Were you exposed to bed bugs while staying at an Airbnb? In recent years, Airbnb has exploded in popularity due to the many types of properties that are available on their website. In addition to vacations rentals, shared rooms, and cabins in the woods, you can find long-term lodgings with monthly rates, similar to renting an apartment. Unfortunately, many renters end up in properties that are unsafe for a number of reasons, including the presence of bed bugs.
A bed bug infestation is much more than a mere nuisance; these critters can cause extensive scarring and bacterial infections through the area where the person is bitten. This can be particularly dangerous to babies and small children, or anyone with a compromised immune system. If the bed bugs get into your clothes or other belongings, you may have to throw them away, which can be very costly depending on the value of those items. We also have to consider the emotional trauma of being bitten by bed bugs and the resulting psychological effects, such as nightmares, anxiety, and hypervigilance.
Bed Bug Legal Group is here for you if negligence by an Airbnb host caused you to suffer from bed bug bites. We will take immediate action on your case and fight for every penny you deserve from an Airbnb bed bug infestation lawsuit. Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation.
How do I know if I was Bitten by Bed Bugs?
Many people confuse bed bugs with fleas or ticks, so it’s important to understand the characteristics that are specific to bed bugs. These insects are reddish brown with a flat and round body. They can only crawl, unlike fleas that can jump long distances. In addition, bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, so they usually come out at night, though you can find traces of them (bed bug eggs, streaks of excrement) in the following places:
- Behind picture frames
- Beneath rugs and carpets
- Between the mattress and box spring
- Underneath couch cushions
- Inside drawers or closets containing clothes / linens
- Behind electrical outlets
Because of their nocturnal nature, bites typically occur during the night while you are sleeping. Most people stay asleep due to an anesthetic in the bug’s saliva, meaning they can feast on a victim for up to 10 minutes at a time. In the morning, the victim wakes up with a series of swollen, red itchy marks that appear in a cluster or a straight line. If you notice the signs of a bed bug infestation while you’re staying at an Airbnb, please seek medical attention right away. Some people are severely allergic to bed bugs, while others have little to no reaction. However, these symptoms may not appear right away, so it’s best to see a doctor before you develop painful swelling, blistering, and in the worst cases – anaphylaxis.
What is the Average Case Value of a Bed Bug Lawsuit against Airbnb?
People are understandable curious about the average value for one of these cases, but this can be a difficult question to answer. There are many details that are specific to each claimant, like the level of injuries they’ve sustained and how those injuries impact their life. If we had to give an estimate, a bed bug lawsuit may be worth $25,000 to $500,000 on average. But settlements can exceed these amounts based on many factors, which we will discuss in the next section.
Factors that Affect the Value of your Airbnb Bed Bug Claim
There is a significant range in the value of bed bug infestation claims due to many factors that determine what your case is worth. What are these factors, and how can they affect the value of your lawsuit against Airbnb?
To answer that question, consider the following elements:
- How many bed bug bites did you sustain?
- How long were you exposed to the infestation (days, weeks, or months)?
- How severe are your injuries from the bed bug bites, i.e., if you have permanent scars or developed an infection?
- Did you miss time from work as a result of your injuries?
- What is the level of your mental / emotional distress from the ordeal of dealing with a bed bug infestation?
- Did the bed bugs cause damage to your personal belongings?
- What is the cost of medical expenses – including mental health counseling – that were needed to treat your injuries from the bed bug infestation?
As you can see, there is a lot of ground to cover before we can approximate how much your case is worth. To get started on a claim and obtain the damages you deserve, contact the attorneys of Bed Bug Legal Group.
Compensation from a Bed Bug Injury Lawsuit
Victims of a bed bug infestation suffer from a variety of physical, mental, and financial issues, which can be expensive to recover from. If an Airbnb host’s intentional or negligent acts caused you harm and suffering, you can sue the host and/or the company for:
- Medical costs, such as hospital visits, medications, antibiotics, and other treatments that are needed for the bed bug bites.
- Future medical expenses if there are permanent injuries like scarring and disfigurement.
- Pain and suffering due to the emotional trauma of being exposed to bed bugs, and mental health issues resulting from that trauma, such as PTSD, insomnia, and panic attacks.
- Property damage for personal belonging you were forced to throw away (clothes, luggage, furniture, etc.)
- Lost wages / loss of future income for missed time at work due to your recovery needs.
- Reimbursement of fees for extermination and fumigation – if staying at a long-term rental, you may have been forced to call an exterminator due to the Airbnb host’s failure to take care of the infestation.
Recent Bed Bug Lawsuit Settlements and Verdicts
Now that we’ve talked about the factors that affect the value of your claim, let’s take a look at previous verdicts and settlements for bed bug cases in the United States. Keep in mind that each award is based on the victim’s personal circumstances. What you can receive from a bed bug lawsuit depends on the details of your case.
- $40,000 for a woman whose apartment was infested by bed bugs. The landlord finally arranged for the apartment to be fumigated after one and a half months of doing nothing. During that time, the tenant was bitten by bed bugs on a daily basis.
- $90,125 for a family of five that moved into a duplex, which was infested by bed bugs. This was known to the landlord, but he failed to inform the tenants or take any actions towards resolving the infestation. Each member of the family suffered from bed bug bites all over their body.
