Step 1: Document EverythingDocumentation is key to a good case. If you claim that you received bed bug bites at a hotel, it is imperative that you document everything necessary to make your case as compelling as possible. Without it, there won’t be any evidence to prove your case. For example, if you received bed bug bites but didn’t take any pictures, nor notified the hotel, nor visited the doctor for your treatment, there won’t be anything to prove your pain and suffering. No judge on the planet will rule in your favor without evidence, and we as lawyers can’t simply pull evidence out of thin air. Document every step of the incident. The more information you have the better your case is. Here is a list of what you should document:
- Manager’s name;
- Name of any housekeeper or staff who cleaned your room;
- When the room was last cleaned;
- Whether the room has had any previous bed bug issues;
- Whether former guests in the hotel complained of bed bugs;
- Photos of bites–this is very important. Take as many photos of your bites as you can;
- If you visit a doctor keep records of your visit, including receipts of creams purchased, name of your doctor and time of visit;
- If exterminator was contacted by the hotel make sure you write down the name of the company conducting the extermination.
Step 2: Contact County Health DepartmentAfter you’ve documented the initial bites and information regarding the hotel management/housekeeping, as well as notified the hotel staff, you’ll want to notify an official office. Having an official record of the incident is important and helps add credibility to your case. Contact the county health department in your area and report the issue. Often times they will immediately send out staff to inspect and notate the issue. Make sure you get the name of the county official or employee who is dispatched to take the report. Ask for a copy of the report or whether one can be mailed to you.
Step 3: Do NOT Speak With Hotel Manager or InsuranceHotel owners will attempt to avert liability from their establishment. Can you blame them? An owner has no reason to trust that one of its customers all of a sudden has bed bugs. Many will blame the guest for the bed bugs and deny any liability, claiming that the bed bugs were brought in by the customer and it was them who caused the outbreak. Others will attempt to make a quick clean up before county health officials arrive to notate the instance. It is important to make sure the county health department has a record before a clean up is conducted. This will help in proving your case and becomes a very important document in obtaining a settlement. If you are note moving out of the hotel you should request a room change to avoid continued harm.
Step 4: Get Medical AttentionIt is important that you seek medical attention for your injuries. You may have an allergic reaction to the bites. More serious cases can require plastic surgery to reduce scarring or keloid scarring. It is important that you get proper medical attention to help with any pain or itching you may be suffering. The reason you want to receive medical attention is because there is a direct correlation between the extent of the medical treatment you receive relating to your injuries and the value of your case. Without the medical treatment, the case value diminishes greatly and you may lose out on compensation. Bedbug injuries can have long lasting psychological and physical scarring. Clients often feel trauma from being bitten by bedbugs. Many are unable to sleep for months at a time and are constantly afraid of being bitten. To make matters worse many merely brush off their injuries.
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How do we evaluate the value of your bed bug case? Bed bug cases are evaluated using the following factors.