A bed bug epidemic sweeping through many parts of the United States has left families with their home lives in shambles. As the Washington Post reported, one Maryland couple was forced to file a half million dollar lawsuit in an effort to recover compensation for the physical injuries and the damage bed bug exposure had caused them to experience. This family is not the only one affected by bed bugs, which have shattered the peace in their home.
When a bed bug infestation occurs, victims will need to understand what their options are. It may be possible to hold apartment managers or hotels accountable for the damages a bed bug infestation causes you to experience. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to show how the infestation occurred or who is liable for losses. An experienced bed bug injury lawyer can provide the help you need in determining if you have a case. An attorney can offer you guidance on your legal options and can answer questions, including:
- What damage is caused by a bed bug infestation?
- What are your legal rights when bed bugs infest your home or apartment?
- How can an attorney help in cases of a bed bug infestation?
What Damage Is Caused by a Bed Bug Infestation?
When bed bugs get into your house, they can be everywhere in your home. It is most common for the bugs to bite at night when you are sleeping. But they live not just in your bed, but also in sofas, other soft furniture and even in wood furniture. While bed bugs are not known as disease-transmitting, they can carry disease organisms. They also leave itchy and uncomfortable welts, which can swell and bleed. Secondary infection can result from bed bug bites if not treated properly. Victims who are affected by bed bugs can also experience lack of sleep and psychological distress.
Eradication of a bed bug infestation is very difficult. You may need multiple treatments by a professional exterminator. Some of your possessions may have to be discarded as well. It may be necessary to vacate your home or apartment for a period of time as the exterminator uses chemicals or heat treatments to try to eradicate the bedbugs from your home.
What are Your Legal Rights When a Bed Bug Infestation Occurs?
Your rights when a bed bug infestation occurs will vary depending upon whether you can prove who was responsible for the infestation. If you can trace the bed bug exposure back to a hotel stay, the hotel could be held accountable. If you live in a dorm, apartment or communal living space, you could argue the landlord or property owner was to blame. Unfortunately, when there are many tenants in an apartment environment, it may be difficult or impossible for landlords to prevent individual tenants from bringing bugs into their units. These bugs can then travel through to different apartments. The extent of a landlord’s responsibility in such situations is up for debate, and to hold a property owner or operator accountable, you could need to prove they were negligent in some way that led to the infestation and resulting damages.