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Are Property Owners Liable for Injuries at a Vacation Rental/Airbnb in Florida?

Many Americans who own multiple properties rent them out as vacation homes. Short-term rentals to vacationers are great moneymakers. Services such as Airbnb are growing in popularity thanks to their relatively low cost compared to average hotels and ease of access, but it’s crucial for property owners to know their level of liability for any accidents that cause injuries to renters.

If a homeowner slips and falls and suffers an injury in his or her own home, the homeowner can use his or her own medical insurance to cover the damage. However, if a renter suffers an injury in the homeowner’s property and claims it is the fault of the homeowner, the ensuing legal process can be time-consuming and costly. A homeowner in this situation can face attorneys’ fees as well as the final settlement or cash award, but insurance can sometimes come into play and help homeowners in these situations.

Steps for Homeowner Protection When Renting Out Your Florida Vacation Home

People who rent homes to Airbnb customers or other renters should take several steps to protect themselves from liability for any slips, trips, falls, or other accidents to renters. The first step is securing insurance coverage for possible property damages or other losses. The next step is investigating whether a short-term rental service will provide any host protection insurance. Airbnb’s host protection insurance covers up to $1 million per incident, capped at $1 million per listing location. This coverage can extend to damages caused by renters as well.

GRS .B carefully outlines its Host Protection plan and what it covers, which generally extends to property damage renters caused but does not extend to securities.

Airbnb makes it very clear that its Host Protection plan is not an insurance policy and will not cover:

  • Stolen valuables
  • Cash
  • Collectibles
  • Artwork
  • Pets
  • Jewelry
  • Other securities. It will not cover personal liability, either.

Some homeowners’ insurance policies will cover damages to guests, but only under certain conditions. Homeowners should read their insurance policies very carefully. Most homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover accidents if the homeowner is operating a business out of the home. However, they generally cover occasional rental-related accidents, such as renting out your home to Airbnb guests once per year for a few days at a time. In these situations, the insurance carrier may require the homeowner to purchase an endorsement, or additional coverage package, for renters, which can cover on average about four weeks per year.

If a standard homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover short-term rentals and the insurance carrier does not offer additional coverage options, the homeowner will need to secure insurance through different means, such as a landlord’s insurance policy. These policies are generally more expensive than typical homeowners’ insurance policies due to the assumed the higher likelihood of accidents among renters in unfamiliar properties compared to homeowners in their personal homes.

Do I Need Vacation Rental Insurance?

Any renter, whether short-term or long-term, can have additional security in the event of a personal injury with renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance generally provides coverage for personal property and other damages that occur in a rented property. A landlord’s insurance policy will cover structural damage to the building only and will not cover a renter’s liability or personal property damages. Renter’s insurance will cover a renter if a guest visiting an apartment or other rental property suffers injuries or other damages.

Ultimately, it is unwise for an Airbnb renter to rely solely on the company’s offered Host Protection plan. It is also unwise to assume a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages caused by short-term rentals without carefully examining the policy. There are a host of possible alternatives to Airbnb’s provided coverage, and many opportunities for additional insurance coverage for short-term rentals. However, it’s up to rental property owners to assess their degree of liability, how much they are willing to pay in insurance premiums, and how much they stand to earn in rental fees.

There are many reasons people who get hurt in car wrecks that aren’t their fault need the help of a car accident attorney. These cases are very complicated, and one of the most significant complications is calculating how much a victim deserves. This article will outline some of the ways lawyers do precisely that. You should never attempt to calculate your own damages, as most injury victims grossly underestimate the compensation they deserve.

 

Navigating the Aftermath of a Wreck

Calculating Compensation in Florida Car Accident Cases

A car accident is often more than a minor fender-bender. It’s a violent collision resulting in severe injuries and tragedies. However, even a seemingly minor crash can result in surprisingly serious injuries and the need for compensation.

The typical car wreck occurs due to negligence. The at-fault driver makes a mistake that leads to an accident. The victim of negligence has the right to seek compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company.

