In many states, you as a victim can take legal action against property owners after you’ve been exposed to bed bugs during your stay in a hotel or rental property. If you’ve been bitten by bed bugs, certain scenarios can make it possible for you to file a premises liability lawsuit that may help you recover damages. Before you set out on a lawsuit, you need to consider a couple of things first.
What to Know Before Filing a Bed Bug Lawsuit
While you may be able to seek compensation for bed bug bite injuries, including compensation for both monetary and non-monetary damages, there are certain steps you should take to help make sure you have a strong case. It’s important to know how to develop a stronger case and understand what you may be able to sue for prior to filing a lawsuit. Once you have taken the following into consideration, consider consulting with a bed bug attorney who may be able to help.
Here are some tips on what to do in the event of being the victim of a bed bug infestation:
1. Be Sure That You’ve Been Bitten by Bed bugs
First things first – are you absolutely certain that you’ve been bitten by bed bugs and not some other insect you might have picked up outside? Fully examine the bed and surrounding areas to see if you can locate them in the room. You also may be able to uncover other evidence of infestation.
Look out for the pale-yellow skins that bed bugs shed as they grow. These are a great indicator of infestation. Also, look out for reddish stains and dark spots on sheets and mattresses. Bed bugs’ eggs and eggshells can also be seen with the naked eye, so check the bed for any of these signs or try to recall anything similar if you’re no longer there. Additionally, small, black dots that look like ink stains could be bed bug fecal matter. You should take photographs of any evidence you uncover.
As for whether you have been bitten or not, examine your body for bites/welts. Although not always, most bed bugs tend to bite in groupings of three. If you have reddish lesions or itchy with signs of swelling, it is likely you were bitten by bed bugs.
Ultimately, the best way to be certain your injuries were caused by bed bugs is to have them examined by a trained medical professional. Issues can arise with a medical provider making a differential diagnosis or even a misdiagnosis if they are not trained experts in skin conditions. As a result, most individuals injured by bed bugs will usually seek treatment and confirmation from a dermatologist.
2. Claims You May Be Able to Bring If You Are the Victim of a Bed Bug Infestation
If you’ve been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or rental property, you may be able to sue the ownership if they knew or should have known had they taken the proper steps, about the existence of the bed bug infestation. Simply put, depending on where you stayed, if you can establish your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the owner of the property, you may be able to bring one, a few, or all of the below causes of action:
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Private nuisance
- Breach of contract
- Breach of the warranty of habitability
- And possibly other grounds depending on where your situation occurred
Please note that not all of the above causes of action, if any, may be available to you depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation. What type of claim(s) you can bring will depend on where you stayed, what type of property you stayed at, among other variables so it is important you discuss any potential lawsuit with an experienced bed bug attorney.
3. What Damages Are Possible In A Bed Bug Lawsuit?
Now, bed bug lawsuits can go both ways. If the host has a reason to believe that a guest was responsible for bringing bed bugs to their property, or not notifying them of the problem, they may be able to bring a claim against you. Depending on who’s to blame, damages for bed bug bites typically include the following:
- The costs of eradicating an infestation
- Property damage
- Emotional distress and anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Counseling bills
- Medical bills
- Loss Wages
- Future pain and suffering
- And other out of pocket costs
It is important to note that the above list is not an exhaustive list of potential damages so it is best to consult with an experienced bed bug attorney to assess all potential damages you may be able to assert.
The Importance of Hiring a Bed Bug Attorney for Your Case
Whatever the case and whichever side you’re on, if you’re planning to file a lawsuit, consider finding a reliable attorney who’s experienced in bed bug and premises liability matters. A professional with experience in this line of work is likely best suited to help you bring a claim and seek recovery for all of the damages you sustained.
With the help of an experienced bed bug attorney, you can make sure that you have a case before filing a lawsuit and determine all of the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive. An attorney will also be able to help guide you through the entire process to minimize any confusion or frustrations you may otherwise experience with filing a bed bug lawsuit. Ultimately, having the right representation behind you can be invaluable to your case. With an experienced and knowledgeable legal team to support you, no aspect of your potential case will go overlooked.
If you’re in need of a bed bug lawyer, reach out to us today! We’ll help determine if you have a case and if so, assist in seeking compensation for your bed bug bite injuries and damages.