At Whitney, LLP, we are committed to protecting renters from careless and negligent landlords. Our Maryland apartment bed bug lawyers have been fighting for tenants since 1992, giving us more than 25 years of legal experience in the area of bed bug litigation. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, and now, our attorneys are ready to pursue your claim with the same focus and tenacity that has earned us our reputation for aggressive, effective legal advocacy. To discuss your claim in a free and completely confidential consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 today.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, parasitic insects that emerge at night to feed on warm-blooded hosts. Though they prefer to feed on humans, they will also drink blood from cats, dogs, and other available food sources.
Bed bugs’ appearances change depending on how recently they have fed. Unfed bed bugs are flattened and oval-shaped, measuring just a few millimeters. Bed bugs that have recently fed are closer to one quarter inch, and have a tubular, cigar-like shape.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Not only are bed bugs financially destructive, they can also be physically harmful. For most people, bite symptoms are limited to mild swelling and itching – but for a smaller number of individuals, reactions can be extremely severe.
For example, some people can have an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which produces symptoms like facial swelling, breathing problems, and shock. Additionally, the wounds from scratching or picking at bites make perfect entry points for bacteria, which can cause serious skin infections including impetigo, lymphangitis, and ecthyma. Furthermore, sleep and mood disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression are widely reported among victims of extreme apartment infestations.
How to Tell if Your Apartment Has Bed Bugs
Landlords in Maryland are generally required to disclose bed bug infestations to prospective renters. Unfortunately, many landlords withhold this information, sacrificing health and safety in the quest to obtain more tenants. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check the apartment for signs of bed bugs – even if the landlord claims the unit or property is infestation-free. Warning signs include egg cases, molted skins, or dark stains on your mattress; foul, musty odors; or the visible presence of bed bugs, which can crawl on walls or ceilings.
How Did My Apartment Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tough, hardy, and adaptable pests that are drawn to their food source: blood. They are easily capable of traveling cross-country in luggage or clothing, which means they can be “imported” into your building from virtually anywhere. They are skilled at hiding in cracks and crevices, which, combined with their nocturnal schedule, means that infestations often go undetected. Though landlords must provide tenants with safe and habitable units, issues like careless or infrequent property maintenance often prove to be critical factors in cases where apartments have become infested.
Can I Sue My Landlord for Bed Bugs in Maryland?
You may be able to sue your landlord for bed bugs in Maryland. The success of your bed bug claim will depend on factors like the causes of the infestation, when the infestation occurred, and whether you were injured (or financially harmed) as a result. To prevail in your claim, you will need to provide evidence of your injuries and their underlying causes, such as medical records, photos of the bites, and photos of the infested unit. You will also need to show that your landlord’s actions – or, your landlord’s failure to take certain actions – were what caused the infestation and resulting injuries.
It’s important to be aware that each county in Maryland has its own unique regulatory code establishing landlord pest control duties. Make sure that you choose an attorney who has handled bed bug lawsuits in your county, and can guide you through the process of gathering evidence and preparing your claim.
Maryland Apartment Bed Bug Lawsuit Attorneys
By law, Maryland landlords are required to provide tenants with safe and habitable housing units. Landlords who fail to meet this basic standard can be held liable for resulting tenant injuries. Our attorneys can fight against your landlord, the property manager, or other parties to recover compensation for your losses. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, bed bug eradication, the destruction and replacement of your personal property, and even costs associated with moving due to the infestation.
We will fight tirelessly to maximize your recovery, gathering vital evidence, coordinating with medical experts, dealing with insurers, protecting your legal rights, and challenging “low-ball” settlement offers that do not fairly compensate your injuries. To learn more about filing a lawsuit against your landlord for an apartment bed bug infestation in Maryland, contact our law offices online, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 for a free consultation.