If you've been traveling and staying at private vacation rentals that you find through homestay services, and you've been injured, your route to reimbursement may not be straightforward. These services are much different from hotels and motels in that they foist a lot of responsibility onto the person who owns the property, rather than on the company itself. If you need to get reimbursed for medical costs incurred during your visit, you may have to do some searching to find out just who is supposed to pay -- if anyone pays at all.
Who's at Fault
The obvious place to start is by looking at fault, mainly because that can answer a lot of questions up front. If you did something that was against house rules and got injured, or if you were warned by the host about something and ignored what he or she told you, you're the one who's going to have to handle your own bills, minus anything your own insurance decides to cover.
However, if the host didn't warn you about dangers around the home that he or she knew about (these would be non-obvious dangers like the host knowing about rattlesnake nests hidden under a shrub, rather than common-sense issues like you not juggling sharp steak knives with your bare hands), and you were injured as a result, then the host would be liable. But that may not get you immediate reimbursement.
Insurance can be a problem. If you don't have travel insurance that covers staying at one of these homes, you might think the host's insurance covers you, or at least the rental service's insurance. But these rentals are often considered businesses, and home-based insurance may not cover these. The rental service, depending on its terms, may not cover injuries either, even if your role was totally innocent. Some services have begun offering secondary insurance to cover these incidents, but, as the name implies, the insurance is meant to supplement other insurance.
Off to Court
If the liability lies or may lie with the host, you may have to resort to going to court. However, don't file suit on your own, even in small claims court, without talking to a personal injury lawyer, like Jack W Hanemann, P.S., first. These rentals and the issue of injuries and liability have become a confusing issue marred by terms full of legalese and precedents set by other cases. A good personal injury lawyer can help you sort through all of the previous cases and legal documents to see if your case will have a chance of winning.