“My apartment has bed bugs what are my rights?” It is a question we frequently hear from renters who have suffered serious harm due to the negligence of a landlord. While every case is different, if tenants can prove that their landlords failed to properly address a bed bug infestation, then the tenants can sue for damages in the state of Maryland.
Whitney, LLP’s lawyers for bed bugs help injured guests and tenants bring claims, file lawsuits, and obtain settlements and compensation against Maryland hotels, landlords and apartments for infestations. We help victims recover compensation for bed bug bites, scarring, emotional distress and property damage.
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Bed Bugs: An Overview
Bed bugs are very small insects that thrive in mattresses, furniture, drapes, clothes, backpacks, linens and carpets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency consider them public health pests that cause injury and property damage.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not attracted to filth. They are just as prevalent in clean spaces as they are dirty ones. The only things they need to survive are human hosts to munch on at night and daytime hiding spots.
Interestingly, public health officials were confident that they had eliminated bed bugs back in the 1950s. For decades, it seemed they were correct, but in 2000, bed bugs reemerged in the United States with a vengeance. Analysts estimate that one in five Americans has either had personal contact with bed bugs or knows someone who has.
After an infestation arises, tenants ask their landlord My Apartment Has Bed Bugs What Are My Rights? However, landlords are not always honest about tenants rights.
Bed Bug Infestations in Apartment Buildings
Bed bugs can find their way into apartment buildings in various ways. Often, a lack of proper pest control by management is to blame. That can involve neglect on the part of property managers and failure to treat the infestation promptly and properly.
Sometimes, other residents introduce bed bugs. Usually, vacations and business trips are to blame. Someone goes away and stays at a hotel or guesthouse with bed bugs. Unknowingly, your neighbor could transport insects back in their luggage, triggering an outbreak. Moreover, if a building has hairline cracks, the insects can travel from apartment to apartment with ease.
Once bed bugs nest and start reproducing, it takes professional pest control services to squelch a colony.
Bed Bug Personal Injury Lawsuits
In Maryland, infestation lawsuits typically take the shape of personal injury claims. Duty of care standards, which require landlords to provide sanitary living spaces, also come into play. In the past, we have sued for our clients and recovered compensation for:
- Allergic reactions that needed medical attention
- Itching, discomfort, scarring and tissue damage caused by bed bug bites
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD, insomnia and anxiety brought on by an infestation
The statute of limitations for apartment-related bed bug lawsuits is three years from the time of injury. However, the sooner you file, the better.
Evidence and Notice in Bed Bug Cases
Not all bed bug lawsuits resolve in the claimants’ favor, especially when they lack proof. Every lawsuit involves an investigation. As such, gathering the necessary proof and documentation is of paramount importance. If you plan to move forward with a legal action, take pictures of any skin irritation caused by bites. Better yet, try to catch one or more insects in a container and photograph them.
Immediately reporting bed bugs is also essential. As a tenant, you have a responsibility to alert the property owner of problems. If you never inform the property manager or landlord, they will claim they were never put on notice of your problem.
Possible Damages for Apartment Bed Bug Litigation
There are different types of damages and compensation that bed bug claimants can pursue. The list is long and includes items like:
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Mental anguish
- Extermination and fumigation costs
My Apartment Has Bed Bugs What Are My Rights?
It is possible to win a bed bug lawsuit in Maryland if your landlord or property manager is responsible for the infestation. Claimants can seek damages for a host of injuries ranging from physical pain to emotional distress. Chances of winning a bed bug lawsuit increase the sooner you file because it is harder to prove that a landlord is at fault for an insect issue two years after the fact. If your apartment was infested and you believe the property manager is at fault, a bed bug attorney can help.
If you were the victim of a bed bug infested apartment, hotel, rental or Airbnb in Maryland, contact Whitney, LLP’s bed bug attorneys.