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Airbnb and Premise Liability

November 24, 2015

AirbnbAirbnb as an alternative to hotels is becoming more and more popular every day. People seem to love the idea of renting out your own home while you are enjoying your own vacation. However, as with hotels, there will be occasions when people are injured at these Airbnb locations. In those instances, is there a chance to litigate?

Premises Liability

Hotels and other facilities operate under the theory of premises liability. In other words, as property owners, they are responsible for ensuring that you, as a guest or visitor, are in a safe environment. If you slip and fall, for example, the hotel may be held liable if it is their fault – if the floor was wet for an extended period of time after something spilled and no one bothered to clean it up or place guests on warning that the floor could be slippery.

Airbnb is a Unique Entity

How does premises liability apply to Airbnb? Similar to Uber drivers, those offering their properties for rent are more like independent contractors with no overarching company responsible for liability. However, this does not mean that Airbnb property owners can get away with hazardous conditions that end up injuring you; it simply means that you may be holding more than one party accountable if you are injured. In some instances, homeowner’s insurance will cover injuries that you may experience as a renter; that is, unless their insurance policy has a provision exempting any injuries that occur in the home when it is being used to make a profit. It is important that Airbnb property owners inform their homeowner’s insurance company that they are, in fact, renting out their property to people to avoid this.

Recent Cases

In 2013, a case against Airbnb received some notoriety because a New York judge fined the company $2,400 for operating as an “illegal hotel.” That being said, Philadelphia (unlike New York) does not have an “illegal hotel act,” making a similar case difficult.

In its terms of service Airbnb states that the company is not liable, but this should not automatically exempt the company from being held accountable for any serious injuries you experience. They simply put it into the “contract” that you sign onto when you use their service in an effort to protect themselves.

Solnick & Levin

The premises liability attorneys at Solnick & Levin LLC represent victims of injury in all circumstances—including any hazards associated with rental properties or hotels. Contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, including Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties, as well as New Jersey.


Escaped Zebras (and Work Injuries) at Philadelphia Circus

November 19, 2015

Although many in the city found it humorous, the incident of two zebras fleeing the circus on Sunday, November 15th reminded us that there can be some serious injuries for those who work at and attend circuses. The zebras fled the UniverSoul Circus outside the Mann Center for Performing Arts and were eventually safely recaptured. […]

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Taxicabs and Public Safety

November 17, 2015

Several recent incidents have police and regulators focusing on the taxi industry and the need for enforcement of laws already in place to protect pedestrians and the general public. There are an estimated 1,600 taxis in Philadelphia, but some have received blatant violations of federal and city regulations on a daily basis, including at times […]

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What is Whiplash and Do I Have a Claim?

November 12, 2015

Whiplash is one of the most commonly reported auto accident injuries when someone is rear-ended by another car. It is also one of the scariest because you do not always realize you have it immediately after the accident. Specifically, whiplash occurs when your neck becomes injured due to being severely jerked back-and-forth, like a whip. […]

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Needles Found Inside Halloween Candy in Philadelphia

November 10, 2015

Sadly, in the days after Halloween, police officers in Chester County are investigating reports of needles being found inside Halloween candy in the Stenning Hills area of the Borough, placing multiple children in danger. The candy was not discovered and reported to the police until midnight on the day after Halloween. Needles were found inside […]

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What to Do Immediately After a Bike Accident

November 5, 2015

Many people are familiar with what should be done after a car accident, but what about a bike collision? Similar to car accidents, it is important to react intelligently in case you need to recover damages to address any injuries. Consumer Reports has prepared a list of steps that should be taken if you have […]

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Are Volunteers Ever Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

November 3, 2015

Workers’ compensation allows employees injured on the job to have their medical expenses and any lost wages from being unable to go back to work due to the injury compensated, as well as any death benefits for survivors. While workers’ compensation is normally limited to employees only, there are some instances when an employer has […]

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UberX Operating Illegally in Philadelphia: What Does This Mean For Related Accidents?

October 29, 2015

This week, Philly.com reported that transportation services such as Uber and Lyft have technically been operating illegally in the city for the last year. While Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission allowed UberX to operate in the state, it did not allow for the company’s operation in Philadelphia, where the Philadelphia Parking Authority has jurisdiction over taxi […]

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Manslaughter Conviction for Contractor Negligence in Philadelphia

October 27, 2015

On October 19, 2013 a demolition contractor was charged with the deaths of six people who were killed after a wall his company was demolishing fell on a Salvation Army store in Philadelphia. Specifically, he was found guilty of six counts of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors claimed that the contractor controlled the work site and lied […]

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Are Pennsylvania Citizens in Danger from Fracking?

October 22, 2015

A recent article examined the negative health effects on pregnant women associated with fracking (aka hydraulic fracturing) in Pennsylvania. Fracking has been linked to headaches, high blood pressure, neurological illness, asthma, anemia, heart attacks, cancer, and infant mortality. What is Fracking (or Hydraulic Fracturing)? Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth and […]

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