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South Florida Vacation Rental Accommodations During The Holidays

This holiday season has already proven itself to be a busy one, especially in South Florida.

 

 

Nearly 110 million people are expected to travel throughout the United States between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, according to AAA. That’s nearly 28 million more travelers than the 2020 holiday period.

 

 

Considering that Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International airports are ranked as a top destination for Christmas and New Year’s travel, it’s safe to say that a significant number of that total will descend upon our sunny beaches and roadways. Also, they will all need a place to stay.

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It’s exciting to plan a vacation to somewhere new and being somewhere will it make it even more memorable.

A good number of those traveling here to South Florida may have their own place to stay or have accommodations with family or friends. Even more though are staying at a hotel, motel or a vacation rental like an Airbnb and Vrbo.

 

Many hotels are centrally located, with easy walking or transport access to nightlife, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
But if you really want to blend in with the neighborhood’s full-time residents, a vacation rental is a better choice for many.

 

Airbnb and Vrbo vacation rentals are very popular throughout South Florida and there is little wonder as to why.
With the ability from property owners to make their beachside home or their scenic skyscraper condo available to rent,it can provide a unique holiday stay experiences.

 

In most cases, their trips will be a delightful memory that can last a lifetime.
However, with recent cases of rape and sexual assault that can happen at these vacation rental establishments, it needs to be considered in order to take the right precautions and action.

 

 

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Any business that caters to vacationers need to do more than simply just opening their doors. They have a responsibility to provide protection from any preventable hazards and generally, safe premises.

Often there are no issues with these rentals and both customers and owners share positive experiences. Staying at an Airbnb or Vrbo property should be a positive experience and equally, there should be no case where you end up in the hospital due to the negligence or unaddressed conditions of the property instead.

If you do or have experienced sexual assault during your stay at a short term rental, your response should be determined by the nature of the incident. If dangerous and ongoing, the most important thing that you can do is to remove yourself from the situation. If you need to seek assistance, do so immediately.

You have the right to file a claim if you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault or other type of misconduct (whether physical or sexual in nature) at an Airbnb or Vrbo property.

Separate from any criminal case proceeding, a sexual assault lawsuit can also help survivors recover damages for the harm caused. Emotional distress damages are compensation one recovers for impact that would include anxiety, humiliation, and psychological trauma.

Our attorneys at The South Florida Injury Law Firm are here to make sure that you are fairly treated in the aftermath of such an incident and to help you take the necessary legal action you need to get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys work diligently to fight for their clients rights who have either suffered serious injuries or assault on or around their vacation rental.

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Wherever you choose go or stay. we wish you all a safe and enjoyable Holiday season

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VRBO Sexual and Physical Assault Cases

VRBO and others revolutionized the vacation rental industry when they launched, providing a simple platform for homeowners to rent their partial or entire properties for short-term stays.

 

Instead of limiting your stay to hotels and motels, VRBO and other similar vacation rental companies have allowed property owners to make their vacant properties available for any party registered with them as a guest or host. The platform provides a list of available accommodations ranging from apartments and houses up through castles; some listed by private individuals who rent them directly; others offered by professional real estate firms, hotel chains, resorts & spas offering timeshares.


VRBO Sexual and Physical Assault Cases 4 AIRbnb South Florida Injury Law FirmVRBO Background

VRBO was founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals by Owner, but was later acquired by Expedia/Home Away and has grown into the largest source for short-term vacation rentals. Although the vacation rental service provides many benefits that have consistently been used and enjoyed by hundreds of parties throughout time, there are also negative aspects. Similar to the Airbnb platform, VRBO has experienced tremendous growth in volume that has surpassed its ability to ensure the safety for its hosts and guests.

 

Although most accommodations are comfortable, safe and successful, what happens if you unluckily become a victim of a violent or sexual assault or injury?
VRBO and AirBnb have admitted they receive more than 250,000 safety issue reports each year from both hosts and guests, but have chosen exponential growth over taking the proper steps to protect their customers.

