Injured in an Airbnb Overseas?

Our personal injury attorneys can help you with your Airbnb injury case.

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What Happens if I’m Injured at an Airbnb Outside of the US?

Woman carrying a suitcase entering an Airbnb property

Short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) have revolutionized how people find lodging when traveling. By 2034, the global STVR market is estimated to grow from $135 billion to $337 billion. Online platforms that connect property owners to consumers are providing the infrastructure that fuels the rapid growth of this industry around the world.

Airbnb is one of the STVR platforms that has seen major success. The company was started in 2008. It has seen significant growth since then, earning $9.9 billion in revenue in 2023. Airbnb saw 448 million bookings during 2023, and by 2020 the website reached an estimated 265 million users. 

However, with this rapid growth comes the risk of travelers being injured at an Airbnb property domestically or overseas. This can result in the need to pursue an international personal injury claim. An experienced litigation attorney at Rosenblum Law can help an injured traveler obtain compensation for injuries at an Airbnb property in another country. 

Understanding Your Legal Rights

Travelers who are injured at an Airbnb property overseas should understand the legal rights and protections that are available to them. Airbnb provides hosts with $1 million in liability insurance, which could be tapped if a guest is injured during a stay. Travelers who are injured may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner if the insurance settlement offer is not adequate. 

However, filing an international personal injury lawsuit can be challenging. Usually, the plaintiff will need to file the lawsuit in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred and not in a U.S. court. This means having to deal with a court system that may be quite different from those in the U.S., including with different laws that determine an Airbnb property owner’s liability.

Common Causes of Airbnb Accidents

There are many types of accidents that could occur when one is staying at an Airbnb. Here are a few of the most common causes of accidents.

Slip and Fall Injuries

This type of accident may be the most common injury for guests staying at an Airbnb property. Slip and fall accidents can be caused by chipped tiles, loose rugs or carpet, uneven or wet floors, failure to maintain stairways, or a variety of other things. Swimming pool areas are especially susceptible to these types of accidents.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Another common accident that may happen at Airbnb properties is carbon monoxide poisoning. The Airbnb host is responsible for ensuring the property does not have any carbon monoxide leaks, which can result in death or serious injury.

Mold and Allergens

Staying at an Airbnb property with mold and other allergens can cause many guests to suffer significant health issues. A host’s failure to remediate any mold and rid the site of other allergens can create liability if a guest becomes ill.

Bed Bugs

Airbnb guests may suffer health problems caused by bed bug infestations at the property where they are staying. Bed bug bites can cause severe allergic reactions with effects ranging from a small bite mark to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate injection of epinephrine. Also, there are various secondary skin infections that could occur after suffering bed bug bites.

Electrical Hazards

Travelers should also be aware of potential electrical hazards when staying at an Airbnb property. These hazards may be present when the property owner has incorrectly installed and/or maintained wiring or outlets. Electrical hazards can cause electric shock or even start fires. 

Immediate Steps After Sustaining an Injury

If a guest is injured at an Airbnb property, they should take steps to protect their health as well as their legal rights. 

Seek Medical Attention

The first step is to seek needed medical attention. This may mean seeing a doctor or even going to a clinic or emergency room if necessary. In addition to protecting one’s health, seeking medical attention will create a record of the nature and severity of the injury sustained, which will be useful in a court case.

Report Injury to Property Host and Airbnb

It is important to immediately report the injury to the property host as well as to Airbnb. This will help create a paper trail that could be used in mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Be sure to memorialize key events, dates, etc., in writing. 

According to Airbnb, the best way to report the incident is through the Airbnb app. Just tap on “Profile” and choose the “Get help” option. Then, find the “Contact us” option. 

Duty of Care for Airbnb

Although Airbnb does have a responsibility for doing what it can to keep users of its platform safe, such as properly screening property owners, the legal responsibility of maintaining a safe site for visiting guests falls on the property owner. This means an injured guest will likely be looking to file a lawsuit against the owner of the Airbnb property and not the Airbnb corporation. 

