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  • Tara C. Couture
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Airbnb Negligent Security Lawyer in Melbourne

Hurt due to owners' negligence? Let us help hold them accountable.

Airbnb has become a global company that matches property owners with travelers who want to rent rooms or homes for short-term stays. Although millions of Airbnb guests are satisfied with their stays, some Airbnb guests become victims of terrible crimes that leave them injured and traumatized. A short time reading Airbnb horror stories online reveals how common thefts, assaults, sexual assaults and other abuses can occur. If such an experience has left you or loved one looking for answers, Couture Law P.A. – an Airbnb negligent security attorney in Melbourne – can expertly evaluate the circumstance surrounding your case and chart a course for recovering damages.

Liability for negligent security

Property owners – and managers who control a property – have legal duties under the concept of premises liability. In addition to ensuring that buildings are structurally safe to occupy, premises liability can extend to providing adequate security. This obligation applies to property owners in Melbourne, Florida, as well as those across the country. This duty does not mean that every rental needs security guards. Realistically, a property owner or manager should take steps to secure a premises based on reasonable expectations of criminal activity in the vicinity. Reasonable security measures may include:
  • door and window locks
  • adequate lighting
  • security cameras
  • background checks for employees or contractors
  • limited distribution of keys to rental units
To successfully claim that negligent security resulted in injury, a plaintiff must show that the crime would not have happened had the property been properly secured, and that the threat of criminal activity was foreseeable.

Death of Florida woman results in Airbnb lawsuit

The tragic death of a Florida woman provides an extreme example of alleged Airbnb security negligence. She was killed while staying at a small seven-unit resort in San Jose, Costa Rica. The security guard at the resort has been arrested and charged with her murder. According to the lawsuit filed by her two surviving brothers against the resort and Airbnb, neither party conducted proper background checks of the suspect, who had full access to all units on the property. It was later found that he was in Costa Rica illegally and ineligible to work there.

The family’s lawsuit alleges that both the resort and Airbnb claimed in online ads that the property had a security guard on duty 24/7. The family further accuses Airbnb of deceiving the public about the desirability of the resort by removing negative guest reviews.

Liability falls on property owners

Crimes and injuries attributed to negligence usually fall on the shoulders of those who rent out the property. Airbnb’s status as a facilitator of peer-to-peer rentals largely removes it from the premises liability obligations of the property owners or controllers.

The Host Protection Insurance program that Airbnb offers only covers injury damages under certain circumstances. However, criminal acts represent one of several exclusions. A consultation with a Melbourne Airbnb negligent security lawyer is necessary to determine how to move forward with an insurance claim for negligent security or premises liability.

Even though the ability to recover damages from Airbnb remains an open legal question, the liability of property owners is much better defined by law. Those who rent properties may have homeowner’s insurance, which could be targeted in a negligence lawsuit. However, a typical residential insurance policy excludes damages that result from the insured using the property for business purposes. Luckily, insurance alone does not represent the sole source of possible compensation. The property owner who rented the unit may have money or other assets which could be targeted in a negligence lawsuit.

Proving liability for crimes at short-term rentals

As the plaintiff, you must provide evidence to support your claim for compensation. A negligent security case requires you to demonstrate:

  • the property owner failed to check for likely security threats
  • the renter must have been legally on the property
  • the property owner breached the duty to secure the premises
  • the renter was hurt by the breach of duty
  • the renter’s harm would not have occurred except for the breath of duty.

Talk to an attorney about your case

Many variables can influence your ability to recover damages after suffering an attack or robbery at an Airbnb rental. A close examination of the facts could reveal evidence of liability. An Airbnb negligent security attorney could preserve evidence and track down multiple sources of compensation. Let the personal injury law experts at Couture Law P.A. help you hold accountable those who are trying to ignore what happened. Call our Melbourne office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

FAQs About Airbnb Injuries

Does Airbnb Host Protection Insurance pay for losses caused by crime?

Intentional crimes is a specific exclusion to the coverage supplied by Airbnb. Neither the host nor the renter can make a claim on the policy for anything related to acts of crime. The Host Protection Insurance does have up to $1 million in coverage for third-party bodily injury or property damage attributed to accidents.

What constitutes ‘adequate security’?

A premises liability case involving a crime often hinges upon defining what security expectations a host should have met. Security issues vary by location. A place in a location that is known for break-ins or assaults arguably would require greater security than a location with little or no record of crime. No prior history of crime; however, does not remove security obligations. Obviously lax security, like multiple keys in the hands of multiple people, can invite crime.

Does Airbnb pay victims of crime?

Although Airbnb structures its business to shift responsibility to property owners or managers, the company previously settled with guests who were hurt by due to inadequate security, most notably a guest who was allegedly raped in a New York rental. Such settlements appear motivated by a desire to avoid bad publicity. An injury lawyer can help determine whether or not Airbnb may be named as a defendant.

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Personal Injury FAQs

At Couture Law P.A. in Melbourne, you won’t pay a penny unless our personal injury lawyers prevail at trial, or procure a settlement on your behalf. This arrangement is commonly referred to as payment “on a contingency basis.” Suffice to say, we’ll help you fight for every dollar for your pain and suffering.

The period of time from the date of the accident until you no longer can file a claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the amount of time in which statutes expire varies by case type. The statute of limitations for most injury cases is four (4) years. For medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s two (2) years. Always err on the side of caution by consulting with your Melbourne personal injury attorney.

Because no two cases are alike, Melbourne injury attorneys should gather and analyze all of the facts regarding your case before addressing this question. After tracking down and speaking with witnesses, we’ll give you a fair, honest assessment of your unique situation – and how we can help.

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