Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are common occurrences in New York City – particularly during the hot summer months when breeding cycles speed up. With its dense population providing a limitless food supply, NYC is the ideal environment for bed bugs to thrive, from five-star hotels and luxury condos to budget motels and discount shops. If a bed bug infestation has broken out in your hotel or apartment complex, a negligent landlord, property manager, or pest control company may be at fault. By filing a bed bug injury claim, you can pursue compensation while holding the liable parties accountable.
Whitney, LLP is a trusted personal injury law firm with a specific focus on bed bug claims and bed bug-related litigation. If you or one of your family members suffered health complications or financial losses due to a bed bug infestation in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or other boroughs of NYC, our New York bed bug attorneys can help. You may be entitled to compensation, which we will vigorously fight to recover. To learn more about filing a bed bug claim in NYC, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000.
How Can You Tell if You Have Bed Bugs?
The first step to identifying bed bugs is knowing what they look like. Bed bugs, also known as Cimex lectularius, are small, parasitic insects which feed on human and/or animal blood, depending on what is available to them. They are oval-shaped yet flat in appearance, unless they have recently fed, when they become elongated and engorged with blood. Bed begs are normally medium to dark brown in color, with juveniles (“nymphs”) appearing lighter than adults.
There are several warning signs of a bed bug infestation, including the following:
- Molted bed bug skins
- Small, dark stains on your mattress
- The presence of bed bug eggs (or empty egg cases)
- Unusual odors, which can be caused by bed bugs releasing pheromones
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Different people react differently to bed bug bites. Some individuals experience few to no physical effects, while others suffer severe reactions.
In most instances, bed bug bites become noticeable within one to several days of the bites themselves occurring. During this time, the bite sites may swell up, creating pink, itchy welts on the skin that are sometimes mistaken for flea or mosquito bites.
Bed bugs are not choosy feeders, and will take blood from any part of the body which is exposed. This means bites can appear on your back, your arms, your legs, your hands and feet, or even your face and neck. Bed bugs often create straight rows of bite marks, though in some cases the bites are scattered over a wider area.
Can Bed Bugs Be Dangerous to Humans?
While most people do not experience extreme physical reactions to bed bug bites, some individuals suffer serious, even life-threatening complications. For instance, there have been cases of bite-related anaphylaxis – a swift, potentially fatal allergic reaction characterized by shock, nausea, breathing problems, and facial swelling. Usually associated with bee stings, anaphylaxis can also be caused by certain proteins in the bed bug’s saliva, which the insect injects while feeding. Certain individuals are or can become sensitive to these proteins, increasing the risk of a serious allergic reaction.
Bacterial infections are another physical health concern with bed bug bites. Because the bites can be intensely itchy, victims tend to scratch themselves frequently. Excessive scratching can open up cuts on the skin, creating an entry point for harmful bacteria capable of causing infections such as ecthyma, impetigo, lymphangitis, or cellulitis.
Are Landlords, Hotels, and Pest Control Companies Liable for Bed Bug Infestations in NY?
Both New York City and New York State have enacted various regulations to help protect consumers and fight bed bug populations. For instance, the NYC Bed Bug Disclosure Act requires landlords to provide renters with written documentation acknowledging any infestations that have taken place during the preceding year. If landlords or hotel managers fail to notify guests or residents of bed bug infestations, they may be liable for injuries and financial losses their tenants or guests incur as a result.
Pest control companies can also have liability for bed bug infestations, whether such infestation occurs in a private residence, hotel, or motel. For example, pest termination companies may be liable if they lie about the services they have performed, fail to perform the services correctly, or otherwise act negligently.
NYC Bed Bug Infestation Attorneys
A bed bug infestation can be stressful, costly, and embarrassing. It can even place your physical health or that of your loved ones at risk. However, you should know that you are not alone in dealing with this problem. The NYC bed bug lawyers of Whitney, LLP understand what you are going through, and here to provide compassionate counsel regarding your family’s legal options.
We are aggressive litigators who are not afraid to fight powerful hotel chains, insurance providers, or pest control companies to uphold our clients’ rights. We may be able to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses you have sustained due to bed bugs. Call us today at (410) 583-8000 for a free legal consultation, or contact Whitney, LLP online.