If you have bed bugs, seek representation for your personal injury.
Picture this: You’ve visited a local furniture rental company and found the perfect bedroom set to complete your home. The bed frame has been lightly used, and you rented it for the perfect price. You are comfortable with your purchase knowing the company you’re renting from has a satisfaction guaranteed policy. You happily accept the furniture delivery, set up your bedroom set and doze off to sleep.
But instead of waking up from well-rested beauty sleep the next morning, you find yourself covered in scarlet, itchy welts. What gives? The culprit: the furniture you rented is infested with bed bugs. What do you do?
Bed bug infestations have been a grim reality for some Sticklen & Dreyer clients. Time and time again these second-hand furniture rental companies are renting out previously rented merchandise that is contaminated with hiding bed bugs that will eventually lead to infestations.
A recent Sticklen & Dreyer client rented a TV and bedroom set from a local furniture rental agency. After a few days she woke up with painful welts covering her body. She documented the bites with photos and videotape as proof of her injuries.
Bed bugs are pests. They are hard to see in daylight; they crawl from space to space, and can hide behind wallpaper or even the tiniest crevice in bed frames. Bed bugs always travel in groups and reproduce at an alarming rate. One female can lay over 5,000 eggs in her lifetime.
They’ve evolved – no matter where you sleep, as long as bed bugs are in your home, they will find you. Bed bugs migrate toward the carbon dioxide you breathe out while you sleep, and your radiating body heat is an added bonus. They will bite your skin and feed off your blood where there is any exposed skin.
Covered head-to-toe in irritating, red welts, Sticklen and Dreyer’s client rushed to the hospital where she was given a soothing lotion to apply to her skin.
Once bitten though, there is not much medically that can be done. You should still go to see your doctor, so they can relieve the itchiness with antiseptic creams and antihistamines. Your doctor will also adequately document the visit in your file.
When scratched, the bites typically scar and often don’t disappear over time, as was the case with this client. She called the furniture rental agency asking for a refund and for the company to take back the furniture, but her requests were ignored. Without the appropriate funds, the client had to continue sleeping on the infested furniture.
Calling your furniture rental agency and expecting them to take back the furniture and offer a refund is probably a dead end. The company will most likely not claim responsibility and will blame you for the infestation.
Instead, seek medical attention, photograph the bites and contaminated merchandise, and call a personal injury attorney for a consult. Then ask them about getting representation. Sticklen and Dreyer’s client’s settlement more than covered her minor medical bills. No matter who you rent from, you can get compensated for the damages.