Bed bugs are destructive pests that feed on blood and infest personal property. A bed bug infestation can lead to serious medical issues, major financial losses, and even the development of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. If you suffered injuries or sustained financial losses due to a bed bug infestation at an apartment or hotel in Silver Spring, the Maryland bed bug litigation attorneys of Whitney, LLP can help. Depending on what caused the infestation and how you were affected by it, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a bed bug lawsuit in Maryland.
With decades of combined experience handling personal injury cases, our Silver Spring bed bug lawyers are ready to provide aggressive legal representation for you and your family. We will thoroughly investigate the causes of the infestation to determine whether a landlord, exterminator, hotel manager, cleaning service, property owner, or other parties were to blame for your injuries. Contact us online to set up a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to discuss your potential bed bug claim with an attorney today.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Similar to ticks, bed bugs swell dramatically while feeding, growing longer and changing in shape from flattened to tube-like. Unfed bed bugs are several millimeters long, whereas recently fed specimens are closer to one quarter inch.
Due to their diminutive size, bed bugs can be tricky to identify. However, the following traits help to distinguish them from other insects:
- Lack of wings or stinger
- Rapid crawling on horizontal or vertical surfaces
- Ridged, partially transparent bodies
- Wideset eyes on opposite sides of the head
Recognizing Bed Bug Bites
Physical reactions to bed bug bites – which can appear in straight, zig-zagging, or random line patterns – are widely varied. Depending on the individual who was bitten, potential reactions include the following:
- No Reaction – Some people do not exhibit any physical symptoms, even after sustaining multiple bites.
- Mild to Moderate Reaction – Most people develop small, itchy, pink bumps, similar to mosquito bites, within hours or days of the initial feeding. The swelling is more pronounced in some people, with possible blistering and tenderness.
- Severe Reaction – A small number of people suffer from serious complications, discussed in the following section.
Bed Bug Health Risks
Bed bug bites can lead to a range of mental and physical health complications. Examples of health issues linked to bed bugs include the following:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis refers to a serious, possibly life-threatening allergic response, triggered in a small number of individuals by proteins called “antigens” in bed bug saliva. Effects of anaphylaxis may include facial swelling, trouble breathing normally, weakness, nausea or vomiting, confusion, and/or shock.
- Infections – Secondary bacterial infections, such as lymphangitis and impetigo, can develop through open wounds caused by picking or scratching at itchy bite marks.
- Mood and Sleep Disorders – Anxiety, insomnia, and depression are all common experiences among victims of bed bug infestations, particularly in cases where the infestation is prolonged.
In addition, bed bug bites can leave deep and unsightly scars behind, which can create ongoing distress for the victim. These scars may be difficult or impossible to completely remove, even with cutting-edge medical treatments.
Maryland Bed Bug Claims Against Landlords and Hotels in Silver Spring
Municipal ordinances are often more relevant to bed bug claims than state or federal laws. In Maryland, each county enforces slightly different landlord-tenant regulations, impacting liability in cases involving infested apartment units. Since Silver Spring is part of Montgomery County, the relevant set of regulations is the Montgomery County Code.
Chapter 29 of the Code addresses “landlord-tenant relations.” This includes which types of clauses must be featured in residential rental leases, outlining what landlords are responsible for doing – or preventing. According to Section 29-27(m), each lease must feature a clause “that the landlord will deliver the leased premises and all common areas in a clean, habitable and sanitary condition, free of rodents and vermin, and in complete compliance with all applicable laws.” If a unit becomes infested by bed bugs, it is arguably no longer in “clean, habitable and sanitary condition,” putting the landlord out of compliance – and potentially, at fault for your injuries.
The regulations controlling hotels are more complex, but speaking broadly, hotels (along with motels, inns, and resorts) are responsible for ensuring that accommodations are reasonably free of hazards to guests. By failing to inspect for, detect, and exterminate bed bugs, hotels may be acting negligently, creating liability for bed bug bites and related property damage or medical costs.
Silver Spring Bed Bug Lawsuit Attorneys
Most personal injury firms are focused on car crashes and other types of auto accidents. If your injuries were caused by bed bugs, you need an attorney who has specific experience in this unique area of the law.
At Whitney, LLP, we are personal injury lawyers who have a strong focus on bed bug litigation – and the record of awards and settlements to prove it. We know the regulations, we know the defense tactics, and most importantly, we know what it takes to make your claim as robust as possible. We will deal with your landlord, insurance company, and other parties who might be involved in your claim, protecting you against low-ball settlement offers or violations of your tenant rights.
If you were bitten by bed bugs at a hotel or apartment building in Silver Spring, Whitney, LLP is here to help. To speak with a Silver Spring bed bug attorney in a free legal consultation, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online to get started.