How do I file a claim against a hotel for bed bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of animals and humans while they are asleep. They gravitate to places where people sleep. The presence of bed bugs has nothing to do with a lack of hygiene or cleanliness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bed bugs are a nuisance because they cause itching that leads to intense scratching that later heightens one’s chance of getting a skin infection.
If you encountered bed bugs in a room you rented, you can make a claim against the hotel. Here is some useful information regarding personal injury claims resulting from bed bug infestations.
The Laws Regarding Bed Bug Infestations
Although most states do not have bed bug laws, a few states such as Kansas, Nevada, and Virginia have passed some form of legislation to ensure that hotel owners keep clients safe from bed bugs.
- Common law requires the hotel manager to exercise reasonable care to promote the safety of guests.
- While you are right to expect hotel staff to fumigate and exterminate bed bugs, common law does not protect you if the hotel staff claims that the infestation was new and unknown.
How Is the Value of a Bed Bug Case Determined?
The value of bed bug cases is determined based on the following factors:
- How many bites did you sustain and how many people complained of being bitten? Multiple bites mean that the hotel was seriously infested. If you have more than 50 bites, it is very likely that the infestation was present for a long period of time.
- Was the owner of the hotel aware that there was a bed bug infestation? The knowledge and conduct of the hotel owner are the building blocks of your case.
- If it turns out that the owner of the hotel knew about the infestation but failed to rectify the problem, they will be liable for your injuries.
- Proving that the property owner knew about the bed bugs can be difficult.
- What kind of injuries did you get from the bites?
- This does not necessarily mean physical injuries alone but also extends to your emotional injuries.
- Some people sustain keloid scars while others suffer from psychological trauma which takes time to wear out.
Steps to Take Before Filing a Bed Bug Claim
Secure any evidence of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are reddish brown in color and are the size of an apple seed. The best places to look for bed bugs include under the sheets, box springs, and the edges of the mattress along the seams. Take pictures of the bed bugs as evidence.
Notify the hotel authorities and if they are not willing to cooperate, file a report with the local police department. Acquire the pertinent information such as the name and contacts of the owner of the hotel, the last time your room was cleaned and inspected, and the names of the support staff. Also, notify the county health department and request them to inspect the hotel room.
Go to the hospital. Bites by bed bugs should be attended to immediately. Victims of serious infestation often suffer from allergic reactions. Furthermore, seeking immediate medical attention will strengthen your claim. Keep all your medical documentation as evidence.
Before rushing to sue the hotel manager and staff, you should consider consulting a personal injury lawyer for advice and guidance. Your attorney can help you utilize all the available evidence to build a strong case against the hotel. Since bed bug claims are difficult to win, the guidance from a lawyer can increase your chances of getting a favorable settlement or verdict.
A bed bug lawsuit against a hotel is not that rare since bed bugs prey on the sleeping quarters of humans and animals. If you have been bitten by a bed bug, it is possible to get compensated for your medical expenses as well as emotional suffering. Consult a personal injury lawyer to help you seek justice.