When you check into a hotel in Maryland, you expect clean, safe accommodations that will not expose you to any health risks. While most hotels follow strict protocols for keeping rooms safe and pest-free, some businesses fail to meet basic maintenance duties, leading to serious insect infestations. Bed bug infestations are some of the most common – and most destructive. Bed bug bites can cause serious physical injuries, while guests are forced to destroy and replace their valuable personal property. Bed bugs can also follow hotel guests back to their homes or apartments, causing a new infestation.
If you were bitten by bed bugs at a hotel in Maryland, ask the hotel bed bug attorneys of Whitney, LLP how we can help. Our Maryland bed bug lawyers have years of experience representing hotel and motel guests in personal injury lawsuits against negligent hotel managers, pest control companies, cleaning services, and other parties. We can fight aggressively to recover the compensation you deserve. To set up a free legal consultation with one of our Maryland bed bug attorneys, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000.
What Are Bed Bugs?
The scientific name for the common household bed bug is Cimex lectularius. It is a silent, nocturnal, parasitic insect which feeds exclusively on blood from humans, dogs, cats, and other warm-blooded animals.
In physical appearance, bed bugs range from pale to dark brown, depending on which stage of the life cycle they have reached and how recently they have fed. Like ticks, they possess flexible bodies which elongate and distend to accommodate blood as they feed. However, bed bugs have six legs compared to ticks’ eight.
Bed bugs do not fly, nor can they hop long distances. Instead, they move around by crawling.
Identifying Bed Bug Bites After a Maryland Infestation
Reactions to bed bug bites vary, from nonexistent to severe. Most people fall into a middle ground, with commonly reported reactions including pink, itchy welts that are similar in appearance to mosquito bites. These welts may develop almost immediately after the bed bug feeds, but can take up to several days to appear. Some people do not have any physical reaction to bed bug bites, while others suffer blistering, painful swelling and skin irritation around the bite sites, and other medical issues.
Are Bed Bug Bites Dangerous?
Most people do not experience severe reactions to bed bug bites. However, while adverse reactions are uncommon, they can result in debilitating symptoms and complications when they do occur.
One example is anaphylaxis. Commonly associated with bee stings, anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can potentially be fatal without rapid medical intervention. Effects of anaphylaxis can include nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, respiratory problems, facial swelling, and shock. The anaphylactic response can be triggered by certain proteins in bed bug saliva, small quantities of which enter the host’s body while the bed bug feeds. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to these proteins, while others have little or no reaction.
Other health risks associated with bed bug infestations include permanent scarring, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and various bacterial skin infections, including ecthyma, impetigo, cellulitis, and lymphangitis.
How to Check Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be difficult to spot. While some insects will approach humans, bed bugs generally try to remain hidden until they are ready to feed.
Fortunately, there are several ways to detect these elusive pests. Be on alert for the following warning signs of a bed bug infestation in your hotel room:
- Unusual foul odors, which are usually described as being “musty” or “sweet,” caused by bed bug alarm pheromones
- Dark stains on your mattress, caused by bed bugs defecating or being crushed
Can You Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs in Maryland?
Hotels and their employees are expected to meet certain standards when it comes to providing reasonably safe and clean quarters for guests. Hotels that fail to meet these standards may be held liable for resulting injuries to guests, including injuries related to a bed bug infestation.
It is vital to obtain evidence to prove that a hotel manager or other parties acted negligently, or knowingly checked the guest into an infested room. Examples of sources of evidence could include photos of the bites, expert medical opinions, medical records, hotel maintenance records, and photographs of the infested conditions. Compensation, or “damages,” may be available in Maryland hotel bed bug lawsuits for medical bills, destruction of personal property, and other losses.
Maryland Hotel Bed Bug Infestation Attorneys
At Whitney, LLP, we are dedicated and experienced bed bug litigation attorneys with a reputation for providing strategic, results-oriented legal representation. We are ready to fight tirelessly on you and your family’s behalf. If you were bitten by bed bugs at a hotel in Maryland, ask our attorneys about whether you could have a claim. Contact us online today to set up a free consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.