One of the most unpleasant experiences a hotel guest could have is waking up following a good night’s sleep covered in itchy bites. Unfortunately, bed bugs can make their home just about anywhere, and hotels are among their favorite dwellings, with plenty of potential victims.
If you or a loved one has sustained bed bug bite injuries and believe that hotel management or owners are responsible, you may be able to recover compensation. Here are some things to consider if you want to sue a hotel for bed bugs.
Hotel Owners’ Responsibility
Hotel owners are expected to properly maintain hotels to ensure bed bugs don’t spread throughout a hotel and harm guests.
Many often assume that they can’t sue a hotel because they’re not residents of the location of the hotel, but the fact is that hotels are liable for any damages resulting from negligence, and bed bug bites are no exception.
Hotels are required to keep all guests safe from harm by preventing bed bug infestations throughout the entire facility. Preventative measures may include regular cleaning, disposal of contaminated bedding and mattresses or other furniture, fumigation, or extermination.
If hotel owners fail to prevent infestations or eliminate existing ones, guests who are harmed as a result of this negligence could file a lawsuit against the hotel.
Even if a guest is injured after checking out and carries the bed bugs home, he or she can still file a claim against the hotel for causing an infestation at the victim’s home.
Signs of Bed Bugs in Hotels
It can sometimes be difficult to identify a bed bug infestation based on bites alone, seeing as they share certain characteristics with allergic reactions or other sources. However, there are certain signs of an infestation that you can look for when staying at a hotel.
While you may be able to determine if you were bitten by bed bugs based on the red linear or zigzag bites that appear, you can also look for other signs such as bed bug excrement, which will appear dark brown or black, small white eggs, sheddings, or adult bed bugs themselves that resemble small apple seeds.
Before settling in your hotel room, you should check for common hiding spots where bed bugs often reside. These areas include bedding, behind headboards and baseboards, inside mattress seams or between box springs, or even behind picture frames. Generally, bed bugs prefer areas that are dark and damp.
Bed bugs can also sometimes leave a smell that’s sharp and sweet when crushed.
All of these signs can indicate an infestation that you should report to hotel management immediately.
What You Need to File a Bed Bug Claim
If you would like to file a lawsuit against a hotel for a bed bug infestation and any bites sustained, you will require proof of injury and their source.
If you require treatment for your bites, collect any receipts from your doctor or pharmacy along with discharge reports. Take photos and videos of injuries and the hotel room if possible, which can further help you build your case.
If you discover any evidence of a bed bug infestation in a hotel room following your stay, collect evidence before leaving. In many cases, hotel management will take steps to mitigate the infestation and respond to your complaints promptly, but if they fail to, this can also help you prove negligence in your case.
Ultimately, the evidence is crucial to any bed bug case, particularly when trying to prove that hotel owners’ negligence was responsible for your injuries.
Types of Recoverable Damages for Hotel Bed Bug Bites
For victims of bed bug bite injuries, there are several types of compensation that they may be able to recover. These damages can include physical, emotional, and financial losses, including:
Medical expenses resulting from treatment
- Room rental expenses
- Emotional and physical distress
- Luggage or even home fumigation if the bed bugs infest the victim’s residence
- Other expenses pertaining to the injury
While bed bug bites may not seem severe, the fact is that these insects can spread diseases that may complicate your injuries. As a result, treatment for bed bug bites could be extensive, culminating in costly medical expenses.
These monetary and non-monetary damages can significantly impact the value of the bed bug case. If you are unsure about the types of compensation you may be able to recover for bed bug injuries due to a hotel’s negligence, it’s important to consult with a bed bug expert to discuss your options.