Concerningly, many of these reports are from those who were guests that have reported sexual assaults by VRBO hosts.
With a variety of allegations that include claims of kidnapping, rape and other acts of sexual violence. Some accusations have even included child sex abuse. However, guests are not the only victims stated in these assaults. Hosts and their families have also been assaulted by the guests they have rented their properties to.

Because of this, many strongly believe VRBO and others have not done enough to ensure the safety of both guests and hosts on its platforms. In their proven effort to provide quick service, many believe VRBO has failed to properly protect its guests and hosts from predators by not ensuring adequate security, check-in safeguards and background checks. Although VRBO screens rental owners and renters, many claim the background checks don’t do enough to protect either party.

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In response, the company has deployed a crisis response team of nearly 100 agents to quickly hush up these crimes and pay settlements to those affected before they go public.
However, victims should never agree to a release without learning their full legal rights to compensation. Until 2017, every potential guest who negotiated a settlement with them over events and incidents involving attacks, assault, rape, and murder was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Media reports indicate the vacation rental company’s high-profile operatives are trained to negotiate the potential publicity nightmare of some of the gruesome events involving the Company’s worst crises. Because of the wording in the non-disclosure agreement meant that they could not reveal their harrowing stories involving VRBO that would likely go unreported.

While they’ve assembled teams of crisis responders to handle complaints, these people do not work for victims or have their best interests in mind.

VRBO Sex Assault Legal Assistance

Survivors of these assaults can take legal action to get the justice they deserve. Lawyers are now investigating VRBO lawsuits for those who’ve suffered sexual assault, physical assault or homicide while using their services. Given the complexity of these lawsuits, and the numerous parties involved, the assistance of a personal injury attorney with knowledge of the VRBO platform is imperative. If you’ve been a victim, you should speak directly with a lawyer today.

At South Florida Injury Law Firm, our attorneys represent sexually abused victims. Tell us what happened in a confidential setting. Then, let us hold those responsible for causing your harm financially accountable for their negligence.

Our South Florida attorneys have developed a reputation for being compassionate advocates. We understand the challenges you are facing and cater our representation to your unique situation and needs. Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements to ensure no payments are made until we resolve the case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial verdict.

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Airbnb Will Allow Sexual-Assault Claims

Airbnb recently announced that it will allow hosts and guests to sue the company over claims of sexual assault and harassment in its listings. This will remove a mandatory arbitration clause that had previously been buried in their 40-page terms of service for more than a decade that users have been forced to agree to.

 

Since 2011, the terms of service included a clause that stated that any dispute arising out of a stay booked on the Airbnb platform would be settled through binding arbitration. About 150 million or so of their users had been required to agree to those terms when they registered, signing away the right to sue.
The new terms are expected to take effect this fall but the statement didn’t specify an exact date.

“We believe that survivors should be able to bring claims in whatever forum is best for them. We encourage our industry peers within the travel and hospitality space to consider taking similar steps for their respective communities,” the short-term rental company said in a blog post.

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Airbnb concluded the statement by ensuring hosts and guests that it is ‘building trust’ by ‘doing the right thing in the rare instances where things go wrong’.

This shift by revising their policies follow up on the heels of a Bloomberg News report that was published in June which detailed how the millions of dollars on settlement payouts the company had made, as well as using the binding arbitration clause in its terms of service to block users from filing claims for damages in court.

 


 

It’s not uncommon for individuals staying at an Airbnb location to be hurt while there or assaults the guests.

Some have been targeted by a host and overpowered, harmed, sexually assaulted, or raped. In one incident from the Bloomberg report, a rape victim received a $7million payout in exchange for agreeing not to ‘imply responsibility or liability’ on Airbnb or the host after a ‘career criminal’ used a duplicate key to enter a New York City rental to rape and attack her at knifepoint.