However, compensation has many facets, including tangible and intangible losses. These losses, known as “damages,” are the financial costs of a wreck. If someone suffers a severe injury, their damages can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – and possibly even more.

Florida law allows victims to file lawsuits against those who caused their harm, but they must know how much to demand in their claim. A skilled car accident attorney can accurately calculate a victim’s tangible and intangible damages. As callous as this may sound, they can “put a price tag” on a victim’s suffering. But doing so is critical to ensuring victims get the money they deserve and hold negligent drivers accountable.

Determining Liability

Even though an accident victim is entitled to compensation, a car accident lawyer must first gather evidence to show the other driver is to blame. Determining liability is the linchpin that holds the entire structure of a compensation claim together.

Car accident attorneys investigate car wrecks to determine blame. They meticulously piece together the puzzle of events leading to the collision. Lawyers carefully scrutinize every shred of evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, evidence gathered at the accident scene, and much more.

Investigating a motor vehicle accident is somewhat like reconstructing a story. A skilled car accident lawyer can look at fresh skid marks, shattered glass, and other physical evidence to determine how the accident happened.

Other Types of Evidence

A car accident attorney can also obtain evidence not available to non-lawyers. For example, they can request footage from nearby surveillance cameras that might have accident footage. If it appears the at-fault driver was texting or talking on their smartphone, a lawyer can get their phone records.

Car accident lawyers look at all the information they gather to construct the case narrative. They use this proof to assign blame and lay the foundation for their client’s compensation claim. The stronger the narrative, the better the chances the victim will obtain maximum compensation.

Not all car accident attorneys have the combination of legal acumen and investigative skills needed to collect evidence. You must carefully consider your choice of legal representative, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Types of Compensation Accident Victims Can Pursue

Once the attorney completes the investigation and determines liability, they calculate the victim’s damages. As you learned earlier, damages can be tangible or intangible. These are also known as economic or non-economic damages. The following is a brief look at some examples.

Economic Damages

These are tangible damages supported by evidence such as medical bills, pay stubs, and repair invoices. They include the following:

  • Medical expenses – These are a cornerstone of economic damages, including hospital bills, medications, etc. Your car accident lawyer will work to obtain compensation for your present-day medical expenses as well as future expenses. You may, for instance, need physical therapy, a wheelchair, or home accommodations as you recover. The at-fault driver should be responsible for covering those expenses, not you.
  • Lost income and future lost earning capacity – If you’re severely injured, you might be away from your job for an extended time. You’ll eventually lose income because you don’t have any sick days or vacation time. If you’re incapacitated long enough, you might not ever return to work. Or, you might have to take a lower-paying position. A car accident lawyer will try to recover compensation for your lost money.
  • Property damage – Not only does property damage include your vehicle, but also any possessions destroyed in the wreck.

Non-Economic Damages

Intangible or non-economic damages are more challenging to prove. The reason is it’s difficult to put a price tag on the mental and emotional consequences of a car accident. These consequences include:

  • Pain and suffering – A severe injury, of course, is painful. Some injuries are excruciating. An experienced car accident lawyer can accurately calculate your pain and suffering and work to get the money you have coming for the discomfort the other driver’s negligence forced you to endure.
  • Emotional distress – A car wreck can profoundly impact a victim mentally as well as physically. You might have nightmares about the accident, or you’re scared to get in a car. Compensation for emotional distress addresses conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the terrible event.
  • Lost quality of life – You might be unable to enjoy your favorite activities, such as playing sports, boating, hiking, or simply walking on the beach or around your neighborhood. The court may award compensation for lost quality of life damages if you’ve lost the ability to participate in hobbies and activities that brought joy and fulfillment.

Documentation and Evidence

Documentation and Evidence

We can’t overstate the importance of evidence to your case. You can’t recover the above damages without proof you weren’t at fault. Detailed records of the accident scene, injuries sustained, and subsequent medical treatments provide a critical foundation for a compelling case. This documentation establishes the sequence of events and serves as a crucial reference point for demonstrating the impact on the injured party’s life.