Proving Host Liability 

In order to successfully pursue a lawsuit for personal injury occurring in an Airbnb property, one will need to show that the property owner’s negligence contributed to the conditions causing the injury. This is why it is essential to gather any documentation or other evidence related to the injury and the surrounding circumstances. In particular, they should:

  • Take pictures of the site of the incident in order to show how the physical conditions of the location may have contributed to causing it 
  • Take photos of the injury itself 
  • Obtain copies of relevant medical records and documents related to communications with the property owner and Airbnb
  • Gather witness statements from anyone who may have seen the incident or seen physical conditions in the area that could have contributed to it

Challenges in Pursuing an Overseas Injury Claim

As stated above, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in another country’s court system is potentially more complicated than filing a lawsuit in the U.S. Research may be required to properly understand how other country’s laws apply. Also, local court processes may be unfamiliar to a U.S.-based attorney

In a foreign jurisdiction, there may be certain deadlines that require swift action in order to pursue a lawsuit. This means finding out which legal documents are required to be submitted to the correct court. Timing and efficiency may be of the utmost importance.

Dealing with a lawsuit in another country can present various cultural challenges as well, including a language barrier and cultural nuances that can affect communication during negotiations. 

Types of Compensation 

There are two types of compensation one can receive in a personal injury case. 

  • Compensatory damages:  These are based on the actual damages sustained from the injury. Compensatory damages include things like future expenses related to recovery, hospital bills, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
  • Punitive damages: These are not based on actual damages the plaintiff has suffered. Rather, punitive damages are aimed at punishing the defendant and deterring others from engaging in the same sort of behavior that caused the injury.

How an Attorney Can Help With an Overseas Airbnb Personal Injury Claim

An attorney plays an important role in an injured traveler’s personal injury claim related to a stay at an Airbnb property overseas. Among other things, the attorney can:

  • Decipher the legal complexities of a foreign jurisdiction and applicable laws, and/or retain the services of local counsel who can help with this
  • Help with the language barrier if they know the language, or find an interpreter 
  • Represent their client in negotiations with Airbnb, insurance companies, and the property owner. 
  • Assess the strength of their client’s case and formulate negotiating strategies to fight for adequate compensation 


Where should an international personal injury lawsuit be filed?

The lawsuit should be filed in the jurisdiction where the defendant lives. 

Does Airbnb have any liability for personal injuries on Airbnb properties?

Liability for damages generally falls on the property owner. However, Airbnb provides each host with $1 million in insurance coverage that can offer a monetary settlement payout.

On the other hand, there are exclusions to the Airbnb host liability insurance. These exclusions mean that if certain conditions contributed to the injury, then the liability insurance will not cover a claim arising from the incident. Exclusions include injuries related to vehicles, communicable diseases, the host intentionally causing injury, fungi or bacteria, the host providing alcoholic beverages, and more.

What if the Airbnb property did not adhere to safety regulations?

If a property violates safety or building codes, and this contributes to causing an injury, it can potentially play a significant role in a lawsuit against the property owner. An attorney can advise you as to whether this applies to your situation.

How much will be awarded in damages for an Airbnb personal injury case?

This depends on the specific circumstances of the case. An experienced attorney can analyze the facts and estimate a potential court award in a successful personal injury lawsuit. 

Call a Rosenblum Attorney for your Airbnb Personal Injury Case

Rosenblum Law attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury cases, including overseas personal injury claims. Our attorneys will analyze your case and determine the best legal strategy to employ in order for you to receive adequate compensation for your injury. 

If you have been injured while staying at an overseas Airbnb property, do not hesitate to contact us for your free consultation with a competent attorney. One of our personal injury lawyers will provide you confidential advice on your legal options customized to your particular situation. Contact us now and let us help you get started in resolving your personal injury claim.

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