If you or a loved one suffered an injury while staying at a Vrbo vacation rental, you can rest assured that Vrbo requires all hosts to maintain $1 million dollars of liability insurance that provides coverage in the event of an injury. Vrbo provides thorough terms and conditions that you can access by clicking here. There are certain steps that must be taken to present a successful claim, which includes gathering evidence, sending a detailed preservation letter and notice of claim as soon as possible, preparing and sending a demand letter to the proper entity, and eventually litigating the claim if it is either denied or if the offer to settle is too low.
Vrbo Injury Claim FAQs
Can You Sue Vrbo for Injuries?
Yes, you can sue Vrbo for personal injuries sustained while staying at an Vrbo vacation rental. However, the lawsuit’s or claim’s success will depend on whether Vrbo, the Vrbo host, or Vrbo property manager’s negligence caused your injuries. Other parties may be liable. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Vrbo’s terms and conditions include an arbitration provision, which may be required depending on the circumstances.
Who Can File a Claim Against Vrbo?
Any person who is staying at or visiting the Vrbo vacation rental has a right to pursue a claim. It does not matter whether the individual pays for the rental, stays overnight, or is just visiting friends for lunch and is not staying at the property. Anyone who is invited to the Vrbo vacation rental can file a claim.
When is Vrbo Liable for Injuries?
Vrbo may be found liable when the rental property presents a dangerous condition that causes a guest to suffer an injury. Examples of dangerous conditions include:
Dangerous swimming pool conditions
This list is not exhaustive. Plenty of things can go wrong.
Steps to Take After Suffering an Injury at a Vrbo Vacation Rental
If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you, your attorney will best advise you on how to proceed. If you have enough time and know enough about how insurance companies work, you may want to try to settle your case on your own.
Seek Medical Treatment
The level of medical treatment required will genuinely depend on the extent of your injuries. The value of your claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and the type of medical treatment you receive. An individual forced into emergency surgery to repair a fractured bone caused by falling down a defective ramp will have a much more valuable claim than a person who suffers from bed bug bites due to an infestation at a Vrbo rental property.
Evidence is what makes or breaks any claim for personal injuries. Immediately after the incident occurs, try to photograph and video the cause of the injury. Additionally, collect the names of all witnesses, including all the names, phones, and addresses of all individuals who were staying at the Vrbo. The photographic evidence coupled with the witnesses’ statements will help prove liability. Additionally, you should obtain copies of all of your medical records and bills to later present to Vrbo’s insurance carrier. You should gather evidence regardless of whether you choose to pursue your case on your own or if you decide to hire an attorney. The more evidence that you collect, the better position you and your attorney will be in to maximize the value of your settlement.
File a Claim with Vrbo
The first step is to notify Vrbo of the incident. This can be done online by clicking here or calling the Vrbo customer support by dialing 1-877-228-3145. When reporting the incident, be ready to provide information about the reservation, information about the injured person, and a brief description of what happened. If you do not have all the information, Vrbo support may help fill the gaps. Of course, you can always hire a personal injury attorney to investigate the matter and deal with Vrbo directly.
Communicate with the Vrbo Insurance Claims Handler
After filing a claim with Vrbo, a claims handler from Generali Global Assistance, Vrbo’s insurance claim handler, will call you to discuss the incident in further detail. The claims handler will likely request that you provide a recorded statement wherein they will ask a series of questions about how the incident occurred, the types of injuries you sustained, the medical expenses you incurred, and your health insurance information. Additionally, the insurance claims adjuster will likely ask for biographical information, including your date of birth, home address, social security number, and employment information.
In many claims, the insurance claims handler will send you medical record authorizations to sign and return to them. These medical record authorizations allow Vrbo’s insurance carrier to obtain your medical records and bills. Suppose you are not comfortable providing this information or feel that you may jeopardize your claim by providing information that can be misconstrued or manipulated. In that case, it is best to consult with an attorney who can ensure the claim is handled correctly.
Prepare and Submit Demand Letter
While it may be possible to simply resolve the matter dealing directly with the claims representative, it can help to provide them everything they need to fairly evaluate your claim. The letter should be sent to “HomeAway Legal: Arbitration Claim Manager”, at Expedia, Inc., 1111 Expedia Group Way, Seattle WA 98119.
Drafting a demand letter and putting together a thorough demand package is not very straightforward. A demand letter summarizes (1) how the incident occurred, (2) why Vrbo and/or the host is responsible, (3) details the medical injuries and treatment, (4) itemizes the medical expenses, (5) itemizes any health insurance liens, (6) itemizes any past and future lost wages, (7) provides supporting wage lost documentation (i.e., pay stubs and tax returns), (8) summarizes any pain and suffering you have endured or will continue to live with, and (9) demands a settlement figure.
Many other items can and should be included in the demand letter, but it is difficult to determine what should be included without a complete understanding of the specific case. Sometimes the most challenging part of preparing a demand letter is figuring out exactly how much money to demand. Once you have determined the demand figure (how much money you are asking to settle the claim for), you must specifically request the number and give the insurance company a deadline to respond to your letter. A general rule of thumb is that thirty days is sufficient time. If you are uncertain about how to draft a demand letter correctly, it is best to contact a attorney with experience handling claims against Vrbo.
An experienced personal injury attorney will handle all of the leg work while working to maximize the value of your claim.
Negotiate a Settlement
The demand letter should provide Vrbo’s insurance company with all the insurance they need to make you a fair and reasonable settlement offer. However, it is very likely, that the insurance company will not agree to the number you demanded and will either present a much smaller number or outright deny liability. When the insurance company denies liability, they are stating that they are not responsible for paying for your damages because Vrbo or any other insured party did not do anything wrong. If the number is too small, you can always try to negotiate the number with the claims adjuster and try to reach a fair number. If your claim is denied or the insurance company refuses to make an acceptable settlement offer, you may need to demand arbitration or file a lawsuit to obtain a fair recovery. When this occurs, it is almost always in your best interests to hire a lawyer to get the job done the right way.
Seek an Experienced Vrbo Injury Lawyer
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA has years of experience when it comes to handling Vrbo claims and ensuring that our clients receive the compensation that they need in order to pay off their medical expenses, lost wages, etc. If you or a loved one suffered an injury while visiting or staying at an Vrbo property, call (305) 694-2676 for a free consultation with Prosper Shaked.