California personal injury attorney Teresa Li discusses what to do if one gets injured or something goes amiss when staying at a short-term rental on vacation.
Short-term rentals, such as those found via Airbnb and VRBO, are the wave of the future, and preferred by many over hotels. But what legal recourse does one have if injured or something goes wrong during a stay at a short-term rental, and what should one do?
“The first thing you should do is to document everything, including taking as many pictures as possible,” said personal injury attorney Li, founder of the Law Offices of Teresa Li, PC, who has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb in the past for sexual assault against Airbnb’s Superhost. “You should also always read the fine print of any agreement.”
Furthermore, it is imperative to call the police and see a doctor right away if injured. If you have been sexually assaulted, you should definitely contact the police right away because this kind of evidence will disappear over time. Additionally, renters should ensure all communication they have with the rental company is traceable. “Don’t rely on it being on the rental platform,” added Li. “So if you communicate on the rental platform via text messages, you should do a screenshot to save these messages on your phone.”
One should also save the initial booking outside of the platform, regardless of where the booking is done. It is crucial to inquire about the host and the property manager, and to obtain as much information as possible about the hosts and the property manager before booking. “The platform may or may not have done a background check,” noted Li.
If injured, the renter should consult a lawyer immediately. “Depending on the rental platform you are using, you may have to file in a certain city per your agreement. For example, Airbnb has to be in San Francisco,” concluded Li. “Also, you only have 2 years to file from the date of injury.”
About Teresa Li, Law Offices of Teresa Li, PC
Teresa Li has successfully represented injured victims against short-term rental companies. She was interviewed by New York Times for her case against Airbnb. She has been repeatedly selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and has been included in the Top Women Attorneys in Northern California list. Practice areas include brain injury, truck, bike and motorcycle accidents, wrongful death and more. Li is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America, in which only 0.5% of attorneys are invited to join. For more information, please call (888) 635-3259, or visit www.lawofficesofteresali.com. The law office is located at 315 Montgomery Street, 9th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104.
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