Jason Stephens | November 2, 2023 | Premises Liability
Have you experienced tiny red bites after staying in a hotel? Did you leave a movie theater and notice a red rash? If so, you might be the victim of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are pests that can cause serious problems for property owners. Once a home, hotel, apartment, cruise ship, bus, or other place is infested with these insects, it can be difficult to get rid of them. The EPA, USDA, and CDC consider bed bugs a public health pest.
If you’ve been harmed by bed bugs, you might be entitled to compensation if someone else is to blame for your injuries. A Fort Worth premises liability lawyer can help you consider your legal options.
What Injuries Can Bed Bugs Cause to Humans?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects. They live in furniture, mattresses, bed frames, and other places where people sleep or live. Bed bugs feed on people’s blood while they sleep.
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color and about the size of an apple seed. They are long, flat, and oval-shaped if not fed recently. Bed bugs may appear more elongated and balloon-like if they have fed recently.
Immature bed bugs are whitish-yellow in color. They can be nearly invisible to the naked eye.
You may not know that bed bugs have bitten you until you notice the bite marks. These insects bite people when they are asleep. They also inject an anticoagulant (stops bleeding) and anesthetic (a numbing agent) when they bite, so most people do not wake up even though they might be bitten several times.
Symptoms of bed bug bites include a burning sensation, inflammation, and itchiness. The bites may resemble a red pimple or rash. Some people may experience mild pain or discomfort.
Bed bug bites can also cause severe reactions in some people. In rare cases, a person might develop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. The symptoms include a swollen tongue, difficulty breathing, fever, blisters, and irregular heartbeat.
Depending on the severity of the infestation and the person’s reaction to the bites, bed bugs can result in permanent scars, anemia, infections, tissue damage, and other physical injuries. Bed bug victims may also experience severe emotional distress, resulting in PTSD, insomnia, mental anguish, anxiety, and depression.
Who Could Be Liable for Bed Bug Injuries in Texas?
Texas premises liability laws hold property owners and other parties who control a property responsible if someone is injured on the premises. These parties have a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent bed bug infestations. Unfortunately, some property owners and management companies are negligent in maintaining the premises, which can lead to a bed bug infestation.
Examples of parties that could be liable for bed bug injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Property owners
- Hotel owners and/or managers
- Nursing homes
- Daycare centers
- Movie theaters
- Cruise lines
- Building owners
- Fitness clubs and gyms
- Government buildings
Many people mistakenly assume that a place must be dirty to have bed bugs. A room may be perfectly clean and still have these insects. Even the nicest resorts, hotels, apartments, and other facilities can have a bed bug problem.
What Damages Can Victims Receive in Bed Bug Lawsuits in Fort Worth, TX?
If you were injured or suffered harm because of bed bugs, you could receive compensation for your damages.
Examples of economic damages in a bed bug claim include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages if you miss work
- The cost of replacing clothing or other property (you can take bed bugs home with you from another property)
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Decreased earning capacity for permanent impairments
In addition to your financial losses, you can also receive compensation for pain and suffering damages.
Examples of non-economic damages in a bed bug claim include:
- Emotional distress
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Permanent impairment or disability
The value of a bed bug claim depends on the severity of the injuries and damages. A Fort Worth bed bug lawyer can explain the damages you might receive during a free case review.
What Should I Do if I Suspect That Bed Bugs Caused My Injuries?
If you believe you are the victim of a bed bug infestation, notify the property owner immediately. Ask for a copy of the report if one is created.
If possible, take pictures of the infested furniture and the room. Signs of bed bugs include reddish or rusty stains on mattresses and/or bedsheets, dark spots about the size of a period on a piece of paper, pale yellow skins, and live bed bugs. Also, take pictures of the bites, welts, rashes, or other evidence of bites on your skin.
See a doctor as soon as possible to document that the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by bed bugs. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction or infection.
Insurance companies and property owners will try to downplay the damages caused by bed bugs. They may try to avoid liability by denying there were bed bugs on the premises. A property owner might try to claim that you brought the bed bugs to the property.
It is wise to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer. Dealing directly with the property owner or insurance provider could result in a lower settlement amount for your bed bug injuries.
What Is the Deadline for Suing for Bed Bug Injuries in Texas?
Bed bug claims are generally filed as premises liability cases. The statute of limitations for most premises liability lawsuits is two years. The court can dismiss your case if you don’t file a lawsuit before the time expires.
However, the circumstances and facts of your case could change the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Therefore, you do not want to wait to contact an attorney. The sooner you seek legal advice, the better for your case.
CONTACT OUR PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN FORT WORTH, TX – Stephens Law Firm, PLLC
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420 7000