Bedbug Injury Lawyer
VIRGINIA HOTEL BEDBUG INJURY LAWYERIt’s awful to think about, but bedbug infestations in hotels are becoming more common. Virginia law makes it clear that hotel owners have an obligation to prevent infestations. If you, a friend or family member suffered injuries as a result of bug bites in a hotel, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, pain, and suffering, scarring, inconvenience, physical and emotional damages as a result of the bites. You should speak to a Virginia personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case. It’s gross, the bites can cause severe reactions, and – to make matters worse – you can carry these bugs home with you in your luggage resulting inexpensive treatment for your house. Here are some things you should know about bedbugs and the law.
BEDBUGS ARE ON THE RISE IN VIRGINIAIt is a fact that bedbug infestations are on the rise in Virginia. An article by Fox News, citing a study by the pest control company Orkin, lists several cities in Virginia in the top 20 cities for bedbug infestation. This list includes Norfolk and Portsmouth. Hotels in Virginia Beach, including resorts at the oceanfront and elsewhere, are also affected according to http://www.bedbugregistry.com/. Our climate is ideal for bedbugs, and pest control measures are more involved in sophisticated than for other insects. Proper knowledge and experience are required to fully understand bedbug infestation as well, and how to treat and eradicate the pests.
FACTS ABOUT BEDBUGSThere are a number of misconceptions about bedbugs. Here are the facts:
- Bedbugs are not attracted to “dirty” surroundings, but proper sanitation and inspection can help discover them before an infestation spreads
- Bedbugs can be found in five-star luxury hotels, as well as apartments and inexpensive motels.
- Bedbugs feed on blood but are not believed to transmit diseases in humans.
- Bedbugs can travel easily, and you can bring them home in your luggage
- Bedbugs are not easily killed by commonly available insecticides. Special chemicals are required, and killing bedbug eggs is accomplished by hot steam, or freezing cold (cryo) treatment. These treatments are the only effective way to kill bedbug eggs, and a failure to kill the eggs will result in re-infestation.
- If a hotel does a poor job of exterminating bugs and their eggs, re-infestation will occur within a matter of weeks
- Bedbugs can travel to adjacent rooms on the same floor, and one floor above and below. Proper treatment protocols require treating adjacent rooms in a hotel
- One of the best methods for discovering the existence of bedbugs are highly trained dogs, who can in some cases identify the presence of the single bedbug egg. These dogs and their handlers are some of the best first lines of defense against bedbug infestation in hotels and in apartments. The National Pest Management Association Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs encourages the regular use of scent-detection dogs to promote early detection of an infestation.
- Approximately 30% of people do not react at all to bedbug bites. But other people will scar as a result of bedbug bites.
SIGNS OF BEDBUG INFESTATION IN A HOTEL ROOMBedbugs tend to stay out of sight during daylight hours, but careful inspection may reveal the bugs themselves or signs the bugs may be present.
- Bedbugs typically are found around the headboards and box springs of beds, and they also like to hide in zippers and seams of couches and chairs.
- Bedbug excrement is black, and will be found in the same places around beds and furniture
- live bugs are brown to reddish, and about the size of an appleseed
- bedbugs molt, and they leave their skins behind
- people may bleed after bedbugs take a blood meal, and leave the bloodstain on sheets
IS A HOTEL LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR BEDBUGS BITING A GUEST? ANSWERS FROM A VIRGINIA BEACH INJURY LAWYERHotels have a high duty of care to their guests. This “duty of care” is a term that personal injury lawyers use to describe the obligations of a hotel. If the hotel fails to meet the standard of care it is considered negligent, and responsible for any damages to a guest. The Commonwealth of Virginia established Virginia Administrative Code regulations that apply to hotels. A skilled bedbug lawyer will know about these regulations and be able to apply them in a case to support an argument that a hotel is responsible when guests are bitten by bedbugs. The law of Virginia states that: 12VAC5-431-380. Vector Control.
- Vector control measures shall be employed to prevent vector infestations in or around hotels.
- Insect and rodent control measures to safeguard public health and to prevent nuisance to the public shall be applied. Developed areas, buildings, and structures shall be maintained free of accumulations of debris.
- Application of pesticides or rodenticides shall be conducted by a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services certified pesticide applicator or under the direct supervision of a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services certified applicator.
- The presence of any rodent, such as mice and rats, reptiles or any insect infestation shall be evidence that sufficient vector control measures have not been implemented at the hotel and shall be considered a violation of these regulations.
FIVE THINGS TO DO IF YOU SEE BEDBUGS IN A HOTEL ROOM
- Photograph the bugs with your phone
- Notify hotel management in person and in writing
- Ask for a copy of the report
- Seek medical treatment for any bites, and photograph the bites on a daily basis as they heal
- Contact the Health Department in the relevant city:
DAMAGES AVAILABLE TO A VICTIMIf you are a victim of bedbug bites in a negligent hotel, you are entitled to these damages under the law:
- bodily injuries
- physical pain and mental anguish
- any disfigurement, scarring, and any associated humiliation or embarrassment
- any inconvenience caused in the past and future
- any medical expenses incurred in the past and future
- lost wages
- property damage