Anyone who has ever been bitten by bedbugs knows that it is a very unpleasant experience. These little menacing critters like to hide in mattresses, bedding, and other items that humans frequently use. To make things worse, they wait to attack when you are the most vulnerable: when you are sleeping.
Hotels are required to adhere to certain standards when it comes to pest control and if you have been bitten by bedbugs while staying at a hotel, you may be asking yourself, Can you sue a hotel for bedbugs? In most circumstances, the answer is yes, but you may require the help of a personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL trusts to seek compensation for injuries and damages.
What Are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small, flat parasitic insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans while they sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bedbugs are a resurging problem all over the world that causes inconvenience, property loss, and expense. The bites from these pests are extremely painful and itchy and may cause loss of sleep, among other problems.
Bedbugs are not known to spread any diseases or considered dangerous, but they do pose a health risk. It all depends on the severity of the bites. They can become a bigger problem if they cause allergic reactions or skin infections as a result of excessive scratching.
Evidence of Bedbugs
In order to successfully sue a hotel for bedbugs, it all boils down to whether you can prove negligence. This will require proof showing that the hotel failed to properly inspect the premises or failed to properly deal with a known bedbug infestation. Proving negligence in these specific cases can be difficult: bedbugs are not easy to kill, and even if one bug is left alive, it can repopulate an entire home very quickly.
If you have a smartphone or camera, you should take pictures of the hotel room and the bedbugs to provide as evidence later. Bedbugs can usually be located in the fold of mattresses and sheets. They also leave rusty-colored spots on mattress where they excrete their blood-filled fecal matter.
You should also take pictures of any bite marks. Bedbug bites usually look similar to a mosquito or a flea bite. Oftentimes, bedbug bites will appear in a straight line but sometimes they appear randomly.
It may also be difficult to prove negligence if no one informed the hotel management about the bedbugs or reported actual bites. Although hotels have a legal obligation to inspect an area when there is a report of any kind of bug infestation, some courts may side with the hotel due to the fact that these bugs can reproduce so quickly. Sometimes, they can even reappear even after pest control treatment has been done.
Sometimes there are clear-cut situations where you can find more than enough evidence to prove that the hotel improperly monitored or totally ignored a bedbug infestation. In these situations, you can file a lawsuit to seek reimbursement for the following:
- New luggage and clothing
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Temporary lodging
- Home inspections
- Pest control treatment of your home
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Lawyer
Bedbug bites can be considered a serious injury — just like a slip and fall accident or a car accident. If you have been a victim of bedbugs while staying at a hotel, you should contact a personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL relies on to find out more about how to file your claim.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury practice.