When bed bugs infest an apartment or hotel room, they can cause extensive damage – not only to your personal property, but more importantly, your physical and mental health. The bites from bed bugs can trigger serious medical problems, including allergic reactions and bacterial infections, often leaving deep scars behind. Meanwhile, the cost of exterminating the bed bugs and replacing infested property can be financially devastating, burdening you and your family heavily. However, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a bed bug lawsuit.
At Whitney, LLP, we have years of experience helping bed bug victims obtain fair injury compensation. Our Germantown bed bug lawyers have a long track record of successful cases against landlords, hotel managers, and pest control companies, obtaining dozens of awards and settlements for our clients. We understand how to strategically build a hard-hitting case, and will fight tirelessly to maximize your family’s recovery. Contact us online right away to schedule a free consultation, or call Whitney, LLP today at (410) 583-8000 to talk with an attorney.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, parasitic insects that emerge at night to feed on blood from sleeping humans, dogs, cats, or other warm-blooded animals. In physical appearance, they are brown, six-legged, and wingless, with conical mouthparts and small eyes positioned on opposite sides of the head.
Their most unusual feature is their size, which can change dramatically to accommodate blood meals. Unfed bed bugs are flat in shape and only a few millimeters long. Bed bugs that have recently fed can expand to roughly one quarter of an inch, taking on an elongated, cigar-like shape.
How Do You Know You’ve Been Bitten by Bed Bugs?
Bed bug bites do not always produce the same reaction, making a professional diagnosis essential. That being said, common responses to bed bug bites include small, pink, puffy welts that typically itch for one to two weeks. Sometimes bite marks appear in straight or zig-zagging lines, while other times, bite sites are randomly clustered. Some individuals do not have any response to bed bug bites, and may not realize they have been bitten until observing other signs of an infestation, such as foul, sickly-sweet odors (which can be caused by bed bug pheromones) or dark mattress stains (which can be caused by crushed bed bug bodies or excrement).
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
There is a common misconception that bed bug bites are itchy, but ultimately harmless. While this may prove true for some people, many are less fortunate, experiencing bite-related complications such as:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis is a swift and serious allergic reaction often linked to peanuts or bee stings. It can also be caused by the proteins in bed bug saliva, which enters the host’s body while the insect feeds. Symptoms of anaphylaxis, which can be fatal in extreme cases, include weakness, nausea, facial swelling, respiratory problems, and shock.
- Bacterial Infections – Secondary bacterial infections, such as cellulitis, lymphangitis, and impetigo, are a risk for people with open wounds from scratching or picking at bed bug bites.
- Sleep and Mood Disorders – Living with bed bugs is a stressful, isolating experience that can have detrimental effects on mood and sleep patterns. Many victims of infestations report experiencing insomnia, depression, or anxiety – which can long outlast the infestation itself.
Hotel and Landlord Bed Bug Liability in Germantown, Maryland
Because Germantown is located in Montgomery County, your bed bug claim will be impacted by the Montgomery County Code. Among other regulations, the Code describes tenant rights and outlines basic landlord responsibilities.
The Code addresses infestations, which includes bed bugs, under Section 29-27(m). This portion of the Code requires every lease for a rental property in Montgomery County to include a clause “that the landlord will deliver the leased premises and all common areas in a clean, habitable and sanitary condition, free of rodents and vermin, and in complete compliance with all applicable laws.” It may be possible to hold your landlord liable by arguing that an infested property does not meet standards for “clean, habitable and sanitary condition[s].”
Local regulations are less clear on the subject of hotels. However, as a general rule, hotels and motels are held to rigorous standards for providing reasonably hazard-free rooms. Hotels, their parent companies, or their employees, such as managers and cleaning staff, may be at fault for failing to inspect rooms or eradicate infestations properly.
Germantown Bed Bug Injury Claim Attorneys
No one should have to worry about bed bugs infesting their hotel or apartment. If you suffered physical injuries or financial losses because of a hotel or apartment infestation in Germantown, ask the attorneys at Whitney, LLP how we can help you recover your losses and fight for justice. To arrange a free legal consultation, contact our law offices online, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to speak with a bed bug lawyer in Germantown today.