You must retain all documents related to your accident, starting with your medical bills. Keep every bill, whether it relates to your emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, medicine, and everything else. Put all of these documents in a safe place.

Meticulous medical treatment documentation will make your case stronger.

You should also keep documents related to your job, specifically pay stubs. Your pay stubs will provide evidence of the money you’re losing because you can’t work. Also, keep the mechanic’s estimates for repairing your vehicle and receipts of any personal items lost in the wreck.

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney

Can you imagine the time it will take to research the value of your economic damages? Do you even know when to start when trying to calculate your non-economic damages? If you’re going to get the money you deserve, your only chance to do so will be to hire a car accident lawyer. These are just some ways a skilled attorney will help your case.

Calculating Damages

While any car accident attorney can calculate economic damages, it takes a very skilled lawyer to determine how much your intangible damages are worth. Only experienced lawyers know how to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost quality of life.

Navigating the Complexities of a Car Accident Claim

Any personal injury accident can quickly become complicated. A car accident can be incredibly complex because multiple liable parties can exist. For example, the at-fault driver might have been speeding but couldn’t stop due to faulty brakes. Not only can you sue the driver’s insurance company, but you can also take action against the brake manufacturer.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

The negligent driver’s insurer isn’t going to simply cut a check for what you deserve. They’re going to fight to pay you as little as possible. If they know you don’t have legal representation, they’ll do all they can to avoid paying you a dime. Insurers have high-powered legal teams to keep you from obtaining the money you have coming.

However, if you have a seasoned car accident lawyer on your side, you can level the playing field. Your attorney will not only know the value of your case, but they’ll also have the facts to back up their compensation demands. Since they’ll have the truth on your side, they’ll have a much better chance of convincing the insurer not to put up a fight.

You probably don’t want to go to court. The insurance company definitely doesn’t want to go to trial. That’s why about 95 percent of personal injury cases end in a settlement. But if you don’t have a car accident lawyer, the insurer will offer a settlement that won’t come close to paying for your expenses. You’ll be responsible for covering the rest.

Fighting for Your Rights

However, insurance companies will sometimes take a case to court rather than do what’s right. Even though a trial occurs in less than five percent of car accident cases, you must prepare for the possibility.

That’s exactly what your attorney will do.

If the insurer refuses to make a fair offer, your lawyer will be ready to fight for your rights in a courtroom. Not only will they have evidence to back your argument, but they can also bring in expert witnesses to strengthen your case even further.

Choosing the Right Car Accident Lawyer

As stated earlier, not every car accident attorney knows how to calculate compensation in a Florida car accident case accurately. It will help to do your due diligence to find the best one. Here are a few characteristics you’ll want in your lawyer.

Experience in Personal Injury Law

Selecting the right car accident lawyer will be one of the most crucial decisions you ever make. Choosing an attorney with experience will be critical to your chances of success. Seasoned lawyers know all of the complexities involved in personal injury litigation and how to anticipate and overcome unexpected challenges. Just as essential, they know what a client’s case is worth once they have all the facts.

Experience Relevant to the Case

Each car accident case is unique, often presenting distinct challenges. Choosing an attorney with experience relevant to the specific circumstances of your case will increase your chances of success. Whether it involves complexities related to liability determination, medical costs, or other case-specific elements, having a car accident attorney with the right experience can be a game-changer.

A Proven Track Record

A personal injury attorney with a proven track record of successful cases instills confidence. This track record is a testament to the attorney’s ability to navigate the legal landscape effectively, secure fair compensation for their clients, and deliver positive outcomes.

Look at the websites of different lawyers you’re considering and find their results in cases similar to yours. Ask for references from former clients, and reach out to learn about their experiences.

Commitment

The best car accident attorney won’t be just a legal representative. They’ll also be a partner in pursuing justice. Their commitment to your cause and diligence in investigating, building, and presenting a compelling case is essential. This partnership is founded on trust and the shared goal of achieving the best possible outcome.