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If you’ve been a victim or experienced the same, you should make sure to contact an attorney to assist you in taking legal action. In the same report, it was revealed that Airbnb has a secretive ‘black box’ team made up of around 100 agents to deal with the worst crises that take place at the properties to keep news quiet.

Separate from any criminal case proceeding, a sexual assault lawsuit can also help survivors recover damages for the harm caused. Emotional distress damages are compensation one recovers for impact that would include anxiety, humiliation, and psychological trauma.

Our attorneys at The South Florida Injury Law Firm are here to make sure that you are fairly treated in the aftermath of an Airbnb physical or sexual injury and to help you take the necessary legal action you need to get the compensation you deserve.

What Happens If I'm Injured in a Florida Airbnb

What Happens If I’m Injured in a Florida Airbnb?

What Happens If I'm Injured in a Florida Airbnb

Traveling used to mean spending hundreds of dollars for a small hotel room or crashing on the sofa bed at your relative’s place. Then Airbnb came around.

 

In just a few short years, the app has revolutionized the way people book accommodations, as well as how they use their extra rooms or property. When you’re booking a trip, you can stay in a wide variety of interesting homes (or treehouses, or bungalows, or teepees) for a fairly decent price.

 

When you book with Airbnb, you are renting a space in a user’s home. This obviously opens up a world of new possibilities and comes with a number of advantages. However, it also comes with a bunch of complications you don’t have when staying at a hotel.

 

Are there standards that owners have to follow? Who do you contact if there’s a problem? Who do the owners answer to?

 

Perhaps the most important question revolves around who is liable if you are injured while staying at an Airbnb rental.

 

Since this is such a new business model, it is an area of the law that hasn’t been completely ironed out. Take this situation in Texas. A guest was swinging on a rope swing tied to a tree when the trunk of the tree broke in half and killed him.

 

Someone is responsible for what happened, but who? The homeowners? Airbnb?

 

In this particular situation, the family was able to receive compensation from the homeowners’ insurance of the hosts. They did not pursue legal action against Airbnb. However, the son of the victim did say that Airbnb sent a card to the family offering their condolences.

 

Did they do the right thing? What if the homeowners hadn’t had insurance? What are your options?

 

Who Do You File a Claim Against If You Are Injured?

 Who Do You File a Claim Against If You Are Injured at an AIRbnb

The Hosts. Just like the example above, you may be able to file a claim through the hosts’ homeowner’s insurance. The case would probably proceed like most other premise liability cases.

 

Don’t bet on it, though. Homeowners’ insurance companies often refuse to cover accidents that involve commercial operations. In other words, since the owner of the property was renting it out, the homeowner’s insurance might not cover the incident.

 

If you are planning on staying in an Airbnb, it is worth asking your hosts whether or not their homeowners’ insurance could cover an accident. If the hosts can’t give you a satisfying answer, it may not be wise to stay there.

 

Airbnb. The case in Texas is not the only example of a death at an Airbnb. A Canadian woman died in 2013 while staying at a listing in Taiwan. The listing, an apartment, was being run as an illegal hostel and didn’t adhere to fire safety standards (the woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning).

 

Her family began to file a claim against Airbnb, but then was offered $2,000,000 from the company. They told the family that Airbnb was not liable for the wrongful death, but that they were offering the money for “humanitarian reasons.”

 

Since then, Airbnb has updated insurance for hosts. While they first covered $1 million in property damage only, they have expanded the coverage to include $1 million in bodily injury as well.

 

On their website, Airbnb also provides a list of things they will not be held liable for, including asbestos, lead, and product liability. Take a look at the list. If any of the things that they do not cover are involved in your case, you might be back to square one.

 

No matter what the case is, as an Airbnb guest, you deserve compensation for injuries that you sustain on the property due to negligence. Contact a South Florida personal injury lawyer to make sure you have the experience and knowledge to fight back.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.