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When you pay to stay overnight in a hotel, you should expect to be pampered. In few instances, you may find your stay to be ruined by bed bugs.

What are bed bugs?

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.”

What type of injuries can bed bugs cause?

While it may seem trivial to some to be the victim of bed bug bites, these instances can be very, very serious.

Bed bugs can leave physical injuries – sometimes leaving hundreds of painful bites and permanent scarring on their victims. In rare cases, you can have an allergic reaction to bed bugs and, with complications, it can even be deadly. Bed bug bites can sometimes set off asthma attacks and anaphylaxis, Some patients may experience complex skin reactions, such as itchy wheals around a central punctum, itchy red bumps, or hives.. Blister-like rashes may occur and in some cases, these reactions evolve into itchy papules or nodules (hard bumps). If scratched, the bed buy bites can become infected, which could result in serious medical conditions.

Additionally, 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, in rare cases, you may bring bed bus into your apartment or house from the hotel. In that case, 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?

  1. Get medical attention.  This will help to reduce the risk of infection and help to reduce itchiness.
  2. Take photographs of the bites
  3. Search the area and take photographs of the bed bugs.
  4. If you are staying in a hotel or a hospital, contact the management to file a report
  5. 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
  6. Call us for a free consultation on how to proceed with any claims you may have.

What type of compensation do I deserve if I have been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel?

Every case is different. The compensation you deserve always depends on the nature and extent of your injuries, your medical treatment, whether you have lost any personal belongings due to the incident, and the extent of your inconvenience and suffering. Do not accept an offer from a claims adjuster that you think is low. Consult with an attorney who has experience in this filed. We often are able to resolve these cases for well over ten times what the insurance adjuster or hotel is offering.

If you suspect you contracted bed bugs in a Metairie or New Orleans hotel, 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.