If there was a bed bug infestation at your hotel room in Chicago, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Compensation may be available for your medical bills, pain and suffering, property loss, and other damages resulting from the infestation. Contact the experienced Chicago bed bug lawyers of Whitney, LLP online to set up a free legal consultation, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 to speak with an attorney. We can help you determine your next steps after a hotel bed bug injury in Chicago.
How to Check Your Chicago Hotel Room for Bed Bugs
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH), “Lodging facilities, such as hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfast establishments, are regulated to some degree by both municipal authorities and local health departments.” This includes regulations concerning pest control and extermination.
Unfortunately, some hotels fail to comply with regulations. While hotels should disclose prior bed bug infestations and refrain from renting out infested rooms, the fact is that these disclosures are not always made. Therefore, hotel guests would be wise to perform their own checks, rather than simply taking the hotel’s word that the accommodations are bed bug-free.
There are several ways to check your hotel for a bed bug infestation:
- Research hotels online before your trip. Bed Bug Reports is a good source of consumer-submitted information.
- Immediately inspect your mattress and bedding upon arrival at the hotel. Signs of bed bugs to look for include egg cases, molted skins, and small, dark stains.
- Be alert to strange, unpleasant odors. Bed bugs are capable of releasing pheromones that produce a foul scent often described as “musty” or “sickeningly sweet.”
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
The common household bed bug is known scientifically as “Cimex lectularius” (C. lectularius). Bed bugs are small blood-sucking insects generally around one quarter of an inch in length. The adult specimens are brown and slightly transparent, while juveniles (“nymphs”) are lighter.
Like ticks, their shape changes radically while feeding. Unfed bed bugs are relatively flat, but become engorged and distending while feeding, changing into a shape resembling a seed or cigar.
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Different people can react differently to bed bug bites – even bites delivered by the same specimen. That is because some people are more sensitive to being bitten, as the next section discusses in greater detail.
While bite reactions vary, most people experience minor swelling at the site of each bite, where a pink, puffy welt will generally form within several hours to several days of the insect feeding. In some people, the reaction may be almost immediate. However, because bed bugs normally feed nocturnally, most bites occur during sleep and therefore initially go unnoticed.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Bed bugs can be a serious health hazard, particularly for individuals with bed bug sensitivities. These sensitivities can trigger an allergic reaction in response to proteins called “antigens” in bed bugs’ saliva, small quantities of which are injected while the insect is consuming its blood meal. This reaction, known as “anaphylaxis,” can progress very rapidly and is capable of causing death without speedy medical intervention. Other physical or mental health issues that can be caused by bed bug exposure include bacterial skin infections related to excessive scratching, insomnia, anxiety, depression, social isolation, permanent skin scarring, and painful blistering of the skin.
Can You Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs in Chicago?
You may be able to file a lawsuit against your hotel if you suffered from bed bug-related injuries as a result of your visit. However, the success of a personal injury claim depends on several factors. To begin with, the suit must be filed in timely fashion, before a deadline called the “statute of limitation” passes – otherwise, the claim will be barred. In addition, it will be necessary to prove that the hotel was negligent or knowingly rented you an infested room.
The more evidence that can be gathered, the stronger your Chicago hotel bed bug claim will be. Possible sources of evidence include photographs of your room, photographs of your bites, medical records, expert medical opinions, and logs or records from the hotel and its pest control service provider.
Chicago Hotel Bed Bug Infestation Lawsuit Attorneys
You may be entitled to compensation if you were bitten by bed bugs while staying at a hotel in Chicago or the greater Chicago metropolitan area, including Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, or other brands under Choice Hotels. With years of experience representing injured guests against negligent hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, the dedicated and aggressive Chicago hotel bed bug attorneys of Whitney, LLP are here to fight for justice on you and your family’s behalf. Contact our personal injury law firm online to set up a free legal consultation, or call us today at (410) 583-8000 to discuss your potential bed bug claim.