When you check into a hotel or motel, you expect to receive clean and safe accommodations. Unfortunately, some hotels fail to meet proper standards, which can lead to bed bug infestations.
Bed bugs are parasitic, blood-sucking insects capable of causing serious health problems. They can also infest your personal belongings, causing extensive and costly property damage. If you were bitten by bed bugs at a hotel or motel in Washington, D.C., turn to the experienced hotel bed bug infestation attorneys of Whitney, LLP for aggressive legal representation. Our dedicated injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, because we are committed to approaching every case strategically. Contact us online today to set up a free consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 today.
How to Check a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs in D.C.
Hotels are generally required to disclose previous infestations, and should avoid knowingly renting out rooms which are currently infested with bed bugs. Unfortunately, some hotels are more compliant than others.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. Consider the following tips for detecting bed bugs the next time you are visiting a hotel or motel:
- Check Bed Bug Reports before your trip. Bed Bug Reports is a searchable, free-to-use online database of bed bug hotel infestation reports. Bed Bug Reports is more active than the Bed Bug Registry, a similar but seldom-updated website.
- Examine your mattress thoroughly as soon as you arrive. Remove all sheets and bedding from your mattress, including pillows, and examine all sides of the mattress and pillows (preferably using a flashlight). You may see live bed bugs, egg cases, or dark, tiny stains, which are caused by bed bugs defecating or being crushed.
- Be alert to unusual odors. Bed bugs can release pheromones that produce a distinctive unpleasant scent. This odor is often described as “musty” or “sweet,” and is frequently compared to almonds or cilantro (coriander).
What a Bed Bug Looks Like
Bed bugs are small, six-legged insects that are normally active at night, which is when they emerge to feed. If the infestation is extreme, bed bugs may be visible during the day.
Bed bugs range from pale yellow-brown to a dark, rusty brown in color, depending on their age, sex, and how recently they have fed. Silent and wingless, they move around by crawling rather than hopping or flying.
The shape of a bed bug can change dramatically while it is feeding. In their normal state, bed bugs appear almost flat when viewed in profile. When feeding, their bodies fill with blood and become elongated, distending into the shape of a seed or tapered tube.
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Unfortunately, identifying bed bug bites can be a challenge due to variations in their appearance. Some people display almost no reaction to being bitten, while others develop puffy pink swellings or welts, which may form painful, oozing blisters. A reaction may occur almost immediately upon being bitten, one day after being bitten, or even several days after feeding has occurred. Bed bug bites are commonly confused with mosquito bites, tick bites, and flea bites. It is wise to consult a physician promptly for expert diagnosis.
Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs in Washington, D.C.
Hotels and motels have a “duty of care” toward guests and visitors, which entails providing reasonably clean and safe quarters. When a hotel fails to do so, and a guest is injured or financially harmed as a result, the hotel may be liable for the guest’s losses. Other parties can also share liability in a bed bug infestation lawsuit, such as negligent pest control companies or cleaning services.
In order to prevail in your claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove that negligence – the careless failure to meet reasonable standards – led to the infestation and resulting physical or financial injuries. Various types of compensation, or “damages,” may be available in a bed bug lawsuit, including compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, property damage, lost income, and other harm you have suffered.
How Bed Bugs Can Injure You
The short answer to this question is yes, potentially. Some people are extremely sensitive to certain proteins in bed bug saliva, which the insect injects while it is feeding. This can cause a severe, rapid-onset, and possibly lethal allergic reaction called “anaphylaxis,” often associated with bee stings.
Bacterial infections are another cause for concern with bed bug infestations. By scratching bed bug bites, victims can tear open their own skin, creating easy entry points for dangerous bacteria. Bed bug bites are commonly linked to skin infections like lymphangitis, cellulitis, impetigo, and ecthyma.
Washington, D.C. Hotel Bed Bug Infestation Attorneys
You should not have to shoulder the cost of another person’s negligence. If you suffered injuries, health problems, or financial losses due to a bed bug infestation in your hotel, count on Whitney, LLP for representation you can trust. For a free legal consultation with an experienced bed bug lawyer in Washington, D.C., contact our law offices online, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.