Airbnb is a flexible, affordable alternative to traditional hotels and motels. Through the Airbnb app or website, users can book a single night, a week, or longer at almost any type of property imaginable, from single rooms to opulent mansions. As a major destination for tourists and vacationers, Baltimore is home to countless Airbnb properties.
Unfortunately, some Airbnb hosts take their duties less seriously than others. Even though guests are supposed to receive safe and clean lodgings, numerous Airbnb users have reported nightmarish experiences with bed bug infestations. At Whitney, LLP, we are aggressive Baltimore bed bug attorneys who help injured Airbnb customers fight for compensation. If you suffered injuries or had valuable property ruined by bed bugs at an Airbnb in Baltimore, turn to Whitney, LLP for legal guidance you can trust. To set up a free consultation, contact us online today, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.
Suing Airbnb for a Bed Bug Infestation in Baltimore
If you stayed at a bed bug-infested Airbnb in Baltimore, you may be able to get compensated for medical bills, property damage, and other losses by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, in order to prevail, you will need to prove that Airbnb or an individual host either knowingly rented an infested room, or somehow acted negligently. In personal injury law, negligence is the failure to meet a reasonable standard of care, resulting in preventable injuries. You will need to support your claim with evidence, such as medical records, photographs of your bites, and photographs of the infested property.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are nocturnal parasitic insects which subsist solely on blood. They will bite and consume blood from any type of mammal, including dogs, cats, and humans. The scientific name for the bed bug family is “Cimicidae,” while the common household bed bug is known as “Cimex lectularius.”
Bed bugs are small insects, typically around one quarter of an inch. They are brown and slightly transparent, while the eggs and juveniles (“nymphs”) are a lighter hue closer to grey or yellow. Similar to ticks, their bodies can distend dramatically while feeding, morphing from a flattened disc to a cylindrical, cigar-like shape.
If there are bed bugs in your Airbnb, you are likely to find small, dark stains on your mattress and bedding, which result from bed bugs defecating or being squashed. You may also notice eggs, or debris from bed bug skins and body parts. By releasing chemicals called “alarm pheromones,” which act as a warning or distress signal for other bed bugs, they are also capable of emitting a foul odor, often described as “musty” or “sweet.”
Identifying Bed Bug Bites After an Infestation in Baltimore
This question can be difficult to answer as different individuals have different physical reactions to bed bug bites. With that in mind, many individuals develop swollen, pinkish welts at the site of each bite, which frequently itch and cause skin irritation. Some people do not have any reaction at all, while others highly sensitive.
It is common for bed bug bites to appear in straight rows. However, some people are bitten in random groupings. Bed bugs are not drawn toward any particular area of the body; instead, they simply bite any exposed body part, whether it is the host’s hands, feet, legs, arms, back, face, or other areas.
Are Bed Bug Bites Dangerous?
Severe reactions to bed bug bites are rare. For this reason, there is a common misconception that bed bug bites are “just itchy” or “aren’t that serious.” Unfortunately, bed bug bites carry greater health risks than many people initially realize.
The greatest danger associated with bed bug bites is anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction triggered by certain proteins in bed bug saliva. Some people are highly sensitive to these proteins, leading to an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis can begin quickly and worsens rapidly, making fast treatment essential. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include vomiting, weakness, confusion, facial swelling, and shock. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, “Up to 5% of the U.S. population has suffered anaphylaxis.”
Bacterial infections pose another threat. Scratching at bed bug bites can create small wounds or cuts in the skin, creating points of entry for harmful bacteria. Skin infections associated with bed bug bites include cellulitis, impetigo, and ecthyma.
Baltimore Airbnb Bed Bug Lawsuit Attorneys
At Whitney, LLP, we are personal injury lawyers with a strong focus on the specific area of bed bug litigation. When people are injured or suffer financial losses because of bed bug infestations, they turn to Whitney, LLP for strategic and tireless advocacy. Contact our law offices online to arrange a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to speak with an attorney today.