Bed Bug Lawyer & Attorney in Chicago
Affectionately called the “The Windy City”, Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S. and is home to 2.7 million people.
Chicago sees an astounding amount of tourists all year round, with a major influx during the spring and summer months. While this is great for business, it often means that temporary residences such as hotels and Airbnbs are full of new people every day.
The foot traffic from tourists along with the existing population density is leading to a rise in bed bug infestations.
These little critters usually appear out of of neglect but they can spread quickly and cause long term suffering. If you believe that the hotel you’re staying in or the furniture you’ve purchased has bed bugs due to the hotel or shop owner’s negligence, then you have come to the right place.
We can connect you with licensed personal injury lawyers to discuss your situation.
There are no fees unless you win your case.
What Are Bed Bugs?
In reality some insects benefit the world, while others set out to complicate life on earth. After decades of absence in the mid 20th century, bed bugs have come back for a vengeance.
These insects have evolved in the following ways:
- Increased resiliency to common pesticides
- The ability to live for months without food
- The reproductive capabilities to spread extremely fast
The common bed bug, Cimex Lectularius, is a small insect, generally around 3mm, and feeds exclusively on human blood.
Their biology reflects that of an external parasite, with a high fertility and high mobility. Though the bed bug lost its wings, it adapted well to hitchhiking with its hosts. These creatures will hide in your clothing, luggage, or furniture for long periods of time.
Because of its centuries old companionship with humans, bed bugs are widely distributed throughout the world. Our ability to travel has increased, along with the psychological and social stigma associated with infestations.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs, as the name suggest, are most commonly found lurking in beds, but they can be found in furniture, covers, and sheets, behind picture frames or on baseboards.
You will need to prove that they have appeared due to the negligence of your landlord, previous homeowner, furniture shop owner, or hotel owner. Just remember, bed bugs aren’t in any way embarrassing.
An infestation can happen to anyone. You need to ask for help immediately, as bed bugs can appear even in spotless homes through no fault of your own.
It’s important to consult with the proper help to make sure you take necessary action to build your case. Evidence of the infestation is important, and a bed bug lawyer can walk you through everything you need to create a strong case.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
These tiny little bugs can easily slip through the smallest cracks and hide in blankets, sheets or furniture if people don’t take all the necessary precautions.
Chicago hotels see a lot of foot traffic every day and it only takes one irresponsible traveler to spread bed bugs all over the city.
The problem is infestations can go unnoticed. People can get bed bugs on their clothes while staying at a hotel and don’t discover them until they’ve come home and unpacked.
Bed bugs are also known to hide in furniture purchased from used furniture stores so it’s important to do periodic inspections of your belongings.
All these scenarios could be the result of negligence and if you’ve been the victim of a bed bug infestation, your landlord or hotel owner can be held liable under Illinois law.
What Are The Health Risks?
A vast amount of scientific research has shown that bed bugs are carriers of pathogens and can transmit a variety of diseases to humans. According to research done by the National Institutes of Health in 2011, there are “45 candidate pathogens potentially transmitted by bed bugs”.
In addition, according to research done by the Public Library of Science (PLOS) in 2015 bed bugs can transmit “Bartonella Quintana, the etiologic agent of trench fever and other human diseases.”
As stated by the American Academy of Dermatology some more serious symptoms caused by bed bug bites include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen tongue
- Infection from scratching
- Anemia (rare)
If you have been exposed to bed bugs and experienced severe symptoms or even had adverse psychological effects of bed bugs, get in touch with a medical professional.
Before anything else, you should focus on treating your bed bug injuries.
Illinois Bed Bug Laws & Regulation
The laws on bed bugs will differ based on where you live, so it’s important to stay informed and check local ordinances for any specific rules related to bed bug infestations.
Note: You’re always able to contact your local government with any specific questions.
On the state level, Illinois law requires landlords to supply their tenants with an apartment that’s considered “habitable.”
Unless a tenant brought bed bugs into the property, in most circumstances the landlord is required to pay for services to remove bed bugs entirely.
To help remove an infestation and prevent further infestations it is encouraged that tenants used proven DIY methods to stop reoccurrence.
Businesses that rent used furniture or electronic equipment are required to inspect their furniture before it gets in the customer’s hands.
Chicago Bed Bug Law
In 2013, Chicago passed a law that requires landlords to provide tenants with educational information on bed bugs. In that sense both landlords and tenants share the duty of preventing an infestation.
As a tenant, you must tell your landlord within five days of either witnessing or suspecting a bed bug infestation.
You and your landlord should cooperate on:
- Not interfering with an inspection or a professional treatment
- Discard any items based on the request of pest control
- Allow full access to your unit
Landlords have up to ten days to have a professional inspection for an apartment after being notified. If the landlord fails to take action within that time frame you can consider writing a bed bug demand letter.
What Kind of Damages or Losses Can I Recover with a Chicago Bed Bug Lawyer?
A good Chicago bed bug lawyer will help you build a case and get compensated for both monetary and non-monetary damages incurred from a bed bug infestation.
Monetary damages are related to expenses such as:
- Medical treatment – Cost of hospital visits, medication etc.
- professional extermination
- Damage to personal belongings
- Lost wages – From time off work while focusing on bed bug removal and recovery.
Non-monetary damages are related to things such as:
- Pain & suffering – due to emotional trauma and long term effects on mental health.
- Social isolation – due to fear of not wanting your friends and family to find out what happened to you because of the stigma related to bed bugs.
- Changes in appearance: scarring or any cosmetic disfigurement that occurs as a result of the bites.
Chicago Bed Bug Case Example:
In 2015 a man filed a lawsuit against an apartment complex which had ongoing bed bug infestations. In the civil complaint, the man indicates that the property owner and management breached the implied warranty of habitability in his lease.
Management was hit was $320,000 in punitive damages from the injuries that the victims suffered. The injuries consisted of over 100 bites and significant scarring on the victim’s face.
How Much Compensation Can I receive From Lawsuit?
The amount of money you get is extremely variable and is dependent on the value of a bed bug settlement. The value of the settlement depends on the severity of the losses sustained by the victim.
Get connected with bed bug lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your pre-litigation bed bug case representation and possible recovery of your losses due to bed bugs.