When you speak to different attorneys, please pay close attention to how they treat you. Ask if they’ll be available to answer your questions and address your concerns. Also, find out if that specific car accident lawyer will handle your case or if another attorney will do so. That other attorney might not have the experience you need.

Speak With a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible

Florida Car Accident Lawyer David I. Fuchs

David I. Fuchs, Florida Car Accident Attorney

It’s understandable if you don’t feel up to researching attorneys. You’ve just gone through a traumatic event, you’re in pain, and you’re also worried about your expenses piling up. But you must find a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.

The biggest reason is that your attorney needs to investigate the accident immediately so they can gather critical evidence before it disappears. The faster you hire legal representation, the better the chances you’ll obtain every dollar you have coming. Speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer to learn more.

 

David I. Fuchs is a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale and the founder of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. David has an extensive background representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases and has been practicing law for over three decades.

David I Fuchs

Attorney at Law, David I Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A.

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Client Testimonials

Saarina Polanco
Saarina Polanco
2024-05-09
Yo recomiendo éste avoga son muy bueno cien por ciento 👍👍👍💯💯💯
Fabio Varens
Fabio Varens
2024-04-18
David I. Fuchs comes highly recommended for anyone in need of a top-notch accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale. With over three decades of experience, his firm is known for its client-focused approach, maintaining strong communication and offering personalized legal strategies. They are particularly adept at negotiating with large insurance companies and handling complex courtroom cases. A great choice for effective and compassionate legal representation.
Ethan Cohen
Ethan Cohen
2024-02-07
Great accident lawyer. Gave us invaluable advice when an air conditioning truck hit my car
Israel Andrade
Israel Andrade
2024-02-05
I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. David I. Fuchs, the injury law expert in Fort Lauderdale. When I urgently needed legal guidance, he was on the spot, providing precise and honest information. David's quick responsiveness, combined with his accuracy and transparency, made a significant impact during a challenging time I was facing due to a total loss in a car accident. I greatly appreciate his professionalism and recommend his services to anyone seeking a trustworthy and reliable injury law attorney in South Florida.
Darcy Israel
Darcy Israel
2024-02-01
They did a great job with keeping me updated with my case. I would refer them to anybody in the future.
Matthew S.
Matthew S.
2024-01-27
I just want to say thank you to Mr. Fuchs he personally took a call on Saturday and due to the nature of circumstances he was not able to take the case but he provided me with the proper means to go about the case and offered any advice that he can give along the way for my situation. Thank you for listening and your support.
tom neenan
tom neenan
2024-01-26
Mr. Fuchs handled my case fast and always got back to me to explain all details. I recommend his friendly demeanor and kindness. I felt like family. Thank you very much for the service and wonderful settlement.
Wendy Janet Mendez
Wendy Janet Mendez
2024-01-26
I recommend The Law Offices of David Fuchs. They are very professional and care about their clients. I got into a car accident and the whole process was really smooth.
Lynne N.
Lynne N.
2023-11-14
David Fuchs and his staff were consummate professionals when I needed a law office to represent my injury case. They communicated the process in detail and kept me apprised of the progress as necessary. It was a relief to be able to rely on them during a stressful time. It was nice to have the personalized attention of a smaller law firm as my champion.
CG
CG
2023-11-06
When you’re involved in an accident and have injuries you need an attorney who is experienced AND who will give you the personal attention you need. You want someone who the insurance companies know won’t just accept any offer to make a commission. That's what separates Mr. Fuchs from the rest, especially the large law firms. He knows the law and he will fight for you like you are a member of his family. I highly recommend him to anyone who has been in an accident and needs aggressive representation for their injuries and other financial losses that happen as a result!

We’ve Recovered Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Clients.

$125,000

Premises Liability

$125,000

Negligent Supervision

$120,000

Hotel Slip & Fall

$250,000

Car Accident in Broward County

$1.8 Million

Traumatic Brain Injury

$325,000

Multi-Vehicle Accident

$300,000

Motorcycle Accident

$225,000

Wrongful Death

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