Are You A Victim of a Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed bugs are a serious problem in the United States. These pesky critters are showing up everywhere — in hotels, homes, apartment buildings, cruise ships, furniture stores, health clubs, and many other places where there are large concentrations of people.
Bed bug infestations have reached epidemic levels in Illinois, California, New York, and Florida. Pest control company Orkin recently released their latest list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities, and three Florida metro areas made the cut:
- Tampa-St. Petersburg (#31)
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne (#38)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (#43)
Know Your Rights
If you or a loved suffered from severe bed bug bites in South Florida, you may have legal recourse against a negligent landlord, property manager, or hotel owner.
Contact the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. at 800-555-4011 for a free and confidential consultation to find out what legal options are available to you.
For over 20 years, our bed bug attorneys have helped individuals and families recover the compensation they deserve after suffering a bed bug attack.
We offer a No Win Zero Fee Guarantee. We are a contingency based firm, which means you don’t owe us a dime unless we win a settlement or jury verdict in your favor.
Compensation for a Bed Bug Bite or Infestation
As a personal injury victim, you are entitled to recover losses sustained in a bed bug attack, including:
- Medical and health-related expenses (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages (clothing, luggage, furniture and household items)
- Loss of wages due to inability to work
- Loss of future earning capacity due to long-term or permanent disability
- Long-term and permanent scarring and skin disfigurement
- Temporary lodging
- Punitive damages — awarded if the liable landlord or property owner acted with a reckless disregard for your safety
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed on human blood. These vampire-like parasites are microscopic in size (resemble an apple seed) and can be very elusive.
They hide in:
- Cracks and crevices
- Behind baseboards
- In wooded furniture
- Between mattress seams and box springs
- In electrical switch plates
- Picture frames
- And many other places.
Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but they do have sticky legs which enables them to “hitch” a ride on a person, animal, suitcase, furniture or other movable item.
Because they can be easily transported from one location to another, they have earned the nickname “hitchhikers.” This means that if you were bitten by bed bugs in a hotel, there’s a good chance you may bring them back home with you.
Bed bugs are nocturnal and therefore only attack at night. They emerge when they sense a sleeping person’s body heat and smell the carbon dioxide coming from their breath. When bed bugs find an unsuspecting host to feed on, they penetrate the skin and suck the blood from blood vessels.
Common Injuries Caused by Bed Bugs
Waking up and discovering that you’ve been attacked by bed bugs can be extremely distressing. In some cases, bites may not appear until days later.
Regardless, no one should have to endure the physical and emotional trauma resulting from an encounter with bed bugs.
The good news is that bed bugs do not carry any known pathogens or diseases. Some of the most common injuries resulting from a bed bugs attack may include:
- Severe skin rashes
- Itching, blistering of skin
- Post bite bacterial infections
- Allergic reactions
- Mental anguish and psychological damage (insomnia, fear, anxiety, paranoia, PTSD)
- Permanent scarring
What To Do After A Bed Bug Attack
A bed bug infestation is traumatic no matter where it occurs – whether it’s at a hotel, in your own home, or in another public facility.
If you have been injured by bed bugs, we suggest you take the following proactive steps to preserve your rights and begin the process of building a strong claim:
- Document your injuries and property damage by taking pictures of the bed bugs and bites, as well as any blood stains on sheets
- Create a written report with details about the attack including the date it occurred, location, and any and all witnesses who have knowledge of the attack
- Create a list of belongings that have been damaged and need to be replaced
- If possible, trap a few bed bugs for evidence
- Report the bed bug infestation to your landlord/apartment manager or hotel front desk and/or management
- Seek medical attention at an emergency room, urgent care or dermatologist
- Contact the local county health department and ask them to visit the site of infestation and create a report
- Keep track of all your receipts for cleaning bills, extermination costs, medical costs and travel expenses
Do NOT sign a release document presented to you by a landlord or hotel without speaking with an attorney.
If you sign this document, you are essentially waiving your right to file a claim against the negligent party and will be unable to seek compensation for your injury.
“I Have Bed Bugs In My Apartment, What Do I Do?”
If you have a bed bug infestation in your apartment, immediately report it to your landlord or property manager.
According to Statute 83.51 of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, landlords are responsible for eradicating bed bugs from the premises. They should take immediate action by calling an exterminator to inspect your apartment and take care of the infestation.
While your apartment is being exterminated, you are permitted to vacate the premises until the issue is resolved. In most cases, your landlord’s insurance will cover temporary housing.
“Is My Landlord Liable For Bed Bugs?”
Every landlord in Florida must ensure that their properties are habitable or fit for human occupancy. However, the mere presence of bed bugs in your apartment does not automatically give rise to landlord liability.
Rather, you need to prove that your landlord and/or property manager did the following:
- Failed to follow industry-standard bed bug inspection and treatment procedures;
- Failed to disclose known histories of bed bug infestations in the apartment building;
- Failed to repair or remedy the beg bug infestation
“I Was Attacked By Bed Bugs In a Hotel. Are They Liable?”
If you’ve recently stayed at a hotel that was infested by bed bugs, you may be entitled to compensation. Hotel owners and staff owe a duty to guests to provide a safe and habitable environment, free from knowable hazards.
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if the:
- Hotel owner failed to warn you of a pre-existing bed bug infestation
- Hotel owner, housekeeping and/or maintenance staff did not properly inspect for bed bugs
- Hotel owner, housekeeping and/or maintenance staff did not implement proper procedures or protocols for bed bugs
Make sure to file an injury report with the front desk clerk or property manager. Obtain the person’s name and contact information. Inquire about when the room was last inspected and cleaned and get the names of the cleaning company or cleaning staff.
If you or a loved one are a victim of a bed bug attack, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. at 800-555-4011 to receive a Free case evaluation.
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