Can you sue a hotel for bed bugs?

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Although bed bug infestations rarely occur, they do sometimes happen, and it can cause mental, physical, and emotional distress. Along with the pain and suffering, you could also suffer from financial issues due to the loss of income and the medical expenses you encounter.  

If you have been bitten by bed bugs as a hotel guest, you may be wondering “can you sue a hotel for bed bugs?”

Who is responsible for bed bugs?

Hotel owners and management staff have a duty of care to their guests. They may have neglected to take sufficient measures to prevent bed bug infestations. As a consequence, it will affect those who visit the hotel negatively by causing damaging emotional distress.

What should hotels do to prevent bed bugs?

Hotel staff should do what they can to prevent issues with bed bugs. Staff are required to maintain all hotel rooms and bedding to minimise the risk of an infestation. There must be a system in place to check regularly for bed bugs.

Poorly maintained hotels are more likely to experience infestation because well organised hotels are usually more responsive at the first sign of bugs and implement solutions such as pest control or using bed bug detection dogs (who sniff bed bugs in hidden areas).

It may be unreasonable to expect the hotel to be aware of a small number of bed bugs, but it is likely to demonstrate a breach in the duty of care if there is clearly an infestation. Therefore, the hotel will have failed to identify and properly deal with the issues of a known infestation.

If the hotel staff did not appropriately inspect the premises and provide a sanitary environment, guests should be able to file a claim for compensation.

How can you sue a hotel for bed bugs?

At times, proving negligence is not easy. It is possible to make a claim if you can establish and prove that the hotel management have been negligent. If you have suffered from bed bug injuries, you should gather as much evidence as you can to build your case.

How much can you claim for bed bugs?

Bed bug lawsuits can vary depending on each case and circumstance of the injuries. The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on your reaction to the bed bug bites. Usually, it only causes soreness, irritation, and discomfort, although some can cause severe skin reactions and even anaphylactic shock.

If your bed bug bite has not caused a severe reaction, it may be wise to request for a refund from the hotel as they failed to provide an adequate clean service.

What should you do after you find bed bugs?

The first priority should be to seek medical attention. Injuries can be very severe, and this should be checked by a health professional. It is important to keep the records of all visits relating to the bites including receipts of creams purchased, name of the doctor and time of visit.

If you have not visited a doctor for treatment or attended the hospital for severe reactions, you are not able to make a claim for hotel bed bug bites irrespective of the number of bites. A claim can only be made if your bites have been examined or medically treated by a doctor.

You should also identify whether it really was bed bugs that caused the injury and not similar insects. Evidence is important when seeking compensation so you should take pictures of your bites and any pictures of the bed if you find bugs in your hotel room.

Then you should report the bed bugs to hotel management to ensure that they are aware and document the conversation if you are able to do so along with making a written report for the hotel’s accident book. You should try to obtain information about the date and time of the incident along with the manager you spoke to and any witnesses. The hotel manager should provide the name of the housekeeper who cleaned the room, when it was last cleaned, whether any former guests complained of bed bug issues in the same room, or whether an exterminator was contacted (including the name of the company who conducted the removal).

Following this, the next step is to speak to a personal injury solicitor who will investigate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Can you bring bed bugs home from a hotel?

Unfortunately, bed bugs can attach themselves to your clothes and your body. You can take measures to ensure that you do not bring bed bugs from the hotel into your home by:

·        Avoid keeping your suitcase in your bedroom when you return: try to unpack in areas far away from your bed to prevent further injuries

·        Unpack immediately: when you return, you should try to wash and dry your clothes on high heat

·        Reduce clutter: try not to throw your clothes around the house because you are more likely to spot any bed bugs quickly if the area is clean.

What type of compensation can you receive?

A personal injury lawyer will be able to cover various types of possible compensation. It is usually awarded in two types: general and special damages.

General damages refer to the amount you will receive because of your physical pain, suffering, and loss of activities you once enjoyed. This figure is based on the extent of your injuries (such as severe itching, inflammation and swelling), the number of bites, and the impact the medical expenses will continue to have on your future based on the bed bug bites. This can also include the emotional distress and trauma you suffer due to lack of sleep as a result of a fearing future infestations or allergic reactions.

Special damages include any additional financial losses you sustained as a direct result of your injury including the following:

·        Damage to your personal property, along with premises liability

·        Extermination costs and temporary lodging for the period of extermination

·        Replacing luggage and furniture for items you may have removed to prevent the bed bugs from spreading in your home

·        Loss of current and future earnings due to time off work

·        The cost of the vacation you will not have enjoyed after discovering the bed bugs

·        Medical expenses from permanent scarring from the bites or it could have exacerbated or triggered existing skin conditions, which may result in seeking private medical care

Beacon Law can offer a free consultation and get you connected to solicitors with extensive experience dealing with bed bug injuries.

How can Beacon Law help?

Beacon Law are a specialist law firm of personal injury solicitors with years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims.  

Beacon Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales.  

If you have suffered from bed bug injuries, and you are wondering “can you sue a hotel for bed bugs?” then please call our team today on 0330 1332 857 to start your claim or complete our contact form at the top of the page to start your claim online and a member of our personal injury team will give you a call back.

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