One of the most common problems people suffer from when purchasing used belongings is the presence of pests and vermin on the items. This is especially true with used furniture outlets; not every store does a proper job of cleaning its merchandise and adequately preparing all of its furnishings for sale. Some furniture comes from homes whose tenants have been evicted and who did not take proper care of the dwelling. Pests that are often found on used furnishings include ticks, fleas, and bed bugs. Bed bugs may be the most frustrating to deal with due to how hardy they are and how adept they can be at hiding. You may find a bed bug infestation in a used mattress, couch, sofa, bed, dinner table set, and other kinds of merchandise. Our team of attorneys at the Bed Bug Legal Group promises to do all we can to bring you the fairest settlement possible in your lawsuit. Clients often call us with questions about bed bud claims; some of these questions include:
- What is the average case settlement for a bed bug bite injury case?
- How much is a used furniture bed bug infestation lawsuit worth?
- How much can you receive if your home got infested because of bed bugs in a used mattress or couch?
- What are some bed bug injury case settlement amounts?
Bed Bugs: The Facts
It is easy to tell the difference between bed bugs and other pests. Bed bugs are small, only up to about 5mm size, and are flat-bodied, reddish-brown in color, and can only move around by crawling. This inability to jump is the biggest indicator that you are dealing with bed bugs and not fleas, as fleas can jump long distances. Bed bugs primarily feast on blood, but they can go for many months without having a meal. This is a big reason why they are so often undiscovered on used furniture – they do not come out until they are sure they have a chance to feast, and if there are no hosts available, the creatures are content to stay hidden.
Once the bugs finally do emerge, they search for a target to bite and drink blood from. Their saliva contains two crucial substances that help them drink blood much easier – an anesthetic substance and an anticoagulant. The anesthetic numbs the area of skin and prevents the victim from waking up while the bed bug is biting him, while the anticoagulant prevents the blood from clotting; this enables the creature to continually feast without having to constantly bite new spots. Bites usually show up in a zigzag pattern on the body, however, which indicates that bed bugs often to switch locations during their feasting.
Identifying an Infestation
If you wake up to bed bug bites, you may have an infested mattress. The creatures can spread to other areas by latching onto bags, luggage, clothing, purses, and more. It is important that you check all surrounding areas to determine if you have an infestation or not. Some of the most common areas to find bed bugs are underneath mattresses and in their seams and creases, underneath box springs, behind baseboards and headboards, behind picture frames and electrical outlets, on the undersides of couch cushions and chair cushions, and near carpeting and molding.
If you have the ability, you should always make sure to check for bed bugs while buying used furniture. Do not trust the store to properly inspect everything for you or even to adequately clean the items.
The tell tale signs of a bed bug infestation include the presence of the creatures themselves, multiple white or cream colored eggs, the molted exoskeletons of juveniles that matured into adults, and brown or black stains and mounds on the fabric from feces or excess blood. If you wake up with bites, you may also be able to point to bed bugs. Keep in mind that bed bug bites can take a few days to appear, and the red areas can swell, itch, and blister. Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to carry diseases.
Steps to Take after Finding Bed Bugs
If a bed bug infestation has taken over your home because of a used mattress or used furniture, you should do everything you can to ensure that you are able to file a lawsuit. Bed bug lawsuit settlements do not come easily, but you can expect to receive fair compensation if you assemble evidence and adequately prepare for your case.
The first step you should take is to take photographs and videos of the affected areas. If you have pictures of the infestation, your claim will be that much stronger. It is also important that you do not clean the area or call any exterminators or fumigators right away. The evidence will need to be intact and not damaged or removed.
Next, you should take photos and document your injuries and bites. If you went to the doctor to have these wounds treated, the medical bills and doctor’s notes could be used to show that you were injured and were not making it all up.
Importantly, you need to make sure that you have some kind of proof or purchase of the items. If you cannot prove that you bought a mattress or couch from a used furniture store, you will not be able to file a lawsuit against that business. If you have any emails confirming the purchase, credit card statements, or receipts, you will be able to show that you are the rightful owner and recipient of the item.
Of course, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine how much your case is worth. With the help of a lawyer, you have a much better chance of winning your claim.
Bed Bug Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
The crucial aspect of acquiring a fair settlement amount for a bed bug lawsuit lies in the amount of damage that is caused. If you were hurt by the bites themselves, accrued a ton of property damage and required numerous visits from exterminators or fumigators, and had to take time off work to deal with the problem, you would likely earn more than the average compensation. However, there is no settlement calculator that allows you to put in your damages and a dollar value is then spit out after some math is done. Each case is different, and as such, each verdict or offer will be different as well.
We have provided some examples of the different types of verdicts that have come out of bed bug lawsuits. Keep in mind that the median value is much lower than the average value; the few cases that have extremely high settlement amounts skew the average altogether. These samples are not meant to show you the true value of a used mattress bed bug lawsuit, but rather to display what is available and possible.
- $225,000 Verdict: After a mother purchased a bunk bed for her twin sons, she discovered that it was infested with bed bugs. The bed was purchased from a used furniture store and the infestation was not discovered until months later. After taking legal action, the verdict was returned in favor of the mother.
- $90,000 Verdict: The furniture that was provided to a family that moved into a house in Baltimore was shown to be infested with bed bugs. This was problematic for the family, which included young children and a pregnant mother. The landlord was found to be at fault.
- $800,000 Verdict: An open code violation for a bed bug infestation allowed a woman to collect substantial compensation. After an illegal eviction and destruction of property, she took the case to court and was awarded a fair settlement. When leasing an apartment or finding used furniture to furnish your home, be sure to check for bed bugs.
With the help of our attorneys, injured victims can get coverage for medical expenses stemming from the bed bug bites, coverage for future medical procedures, reimbursement of any lost income you had because of the incident or will have for future medical leave, coverage for damaged or lost property, coverage for emotional pain and suffering, and a possibility for punitive damages (compensation meant to punish the defendant). How much you can receive depends on the extent of the damages and how much they affect your life and career opportunities, but if your daily activities are disrupted and your life falls off track because of the incident, you may be in for a sizeable settlement.
The Firm for You
Our law group, the Bed Bug Legal Group, promises to do everything we can to bring you the settlement you deserve for a bed bug lawsuit. You should not be forced to sit through an infestation and not receive any compensation from the store responsible for selling you the contaminated furniture. We will relentlessly pursue fair restitution for you; our aggressive lawyers do not rest until you are satisfied with a settlement.
Call us today to learn more about the average value of a used furniture bed bug infestation lawsuit. You can speak with an expert attorney in a free consultation; any questions you have will be answered. If you want to hire us for our legal services, you will be given a zero fee guarantee on your claim; this promises that you will not pay any out of pocket expenses for our help. We will only get paid if we win your case, and the money will be taken from the settlement we bring you. If we lose, you do not owe us anything at all.
For more help, contact our law firm.