Massachusetts Bed Bug Attorney
If you’ve been affected by bed bugs, you know how serious and traumatic an infestation can be. What you might not know is that you may be able to collect monetary compensation for your injuries and damages from the negligent parties. That may include owners and operators of hotels, motels, apartment buildings, vacation rentals, rental furniture companies, and all other parties responsible for harming you and your family in Massachusetts.Bed Bug Bite Cases
The premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman in Boston are ready to help you with your bed bug claim. Our skilled and compassionate lawyers can evaluate whether you have a case, and then if you do, fight on your behalf to make sure that you don’t pay the price for someone else’s negligence.
We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no cost to you until we win your case.I Went to Sleep and Woke Up with Bed Bug Bites. What Should I Do Now?
You went to sleep in a hotel or vacation rental only to wake up with a rash and small red bites all over your body. You suspect bed bugs are to blame.
One of the most important things that you can do to bolster your case is to take pictures or a video documenting the bed bugs and your bites. In addition, you should:
- Report the bed bug infestation to the hotel or property owner;
- Seek medical treatment, if needed, right away;
- Keep all medical bills and reports by doctor and therapists;
- Keep a log tracking your symptoms, including any episodes of anxiety, sleeplessness, or other mental health issues.
Contacting a bed bug attorney as soon as possible ensures you optimize your prospect of obtaining full compensation for your injuries. A lawyer will not only provide legal advice on how to best document a bed bug infestation and related injuries but will also help you build a case against all the negligent parties.
Types of businesses that have been held responsible for bed bug injuries include:
- Apartment buildings and complexes
- Vacation rentals, including Airbnbs
- Cruise ships
- Nursing homes
- Colleges and universities
- Movie theaters
- Public transit, including trains and buses
- Rental furniture companies
- Mattress and furniture retailers
- Pest control companies
Management can be held liable if their negligent actions—or inactions—caused or contributed to your injuries.
In some cases, pest control companies can be sued for failing to detect or treat bed bug infestations properly, or for causing injuries through their use of pesticides.Bed Bugs and Landlord/Tenant Law in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, landlords have a legal obligation to keep apartments free from bed bugs and other pests.
Under 105 Mass. Reg. 410.550, “the owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall maintain it and its premises free from all rodents, skunks, cockroaches and insect infestation and shall be responsible for exterminating them.”
However, if a person is renting a single-family home, the landlord is not responsible for exterminating the premises if the landlord has maintained the upkeep of the home.
Tenants of multi-unit homes should report bed bug infestations and other pest infestations to the landlord as soon as possible so that an extermination plan can be put into place, and the problem can be resolved. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to respond to complaints about bed bugs.
You can read more about bed bugs in Massachusetts on the state’s website at mass.gov. There you will find “Frequently Asked Questions About Bed Bugs” compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
A beg bug lawyer can explain the rights you have as a tenant in Massachusetts and the options available for dealing with a bed bug infestation.Recovering for Emotional Distress Caused by Bed Bugs
Bed bug injuries differ from injuries sustained in most other personal injury cases in a major way. The majority of personal injury cases center on medical expenses, while bed bug injuries typically hinge on the psychological trauma inflicted by the event. Many people who have suffered through a bed bug infestation report emotional distress stemming from the experience.
For example, people who have been bitten by bed bugs or have suffered through an infestation often report experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia. Some bed bug victims develop serious mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
In most cases, people who have been bitten by bed bugs can treat the bites themselves and the itching that comes with them through a regimen of self-care. Anti-itch cream and calamine lotion can help take away the itch, as can an oral antihistamine. Over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce swelling and pain.
Bed bugs are not known to transmit infectious diseases. However, in some cases, bed bug bites can cause serious allergic reactions or lead to infections. In these cases, prompt medical treatment should be sought.
A bed bug attorney can help victims recover for:
- Bodily injury
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Other damages
The amount of monetary compensation that a bed bug victim ends up with will most likely depend on several factors such as:
- The number of bed bug bites (A person with more than 50 bed bug bites over his or her body is likely to recover more than a person with only a few bites.)
- The severity of physical injuries or bite reactions, including any resulting scars
- The severity of any emotional trauma
- Whether the victim was forced to throw out furniture and other personal items
- Whether the hotel or other property owner knew of the bed bug infestation but failed to warn guests or take action to eradicate the problem
Bed bug bites can cause keloid scars, which are pink or red raised scars that can develop after minor skin damage and spread beyond the original damage area. Keloid scars often do not go away on their own, but they can be treated via surgery, laser therapy, or other treatments.
Examples of successful bed bug claims include a California case brought by 16 tenants that sued their apartment complex owner for bed bites. Another involved an Arkansas family that brought suit against a hotel. In their lawsuit, the family alleged that the hotel manager knew about the bed bug problem in the room but failed to disclose the situation to the hotel’s patrons.
Bed bug cases can result in a wide range of settlement amounts depending on your case’s specific factors. Hiring an experienced bed bug attorney will ensure that the most money possible is obtained for your injuries.Bed Bug Cases and Infestations in Massachusetts
Bed bug infestations in Boston are probably more common than you realize. Boston was rated number 10 on Terminix’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities in 2019. The pest control company based its ratings on the number of services performed in each city in the previous year. Philadelphia, New York, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas took the top three spots. Nearby Hartford, Connecticut, came in at number 37.
Terminix also reported that:
- 22% of Americans have experienced a bed bug encounter
- 35% of Americans with children have had a bed bug encounter
Individuals increase their risk of being exposed to bed bugs while traveling. Places like hotels and motels can serve as a breeding ground for these bloodthirsty bugs. It’s important to note that bed bugs aren’t only found in one-star hotels or properties. Even luxury hotels and resorts can have bed bug problems.
Where do bed bugs live? Typically, bed bugs are found in mattresses and bedding. They also can be found in carpeting, furniture, and behind baseboards. Bed bugs sometimes hide behind loose wallpaper, in the folds of curtains, and in picture frames. These bugs are expert hitchhikers and can jump from one spot to another using things like purses, jackets, and suitcases. That’s how people take home bed bugs from an infested room or property.
Adult bed bugs look like an apple seed in size, shape, and color. They are flat, brown, oval, and don’t have wings. After eating, they swell up and become red. They usually bite at night. Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are a cream color, about the size of letters on a penny. Bed bug eggs are translucent and can be found in the folds of sheets.
Even if you’re unable to spot the bugs themselves, you still might be dealing with a bed bug infestation. Other signs of bed bugs include:
- Red-brown blood spots on sheets or mattress
- Smears of blood on sheets
- A musty odor
- Bites marks
According to the Mayo Clinic, bed bugs usually leave a red bite mark with a darker red spot in the center., The bites typically appear in a line or cluster,
To learn more about how our bed bug attorneys can help you with your bed bug infestation claim, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or by using our online form.