Bed bugs are a problem no matter how you spin it. They are pests that invade your home or make life hellish when you are staying somewhere while on vacation or on a trip. The creatures are not easily found and can hide for many months without anyone noticing an infestation. In California, there are many places that bed bugs can take up residence, and it is no surprise that they have nested in some of the largest cities. Places like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, San Francisco, Long Beach, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, and Anaheim all have high numbers of tourists; the hospitality industry is an important part of these places’ economies. Unfortunately, with this large amount of travelers also comes the risk of bed bugs. Thankfully, you can take legal action against the responsible party if you were bitten by bed bugs. Our team of California bed bug attorneys at the Bed Bug Legal Group can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are pests that feast on human blood. They are small, round, flat bugs that are colored reddish-brown. Some people confuse them with ticks and fleas, but there are key differences, the largest being that bed bugs cannot jump like fleas can; instead, bed bugs crawl around. Their body shapes do alter once they have feasted on a meal of blood; they swell up and engorge, and can last that way for some weeks while they remain properly nourished. This is a large part of the reason why it is so difficult to exterminate the creatures; they may be in hiding for months at a time, hardy as they are.
Bed bugs are interesting pests in that they only feast nocturnally when their victims are sleeping. They crawl from their nests and search out exposed flesh (usually ankles, arms, necks, and more that aren’t covered by pajamas or blankets). When they bite, you don’t feel any stinging sensation or any pain at all thanks to the anesthetic present in their saliva. They can drink blood for a few minutes at a time because of the anticoagulant present in the spit as well, meaning your blood will not clot and stop flowing.
You can tell if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs if the bites show up a few hours or days later in a zigzag pattern; they are red raised welts that do not itch too much.
For more details, consult with a bed bug lawyer in California.
Where Do Bed Bugs Stay?
Commonly, bed bugs stay in places like hotels, motels, travel resorts, hostels, and anywhere shared by numerous travelers. It is a common misconception that bed bugs are only present in low quality establishments; rather, unsavory establishments do not clean their rooms that often, leading to an infestation that can spread and sustain itself. However, upscale locations have had bed bugs.
The bugs themselves tend to make nests in various places close to where their victims sleep. Unlike fleas, which make their homes near animal beds and on the animals themselves, bed bugs hide in damp, dark places that are out of sight and away from the light. They make their nests under bed frames and mattresses, behind picture frames and electrical outlets, under couch cushions, inside couch folds and mattress creases, behind baseboards and carpeting, and more. It is imperative that you search out bed bugs any time you stay somewhere new. Finding the creatures can prevent a headache later on. Signs of bed bugs include exoskeletons; small, cream colored, oval shaped eggs; bloodstains on the sheets or fabric; small, brown or black mounds, which are droppings; and the pests themselves.
Who Can I Sue?
If you were bitten by bed bugs while at a hotel or motel, you could sue the establishment for providing you with an unsafe living quarters. These hospitality locations have a duty to their customers, and breaching that duty is grounds for a lawsuit. You may be able to take legal action against an airline or transportation company if you were bitten by the pests while traveling on a plane or bus as well.
Notably, if you moved into an apartment that had bed bugs, you could sue the landlord for negligence. This is tricky, however, as you must be able to show that the creatures were there before you moved in. The longer it takes for you to suffer bed bug injuries, the more likely it is for your landlord to claim that you transported the bugs in yourself.
The creatures can essentially latch on to any piece of luggage you have and move homes quite easily. You might not even be able to pinpoint where the infestation came from, and it can be difficult to pursue legal action if you do not have a clear target for your lawsuit. If you intend to sue a hotel for bed bug injuries, you should do so with the help of an experienced lawyer.
What Kind of Lawsuit Can I File?
A bed bug lawsuit in California will fall under a personal injury lawsuit; more specifically, a premises liability claim. Landlords especially have a duty to provide a healthy home to people, and if they do not inspect the location prior to allowing you to move in, you could sufficiently sue your landlord for bed bug infestation.
You can file the same type of claim against a hotel or motel. In order to have the highest chance of success, you should have ample evidence of the infestation. This means taking photographs of the bed bugs as soon as you find them, photographing your injuries, documenting your medical expenses and any extermination costs, and more.
Importantly, if you were in a hotel or motel, you should not contact management until you have your evidence. It is very likely that the supervisor will usher you from the room and sequester the space to be cleaned and not allow you to return. You will not be able to collect any evidence if this happens, so have it prepared beforehand.
If you need to sue a motel for a bed bug bite injury, contact our law group today.
Statute of Limitations on a Bed Bug Lawsuit
You have two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury to file a lawsuit for a bed bug infestation in the State of California. If you wait too long, you will not be able to collect any compensation at all and your claim will be thrown out. This statute of limitations exists to ensure that claims speedily finish and do not hang around waiting to be resolved. The longer that claims sit, the more likely it is that evidence will be lost or destroyed and that witnesses will forget important points or misremember the situation.
You may be able to have the statute of limitations temporarily suspended, however, in some circumstances; an expert lawyer can give you more information, but some examples include being underage at the time of the injury, being mentally or physically incapacitated after the injury, the defendant leaving the state or country after the injury, and more.
What Can I Receive from a Lawsuit?
With the help of a bed bug lawyer in California, you can receive numerous types of compensation, including coverage for medical expenses from both the past and the future, reimbursement of your lost wages from work from the past and the future, reimbursement of the expenses to hire an exterminator, repair or replacement fees for damaged property, and emotional pain and suffering damages for any psychological or mental stresses you underwent because of the incident.
Our Law Firm’s Promise
Our law group, the Bed Bug Legal Group, is dedicated to helping individuals who have been hurt by bed bugs because of another party’s negligence. We know that a bed bug infestation is terrible to endure and you should not be made to pay for your own expenses if another party caused them or allowed them to happen. We will aggressively work to bring you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are willing to fight the hotel’s insurance company or your landlord in court if necessary to bring you the maximum restitution available under the law.
Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. You are invited to ask questions about the legal process and what bed bug lawsuits entail, and we will look over your case and tell you what we believe our lawyers can bring you if you file a claim. Further, if you sign on to use our services, we will give you a zero fee guarantee that promises that you will not pay any out of pocket expenses. Our firm will cover the costs of the case, and our fees will only be covered if we win; the settlement will provide us with our payment, and if we lose, you owe us no money whatsoever. Your savings are your own, and it is important to us that you do not suffer any losses for seeking legal help.
Don’t wait – contact a qualified bed bug lawyer in California at the Bed Bug Legal Group today.
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