When Do You Need to Hire a Bed Bug Lawyer?
If you have suffered a significant economic loss due to having to throw out property and/or medical illnesses due to a bed bug infestation that your landlord allowed and failed to warn you about, you should speak to a bed bug lawyer to learn your rights. A recent study found that Houston was 17th on the list of cases with the worst upticks in bed bug cases.
A bed bug infestation can extremely difficult to eradicate. Once they infest a place, they can often return up to a year later after having laid dormant during that time. They can also easily travel between walls to infest adjoining units in apartments, hotels, dorms, and other shared multi-unit spaces. These bugs can cause severe allergic reactions, sleepless nights, and countless dollars in extermination and property replacement fees. If this situation sounds familiar, you may want to speak to a bed bug attorney today.
The Reappearance of Bed Bugs in the early 2000s
For almost have a decade (1950s-about 2000) bed bugs were all but a thing of the past. In the 1970s after Vietnam, we began to take another look at certain chemicals such as DDT and how they affected people. Pesticides containing DDT had proven to be an effective treatment against bed bugs to the point they were almost eradicated. However, DDT and other strong chemicals were eventually banned as a pesticide due to the potentially harmful effects on humans. Additionally, the absence of bed bugs meant pest professionals had no need to seek an alternative killing agent to combat them for many decades. As a result, bed bugs began making a comeback. It started in third-world countries with the bugs hitchhiking their way back to the United States.
In recent years, the bed bug population has grown exponentially, resulting in a virtual epidemic. One female can produce several eggs a day and lay up to 500 in her lifetime. Furthermore, because they can slip easily into clothing, hair, shoes, suitcases, and even the tiniest of spaces, they hitchhike their way from place to place very quickly.
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
If you stay somewhere and feel the bites or otherwise have reason to believe you have fallen victim to bed bugs, the best thing to do is inspect the sheets, mattresses, headboard, baseboards, and any other place close to the bed where these bugs may hide. If you see the tiny spots in the corners and crevices indicating a bed bug infestation, you may have a case. Photograph it, gather your things and get out of that area. If you wish to try to keep your property it should be washed and dried at a very warm temperature and then inspected for bugs before reuse and or storing in a non-infested area. If you can scrub your things with boiling water vs just washing them, it would be very wise to do so.
Who May Be Liable in a Bed Bug Case?
There are many parties who may be liable in a bed bug case, including landlords, hotels, motels, condo owners, Air BnB owners, and any other type of lessor. If they are aware of a bed bug infestation/presence and fail to remedy it or warn you of the presence, they could potentially be liable for their negligence. Speak to a Houston bed bug lawyer to determine the parties who may be liable in your case.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Bed Bug Case?
To prove liability, you generally must establish that the landlord/lessor had notice of the presence of bed bugs and failed to warn you about them. Proving liability can be difficult if you do not notice the bugs until later. This is because hotels and other leased spaces will not likely allow you back in to gather evidence and/or determine whether they were the source. Access to the infected area shortly after the incident can be a key. Often the renter is in the best position to investigate the room for the presence of bed bugs when they wake up with itchiness and bites.
If you would like more information on the legal liability for bed bug bites and what a bed bug lawyer can do for you, call us at 1-800-298-0111 for more information. If we cannot answer your questions, we will strive to connect you with someone who can. As always, consultations are free.