Bed bugs can trigger serious health issues, including allergic responses, bacterial infections, and permanent scarring. They can also cause major financial losses by infesting and destroying personal property, which must then be replaced – often at great expense to the owner. If bed bugs infested your apartment or hotel room in Columbia, Maryland, your landlord, the hotel manager, the property owner, or other parties may be responsible for your financial losses. You could be entitled to compensation.
The Columbia bed bug injury lawyers of Whitney, LLP are here to help. We have represented numerous clients against hotels, motels, landlords, and pest control companies, recovering millions of dollars for the victims of negligence. When you need an aggressive, experienced attorney with a proven record in the area of bed bug litigation, turn to the personal injury law firm of Whitney, LLP. Contact us online today to set up a free legal consultation, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that emerge at night to feed on the blood of their sleeping hosts. They will feed on humans, dogs, cats, birds, or other warm-blooded animals in their environment.
In physical appearance, bed bugs are dark brown and oval-shaped, with small flattened bodies that expand and elongate while the insect is feeding. Bed bugs do not fly or make noise, which, combined with their tendency to hide from perceived threats, can make them difficult to detect.
Bed bugs are hardy, adaptable pests that can take over virtually any habitat. They prefer environments where their food source – blood – is plentiful, which means they are frequently found in apartment buildings, hotels, motels, and other buildings where large numbers of people reside.
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Different people experience different reactions to being bitten by bed bugs. Some people do not have any physical reaction, while others suffer serious health issues, described in greater detail in the section below. Most individuals develop small, pink welts, which may cause intense itching and discomfort. Some individuals may experience swelling and painful blistering in the bitten areas. Unfortunately, bed bug bites can leave permanent scars behind after they have healed.
Bed Bugs and Related Health Problems
Mental and physical health issues can arise from prolonged or even short-term exposure to bed bugs. Examples of health problems linked to bed bug infestations include:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis is a serious, fast-acting, and in some cases life-threatening allergic response characterized by facial swelling, nausea, breathing problems, and shock.
- Bacterial Infections – The wounds caused by picking or scratching at itchy bed bug bites can easily become infected. Skin infections associated with bed bug infestations include lymphangitis, ecthyma, and impetigo.
- Mental Health Risks – Living with a bed bug infestation is an intensely stressful experience that can damage the victim’s mental health. Victims of bed bug infestations frequently report depression, anxiety, insomnia, and related issues.
Maryland Bed Bug Laws: Suing Your Landlord or Hotel in Columbia
Howard County holds landlords responsible for extermination in apartments. In Howard County Section 3.700 (a) of the Howard County Code, titled “Howard County Property Maintenance Code for Rental Housing” adopts, with modifications, the International Property Maintenance Code, 2006. As amended, Sections 308.1 and 308.2 read as follows:
308.1 Infestation: All structures shall be kept free from insects, vermin and rodent infestation. All structures in which insects or rodents are found shall be promptly exterminated by a process approved by the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits.
308. 2 Owner: The owner of any structure shall be responsible for extermination within the structure.
Based on these statutory duties, landlords are required to keep the Apartments free of all insects and vermin, and exterminate when a problem arose. Leasing an infested apartment, and then failing to treat it, both give rises to legal claims by injured tenants.
Hotels and property managers are broadly held to a high standard of care, and must provide guests with rooms that are free of health hazards or safety threats. Hotels must therefore take appropriate measures to prevent and exterminate infestations, such as hiring professional pest control companies. If hotel staff book a guest into a room that is infested with bed bugs, the hotel may be liable for guest injuries that result. Determining liability for injuries from a bed bug infestation, and recovering compensation for that, can be a tricky process for someone who is not used to doing it. Whitney, LLP’s bed bug lawyers for Columbia tenants and hotel guests can help.
Columbia, MD Bed Bug Attorneys for Apartment and Hotel Infestation Lawsuits
You should not be forced to deal with the consequences of a hotel or landlord’s carelessness. If you were bitten by bed bugs in your hotel or apartment in Columbia, the bed bug attorneys at Whitney, LLP can determine who is at fault for your injuries and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. To set up a free consultation, contact us online right away, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.