- $300,000 for a man who sued his landlord for a bed bug infestation in his apartment. The case went to trial, where the plaintiff was able to prove that he suffered permanent skin damage from the bed bug bites.
- $546,000 for a family that took their case to trial. The family had stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn, where they soon discovered that their room was infested with bed bugs. Aside from their injuries, they were forced to find new accommodations, as the hotel was completely booked.
- $1.6 million for a family that was exposed to a severe bed bug infestation in their apartment. The bites were severe enough to cause permanent scarring to one of their children, who was a baby at the time.
- $3.5 million for 16 residents of an apartment complex. Bed bugs had been a problem at the complex for several years, yet the owner failed to resolve the infestation. The tenants suffered innumerable bed bug bites, resulting in bodily harm and emotional trauma.
Who Can I Sue for my Bed Bug Injuries?
Clearly, it’s essential to know who to go after when you have suffered bed bug bites through no fault of your own. In the case of an Airbnb rental, you likely have two questions running through your mind:
Can I sue the Airbnb host since I was injured on their property?
Yes, you can sue the Airbnb host under California’s laws of premises liability. Essentially, this law obligates property owners to provide a clean and safe rental space for their guests. This includes checking the premises for hazards like bed bugs and taking immediate action if there is an infestation. Unfortunately, many Airbnb hosts fail to take reasonable measures, like fumigating their property, when they’re told about a bed bug issue.
Others fail to inspect the property before renting it out to a guest, meaning they are unaware of the bed bug infestation. However, they would have noticed it if they looked over the premises ahead of time, meaning they should have been aware of the problem. This also counts as negligence, which entitles you to compensation from the Airbnb host if you sustained bed bug injuries during your stay.
Can I sue Airbnb for bed bug bites since the property was advertised on their website?
Many people try to go after Airbnb for their injuries from a bed bug infestation, and it’s true that the company offers insurance coverage for up to $1 million for “legal liability to a guest or third party for bodily injury or property damage due to an incident that occurs during a guest’s Airbnb Stay.” Items covered under this policy include bed bugs, thus Airbnb is responsible for handling all customer complaints involving infestations at one of their listings.
For example, let’s say the company was told by former guests that there was a bed bug issue on one of their properties. Some guests also posted reviews about the home to warn other Airbnb users, but the reviews were removed or ignored by the company. Due to their failure to investigate the complaints or terminate the host’s account, Airbnb may be liable in a lawsuit for bed bug injuries, even though they are not the actual property owner. Liability in a personal injury claim is a complex issue, so please speak with one of our lawyers to determine who is responsible for your bed bug injuries.
How long will it take to Settle my Case?
The settlement timeline for an Airbnb bed bug claim is not something we can predict ahead of time, but it’s always our goal to recover a client’s payment within 6 to 8 months of submitting the injury claim. Of course, a lot of this has to do with the defendant’s willingness to admit fault and work on achieving a fair settlement. Generally, this becomes harder to do with high value cases, as no company is willing to part with a huge sum of money. Depending on the value of your economic and emotional damages, settling your bed bug injury case can take anywhere from a year to 18 months. If your case proceeds to a lawsuit, two or more years may be needed to ensure that you are fairly compensated by the other party.
Statute of Limitations for Bed Bug Lawsuits
The state of California allows victims 2 years from the date of their injuries to file a bed bug infestation lawsuit. If the victim is a minor at the time of the incident, they will have 2 years from the time they turn 18 to take legal action against the Airbnb host, the company, or anyone other party that’s responsible for their injuries. Please don’t wait to take action on a bed bug claim, as the courts rarely grant extensions past the two-year window. Thus, if you fail to file your lawsuit on time, you will most likely lose the right to sue for compensation.
Speak to a Lawyer Experienced in Bed Bug Injury Claims
No matter where you are in the claims process, an experienced attorney is your best ally if you’ve been harmed from an Airbnb bed bug infestation. If you are just starting out, we can advise you of your rights and legal options, and help you initiate a claim against the Airbnb host and/or the company itself. But we can also help you if you’ve already filed a bed bug lawsuit against Airbnb. Many victims run into the problem of ending up with an incompetent attorney, or one that’s too busy to settle their case in a timely manner.
If you have concerns about your claim that are not being addressed by your attorney, don’t hesitate to give us a call. During a second opinion at our law firm, we can go over your available legal options and help you take the necessary steps toward a successful outcome. These consultations are completely free, so please schedule a second opinion with one of our bed bug attorneys.
Contact us for a Free Case Review
Our legal team is ready to represent you in a bed bug case against Airbnb and bring you the justice you are entitled to. The lawsuit process can be intimidating, but our lawyers have many years of experience in the recovery of settlements from property owners, as well as online marketplaces like Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com. We have what it takes to fight for your rights, and we will not rest until you receive maximum payment for your injuries.
Our lawyers work on contingency, so you pay nothing upfront to retain us for your claim. We put up all the costs associated with your case, and only get paid at the end, when you recover your settlement award. We are happy to tell you more about our Zero fee guarantee and answer any questions you have during a free, no-obligation case review.