you will not be able to recover damages.
Can You Sue a Vacation Rental Property Owner?
In South Carolina, property owners are expected to have a duty of care to their guests, and have a duty to warn about any potentially dangerous conditions the guest may face while on their property. As someone who is paying for use of that property, a guest qualifies as an invitee, who is owed the highest duty of care.
Both Airbnb and Vrbo have insurance for the owners who work with them. This insurance provides some protection for the owners from liability during an accident. However, this does have limits.
Neither company insures damages from assaults. Further, while both companies have a $1 million coverage limit, that amount is intended to cover all the incidents on a property in a year.
Should the property have multiple incidents, or should the total injuries from the incident exceed $1 million, the coverage limit would be exceeded.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Moncks Corner
If you or someone you know was injured at a vacation rental, you have someone to turn to. The West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina has been serving the community for over 75 years, and has extensive experience in premises liability cases. Contact us to make sure that your case is heard.