Bed bugs are cringeworthy small insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are called bedbugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: Sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They tend to feed on their hosts while they sleep with peak feeding time between midnight and 5 a.m. hence the saying “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
Bed bug lawsuits typically arise in two instances: either our client contracts bed bugs while staying overnight – at a hotel or at a hospital, for example, or our client gets bed bugs in their own apartment due to a greater infestation in the apartment complex.
While bed bugs do leave physical injuries – sometimes leaving hundreds of painful bites and permanent scarring on their victims, the mental effects of bed bugs can be severe. Our clients have experienced stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, delusionary parasitosis (thinking that the bed bugs are still biting you) and even sustained depression as a result of bed bug exposure. Additionally, if the bed bugs are in your home or apartment, you may face significant expenses trying to eliminate them, or through the loss of your property, because they can travel by crawling into other rooms or even traveling in suitcases or clothing.
In some instances, depending on the severity of your exposure and the effects, you may be entitled to significant compensation. In 2018, a California family was awarded $1.6 million in a bedbug lawsuit by a jury. In that case, an infant was permanently scarred by the bed bug bites sustained in their apartment.
What do you do if you suspect you have been attacked by bed bugs?
- Get medical attention. This will help to reduce the risk of infection and help to reduce itchiness.
- Take photographs of the bites
- Search the area and take photographs of the bed bugs.
- If you are staying in a hotel or a hospital, contact the management to file a report
- If you are in your apartment, contact your apartment manager to write a report and to request elimination of the bed bugs.
- Do not bring your clothes or other items to your home if you have been staying in a hotel or elsewhere. You may accidentally transport the bed bugs to your house
- Call us for a free consultation on how to proceed with any claims you may have.
If you suspect you contracted bed bugs in Metairie or New Orleans, it is important to consult with an experienced Metairie personal injury attorney or a New Orleans personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call us for a free consultation on your claim.
Megan C. Kiefer is a partner at Kiefer & Kiefer. She is a personal injury lawyer who has handled many bed bug cases.
This is being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.