A common question is what is my bed bug case worth? While we have no real formula to determine exact value, here are some factors we consider in placing a dollar value on your case. Bed bugs can be some of the most devastating infestations. Victims often suffer deep psychological trauma. This can impact all elements of their life, including work.
How do we evaluate the value of your bed bug case?
Bed bug cases are evaluated using the following factors.
First: How many bites did you have across your body and how many people were bit? Bites across the body are indicative of a few factors. Multiple bites are always a sign of a serious infestation. If you have 50 plus bites it is likely a sign that the infestation was lingering on the property for a prolonged period of time.
Second: Was the hotel or property owner aware of the infestation? Knowledge and conduct of the at fault party is a critical factor. If it found that the property owners had knowledge and failed to correct the issue, liability will be extended to them. In many cases showing that they had knowledge can be difficult and requires some creative strategies.
Third: what injuries did you sustain as a result of the bites? This is not exclusive to your physical injuries, but emotional as well. Some develop keloid scars across the body. In other cases victims suffer psychological trauma that can take years to correct.
These three factors are the main issues we use to determine your damages claim. Hotels, apartment complexes and rental facilities will routinely deny any knowledge that bed bugs existed on the property. In many cases they will give the false sense of settling with you on your claim, only to use it as a defense tactic. In turn they will use the information you have provided to deny or limit the value of your claim.
Bed bug cases will only settle for their actual value when a lawsuit is filed. Without a lawsuit, insurance companies and claims adjusters who handle the claim will provide you a lowball offer. They will tell you that because your medical bills are low, that the case is in fact not that valuable. This is an inaccurate statement. Bed bug cases will have value depending on the conduct, knowledge and emotional distress suffered by the victim.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Settling a case will depend on a number of factors. However, the average personal injury lawsuit can take between 6-14 months. A lot of the time issues associated with your case will depend on whether the defendant will admit to liability. If liability is at issue, or if liability is not immediately established or accepted it can delay the case. It is your attorneys job to establish liability.
Should I accept the insurance companies offer?
NO! Never accept the offer from an insurance adjuster. Generally, these offers are three or four times less than the value of your claim. Often times insurance adjusters will use the fact that you have “no damages” as tool to deny or limit the claim. Damages are generally bodily injury or emotional injuries, but if you do not know how to demonstrate, explain and argue these damages correctly it can hurt your case.
Before accepting any offer form an insurance company make sure you speak with an attorney regarding your case. Often times a lawyer dealing with bed bug cases, will be able to point you in the best direction.
About Us: The Downtown LA Law Group is a full service personal injury law form representing victims of beg bug bite injuries across the State of California including Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside and the San Fransisco bay area communities of Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento. To schedule a free legal consultation call us toll free (855)385-2529.