Written by award-winning Injury Lawyer Lawrence S. Lapidus
Bed bugs are a nuisance that no one wants. They are tiny bugs that will bite the exposed skin of people and animals. They can pop up anywhere but are most prevalent in places that lack adequate cleaning and extermination routines. They can show up anywhere that beds are found. They can even hide in furniture, luggage, backpacks, and moving boxes.
When you travel and stay in hotels, you take the risk of encountering bed bugs. They can be transported from people’s homes to the hotel room. If a hotel does not stay on top of exterminating routines and neglects basic cleaning, they leave themselves susceptible to bed bug infestations.
According to Pest World, sixty-eight percent of bed bug infestations occur in hotels and motels. They are the most common type of infestation treated by pest control professionals. They can often be mistaken for other types of bugs, such as fleas or cockroaches, and are most common in the summer months. However – bed bug bites can happen year-round.
How Bed Bug Bites Usually Happen in Hotels
For many people, they cozy up in their hotel room bed for the night, only to be awakened by a pinch-like pain on some area of their body. They scramble to get out of bed quickly to find out what caused the pain and, if they’re lucky enough to see it, there it is: a bed bug making its way across the plush down comforter and pristine white sheets they had settled into just hours before.
For others, they might have no clue that bed bugs are feasting on them while they sleep and awaken the next morning to welts in various areas on their body. For some people, the bites are limited to one area, like an arm or a leg or their stomach. For others? Those bites are widespread, causing swollen welts from head to toe – and yes – even on their face.
Ask anyone who has ever been bitten, and they’ll tell you: the experience is traumatic in ways. However, you must take some simple steps in the midst of your discomfort if you are ever bitten by a bed bug in a hotel or motel.
What To Do If You Get a Bed Bite Bite In a Hotel
We can provide specialized service to clients who experience bed bug bites at Marriott-owned or branded hotels, regardless of location, since Marriott‘s Headquarters are in Montgomery County, Maryland, and can be sued in the Maryland courts for that county. We can also represent people regardless of location if they were but in a Choice-owned hotel, as their headquarters are in North Bethesda.
Here’s what to do if you have been bitten.
Step 1: Get pictures and/or videos
Grab your phone and get some video of those bed bugs. Make sure you show the entire room in your footage, as well as close-ups of the bugs, so there’s no question about the authenticity of your footage and where this event occurred. There may also be drops of old or fresh blood visible on the sheets or bedding…. as vile as that may sound, get pictures of that too. It may also be on the mattress, so pull back the sheets to check. If it’s old blood, the mattress will have rust-colored spots. Try to get that picture as well. Take as many images as you can. Clear photos of bedbugs are hard to capture, so don’t hesitate to get dozens of photos, as we would rather have too many than not enough.
Step 2: Contact hotel staff immediately
They need to know that their hotel has a bed bug problem. The first thing to do if you have experienced bed bug bites, is to report the experience to hotel management, and take notes of who responded to your complaint (name, job title, and nature of the response). Save your hotel receipt and jot down your room number. Notify them that you intend to seek medical treatment and then seek such treatment as soon as possible. This is especially important not just for medical reasons but also to document your claim.
Step 3: Seek treatment
Get to a dermatologist, as a dermatologist is the best medical professional to assess your injuries. If an urgent care or emergency room is your most efficient option, that’s fine, but you must also get to a dermatologist as soon as possible. The benefits are wide-ranging when you take this extra step. Not only do you get a professional opinion from a health perspective, but you may also have peace of mind in knowing you’ve been seen by medical staff, and we, your Bed Bug Lawyers, can use those medical records in the claims filing proceedings.
Can Bed Bug Bites Make You Sick?
Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has to say about bed bug bites:
“Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection….”
Regarding health risks, the CDC says, “A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.”
Bed Bug Health Risks
The most common health risk associated with bed bugs is allergic reactions to the bites. It is often as simple as an annoying itch that can be treated with a topical cream – but nevertheless, the bites can be mentally and emotionally traumatic to experience. Reactions can range from itching rashes to hives and blisters or even anaphylactic reactions requiring immediate medical attention.
It is also possible to get infections from scratching the bites. Insomnia is another prevalent issue associated with bed bugs that has the potential to result in physical and mental health problems from irritability and lack of rest. Scarring in the affected area is not uncommon.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that altered mental health is another issue associated with prolonged exposure to bed bugs: “Mental health impacts on people living in infested homes. Reported effects include anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions.”
Bed Bugs Don’t Discriminate
You could stay at a roadside motel, a suburban chain hotel, or a 5-star luxury resort…bed bugs can, too. Just because you spend $500 a night doesn’t mean a luxurious hotel isn’t infested with bed bugs. It’s happened before, it can happen again, from the Budget Roadside Motor Inn to the fanciest Marriott around. In fact, did you know that both Choice and Marriott headquarters are located right in our backyard?
Yes, both of the hotel giant call Bethesda, Maryland, home, which makes it very convenient for me to file your claim against a Marriott or Choice hotel and pursue a fair and reasonable settlement should the case warrant one. And this doesn’t cover just hotels with Marriott or Choice in the name–it covers dozens of hotels owned by Marriott and Choice.
What a Bed Bug Lawyer Can Do for You
It’s important to note: no attorney can ethically ever promise you a settlement or verdict from a bed bug-related case, but we will look very carefully at your claim to determine whether we will be able to help you.
We will walk you through the entire legal process and will be committed to prioritizing your claim, keeping you updated on the legal developments, and will work tenaciously to get you a fair, reasonable settlement.
Bed Bug Lawyer in Maryland, DC & Virginia
Here at Lapidus Law Firm, we offer free, no-obligation consultations. Contact us at 202-785-5111 today to schedule yours. If you have been bitten by a bed bug in a hotel or motel, don’t hesitate to call us. We have 40+ years of experience, and the favorable outcomes for our clients include both settlements and verdicts. Call us today to get started on your hotel or motel bed bug claim.