In Texas, hotels and landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that living accommodations are reasonably safe for guests and residents. If your apartment, hotel room, or Airbnb was infested by bed bugs in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Houston bed bug attorneys of Whitney, LLP can fight in pursuit of damages on behalf of you and your family, including compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage related to the infestation. Contact us online to arrange a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to speak with a bed bug lawyer in Houston today.
About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are parasitic, blood-sucking insects that belong to the Cimicidae family. Since they are nocturnal, bed bugs are normally active during the evening, while their victims sleep. However, they may become noticeable during the day if an infestation is extreme.
In terms of their physical appearance, bed bugs are brown in color and partially transparent with ridged, rounded abdomens. Normally just millimeters long, bed bugs can expand to approximately one quarter inch while feeding. Their body shape also changes while feeding, transforming from flat but rounded (similar to a coin) into an elongated cylinder (more similar to a seed or cigar).
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Most individuals develop small, pink, itchy welts within several hours to several days after being bitten by bed bugs. The bites often present in straight or zig-zagging lines, but can also be grouped in random clusters. Itching and discomfort may persist for several weeks, often accompanied by minor swelling.
While these types of reactions are common, some individuals experience different symptoms. Some people do not have any physical response to bed bug bites, while others, at the opposite end of the spectrum, suffer from pronounced effects that may demand urgent medical care.
Because of these variations, it is important to have your bites diagnosed by a doctor as soon as possible. A professional diagnosis can rule out a skin condition or other types of biting pests, such as fleas or lice.
Can Bed Bugs Cause Health Problems?
Bed bugs are associated with several serious health issues, including the following:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapid-onset, potentially fatal allergic reaction with symptoms that typically include trouble breathing, facial swelling, weakness, confusion, and nausea.
- Bacterial Infections – Bed bug bites do not directly cause infections. However, the bitten areas can become infected if they are scratched or picked at. Skin infections associated with bed bug infestations include lymphangitis, ecthyma, and impetigo.
- Mood and Sleep Disorders – The victims of bed bug infestations are at heightened risk of developing insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
While not all individuals will experience these complications, it is important to be aware that bed bug bites are capable of causing these effects.
Signs Bed Bugs Are Infesting Your Hotel or Apartment
There are several warning signs that bed bugs are infesting your apartment or hotel room. These signs include the following:
- Visible bed bugs, typically spotted crawling on bedding or over walls and ceilings. They may also be visible on or around drapes, furniture, carpeting, or even electrical sockets.
- Bed bug stains on your mattress or bedding. These stains are typically dark, small, and have irregular, jagged edges that look similar to a bleeding marker. They may also be mixed in with egg cases and/or molted bed bug skins.
- Unpleasant sweet or musty odors, which may be caused by bed bug pheromones released by specimens in distress.
Texas Bed Bug Injury Lawsuits
Hotels and landlords have a “duty of care” toward residents and visitors, which means that they must take certain actions to ensure a reasonable level of safety. When this duty of care is breached, or violated, innocent people can be seriously hurt.
The success of your bed bug injury claim will depend on your ability to prove that you were harmed by a bed bug infestation, whether physically or financially, due to the negligent acts of one or more parties breaching the duty of care. For instance, the hotel that you stayed in may have failed to adequately inspect or treat rooms for infestations, or your landlord may have failed to disclose a known bed bug infestation when showing you the unit. Our Houston bed bug lawsuit lawyers will leave no stone unturned in our investigation, identifying and vigorously pursuing all parties that may be liable for your injuries.
Houston Bed Bug Claim Attorneys
If you were bitten by bed bugs, you may have a claim against your landlord, the hotel you stayed at, a pest control company, or other parties whose actions contributed to your injuries. To discuss your potential claim in a free, confidential consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online today, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000.