No one wants bed bugs. Unfortunately, many Los Angeles hotels and apartment complexes are having serious bed bug infestation problems. If you have been harmed because of a bed bug injury you may be entitled to compensation from a negligent innkeeper or landlord. An experienced Los Angeles bed bug attorney at Citywide Law Group can help you hold these negligent parties accountable for their actions while recovering the compensation you deserve.
We have more than 17 years of experience representing clients who have been injured by the negligent actions of other parties, including landlords and innkeepers. We use our knowledge of the complex California Health and Safety Code to leverage at-fault property owners into making reasonable settlement offers. Schedule your free consultation at our Los Angeles office to learn about your legal rights following a bed bug injury.
Bed Bug Injuries
Bed bug injuries can be minor or severe. The extent of the injuries a bed bug victim may suffer may depend on the extent of the infestation and personal sensitivity to infection. Bodily injuries caused by bed bugs can include:
- Skin rashes, cuts, and abrasions;
- Development of allergies;
- Tissue damage; and
Bed bugs can also cause significant property damage. Clothing, furniture, bedding can all be destroyed if there is a bed bug infestation. Victims of bed bug bites can also suffer severe psychological and emotional trauma and develop disrupted sleeping habits.
Damages for Bed Bug Bite Injuries
What kind of compensation can you recover through bed bug bite injury lawsuit? The type of damages you can recover will depend on the specific injuries and harms you suffer. These can include damages to cover:
- Medical bills and expenses related to your physical injury;
- Embarrassment, disfigurement, and scarring;
- Lost wages if you are forced to miss work to recover from your bed bug bites and/or related infection(s);
- Pain and suffering;
- Psychological trauma;
- Property damage to bedding, furniture, and clothing; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life – including ruined vacations or trips.
Punitive damages may even be available if the landlord or hotel owner responsible for providing a clean and safe environment knew about the bed bug problem but took no steps to fix it.
During your initial consultation with our Los Angeles bed bug attorneys, we will ask you several questions about your case. Your answers will help us to determine which damages you may be able to recover. The more information we have about the extent of your injuries, the more we can seek to recover through a personal injury claim. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Liability in Bed Bug Bite Injury Cases
In Los Angeles, most bed bug bites happen at hotels and in apartment buildings. These locations have a lot of traffic and turnover, which makes them more susceptible to bed bug problems than your own personal home.
Hotel owners and apartment building landlords have a duty to provide clean and habitable dwellings for their guests and tenants. How your Los Angeles bed bug bite lawsuit is framed will depend on where you were bitten by bed bugs.
Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfast Inns, and Extended Stay Suites
In California, property owners are required to maintain certain clean and sanitary conditions for guests and tenants. The California Code of Regulations specifically states that a bed, mattress, sheets, blankets, and bedding “shall be kept in a clean, dry, and sanitary condition free from filth…and from the infection of lice, bedbugs, or other insects.”
Hotels, or any place that rents a location with a furnished bed and bedding, are required by law to change the bed linens in a room before a new guest occupies the space. Failure to change the bed linens between guests could result in liability.
Hotel owners must take steps necessary to stop a bed bug infestation once they have notice of a problem. This knowledge can be actual or constructive. A hotel owner will have actual notice if a guest, occupant, or housekeeper specifically alerts them to the problem.
A hotel owner will have constructive notice if there are signs of a bed bug infestation or problem. A hotel owner can face serious consequences – including liability for any harms occupants may suffer – if they do not take swift and immediate action to remedy the situation.
Apartment Building Landlords
Landlords who rent rooms, apartments, or houses have a duty to provide properties that are fit for human occupancy. In California, an implied warranty of habitability imposes this duty. An implied warranty of habitability means that landlords must ensure that rental units are “in a condition fit for human beings to live in” and that they “substantially comply with building and housing code standards that materially affect tenants’ health and safety.”
The presence of bedbugs may make a rental unit uninhabitable. Bed bugs pose a threat to the health and safety of tenants and occupants.
What to Do After a Bed Bug Bite Injury
If you have suffered a bed bug bite injury you may be entitled to compensation from a negligent innkeeper or landlord. California law requires that rental rooms and properties be maintained so that they are free from safety and health hazards, including bed bugs.
Bed bug bites can pose a serious threat to your health and safety and can have long-lasting financial and emotional consequences. If you are bitten by bed bug bites you should take the following steps.
- Leave the bed bug infested room or apartment to prevent further damage to yourself and your property;
- Document and injuries and property damage you have suffered;
- Seek medical attention and ask for a comprehensive medical evaluation;
- Contact the landlord or manager responsible for providing a safe and habitable property;
- Ask the health department if former tenants or occupants have filed complaints about the property in the past; and
- Contact an experienced Los Angeles bed bug bite attorney.
Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem Again?
No one can be sure exactly why bed bugs have become a problem again. Perhaps it is because the city of Los Angeles – like many other cities across the country – is experiencing a resurgence in the local economy. As the economy improves there is simply more mobility and movement in the city. Tourists are coming to Los Angeles in droves and the population is booming as Californians tackle new jobs.
Bed bugs are highly mobile and easily transferable pest. Dramatically increased turnover at hotels and apartment buildings could be, in part, a reason for the new bed bug epidemic. When hotels and apartments are negligently maintained the threat of an infestation, and resulting bed bug injuries, is significant.
Causes of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs may seem like a minor pest, but even the thought of sharing your bed with them probably makes your skin crawl. Bed bugs are small pests that survive on blood. They are drawn to carbon dioxide and body heat, which makes a bed a prime location for nesting and feeding.
Bed bugs feed by burrowing into a host – including humans, dogs, and cats – to find a blood vessel. Bed bugs and their eggs are easily transferred from one host or location to the next in everyday household and personal items including bedding, furniture, mattresses, and clothing. Bed bugs can also move independently through ductwork and walls.
The fact that bed bugs can be transferred between people and places so easily can make it difficult to stop an infestation once it has started. The best way to stop an infestation is to prevent one from happening at all.
Hotel owners, management, and landlords should be especially concerned about bed bug infestations. The high turnover in these facilities (especially for hotels, motels, and extended stay suites) means that many people are using the same small space, bedding, furniture, and window dressings. If rooms are not cleaned thoroughly between guests the potential for a bed bug infestation can be incredibly high.
Contact a Los Angeles Bed Bug Attorney Today
Hiring an experienced Los Angeles bed bug bite attorney is the best way to maximize the compensation you may recover. Proving that an innkeeper or landlord had knowledge of a bed bug infestation or problem can be difficult in some cases. At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys know which questions to ask and which law(s) may be applicable to your case. We use our extensive knowledge and understanding of the California Health and Safety Code to leverage negligent innkeepers and landlords into making meaningful settlement offers.
Over the past 17 years we have represented thousands of injured clients and successfully recovered millions in compensation on their behalfs. These settlement agreements and awards of compensation have helped to make meaningful differences after an injury. Contact our Los Angeles office today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you after your bed bug bite injury.