Reporting a cyber crime in India with just an e-mail

“Yesterday only, I received a call on my mobile device from an unknown number. The anonymous caller presented himself as some bank officer who was in immediate need of my ATM card number and CVV. After politely informing him that I’m a law student, I did disconnect the call.”

Well, not a new thing. Such happenings are way too common in our friend circle, family friends, and even ourselves and our parents. Law knowing persons including law professors, practitioners, and law students regularly receive phishing attempts, impersonating calls and emails on their electronic devices. What’s worse is that they choose to ignore such happenings.

Thanks to the recent legal developments in the Indian legal system, we can report such incidents just by dropping an email or reporting it to the local cyber cell.

What to report

Any cybercrime can be reported following the undermentioned steps. Whether a person is asking for your secret information or someone threatening you over Facebook, whether someone hate-texting you on Twitter or sending you sexually inappropriate messages on Whatsapp, you can (and must) report the incident by following the undermentioned steps.

For a rough idea regarding the ambit of the term ‘cybercrime’, it includes any illegal act that involves the usage of a computer or networking device. Read more here.

Where to report

Cyber crimes have global jurisdiction according to the IT legislation and therefore a complaint can be lodged in any cyber cell as per convenience.

How to report

First, you have to write an application addressing to the head of the cyber crime cell (head of the particular cyber crime cell to which you chose to report).

Note – Your application should include the following details:

  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number

Second, attach the relevant and required documents. The type of documents required vary from offence to offence. For example, in case of hacking, you need to provide documents like logs of the server, a copy of the defected page, a copy of the original page, control mechanism details, list of suspects etc. In case of an impersonating call or message, the required documents include such call/message log, sender/caller details, impersonating details etc. Broadly speaking, attach any document that proves the existence of a prima facie case.

Third, send the email (along with the attached documents) to the concerned cyber crime cell using the contact details mentioned below.

Addresses of Cyber Crime Investigation Cells in India

Bangalore

Cyber Crime Police Station,

CID Annexe Building, Carlton House,

# 1, Palace Road,

Bangalore – 560001.

Telephone: +91- 080- 22942475, +91- 080- 22943050

Email: cybercrimeps@ksp.gov.in

Website: http://www.cyberpolicebangalore.nic.in

Chennai

SIDCO Electronics Complex,

Block No. 3, First Floor,

Guindy Industrial Estate,

Chennai -32

Ph: 044 22502526

Email: spcybercbcid.tnpol@nic.in

Website:http://cbcid.tn.nic.in

Delhi

Central Bureau of Investigation,

Plot No. 5-B, 6th Floor, CGO Complex,

Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003

Ph:+91-11-4362203, +91-11-4392424

Website:http://cbi.nic.in/

E-Mail: cbiccic@bol.net.in

Hyderabad

In Charge Cyber Crime Police Station,

Hyderabad City.

Email : cybercell_hyd@hyd.appolice.gov.in

Ph:04027852040

Website:http://www.hyderabadpolice.gov.in

Cyberabad

ACP   Inspector Cyber Crimes

Sub-Inspector Cyber Crimes

IT Cell    Special Branch

Ph: 9491 039 167, 9491 039 172

9491 039 088, 040-2785 3413

Website: http://cyberabadpolice.gov.in/cybercellwebsite

Nagpur

Cyber Crime Investigation Cell,

Crime Branch, 4th Floor,

Administrative Building No. 1,

Near Udyog Bhavan,

Civil Lines, Nagpur-01.

Email:cybercell@nagpurpolice.nic.in

Tel: +91 – 712 – 2566766

Website: http://www.nagpurpolice.info/manage_pages?id=29

Pune

Office of Commissioner of Police

2, Sadhu Vaswani Road,

Camp, Pune – 411001

Phone: +91-20-020-26126296, 26122880, 26208250

Fax: 020 26128105.

Website: http://www.punepolice.gov.in

E-Mail: crimecomp.pune@nic.in / punepolice@vsnl.com

Mumbai

Cyber Crime Investigation cell,

Annex III, 1st floor, Office of the Commissioner of Police,

D.N.Road, Mumbai – 400001

Ph: +91-22- 24691233

Web site: http://www.cybercellmumbai.gov.in

E-mail id: cybercell.mumbai@mahapolice.gov.in

Gurgaon

E-mail: jtcp.ggn@hry.nic.in

Website : http://gurgaon.haryanapolice.gov.in

Rajasthan

Ph: +91-9672700012

Website: http://www.cybercellindia.com/

e-mail: cyber@cybercellindia.com

Madhya Pradesh

Inspector General of Police

State CYBER POLICE,

Bhopal (M.P.)

Ph:0755-2770248

Email: mpcyberpolice@gmail.com

Website: http://www.mpcyberpolice.nic.in

Kerala

Website: http://www.keralapolice.org/newsite/ccps.html

Helpline Numbers:

0471-3243000

0471-3244000

0471-3245000

Meghalaya

Website: http://www.meghpol.nic.in

Thane

3rd Floor, Office of Commissioner of Police,

Khalkar Lane, Court Naka, Thane (W)

Ph: 022-25410986

Email: police@thanepolice.org

Website: http://thanepolice.org/cybercell.php

Uttar Pradesh

Cyber Complaints Redressal Cell,

Nodal Officer Cyber Crime Unit Agra,

Agra Range 7,Kutchery Road,

Baluganj,Agra-232001

Uttar Pradesh

Ph : 0562-2463343, Fax: 0562-2261000

E-mail: info@cybercellagra.com,

digraga@up.nic.in

Website: http://www.cybercellagra.com

West Bengal

DIG CID

IIIrd Floor ,Bhawani Bhawan

Alipore, Kolkata – 700 0027

Phone Numbers – 033 2450 6100

Fax Number – 033 2450 6174

Email :mail@cidwestbengal.gov.in

Website: http://cidwestbengal.gov.in

 

Gujarat
DIG, CID, Crime and Railways
Fifth Floor
Police Bhavan
Sector 18, Gandhinagar 382 018
Contact Details:
+91-79-2325 4384

+91-79-2325 0798
+91-79-2325 3917 (Fax)

Jharkhand

IG-CID, Organized Crime

Rajarani Building, Doranda Ranchi, 834002

Ph: +91-651-2400 737/ 738

E-mail: a.gupta@jharkhandpolice.gov.in

Don’t ignore crimes, no matter how small they may seem to be. You have a need to speak for yourself, and an obligation to lend your voice to those in need. Concluding with the words of Elie Wiesel:

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

– Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, the Accident



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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ANSHUMAN SAHOO

‘Passionate!’ That’s the only word he uses to describe himself. Questioning assumptions. Challenging hypocrisies. Making the planet a better place to live in.

Protecting yourself against hacking

India is developing and taking a turn towards the path of digitalization. But it is our duty to keep our personal information private. It is adamant that the information can be stolen by the hackers and be used for any wrongful purpose. A man can forget but the internet never forgets and therefore, the information needs to keep in safe from the hands of the hackers. Hacking is an illicit attempt and unauthorised intrusion into hardware or software/ computer or a network.  It is the exploitation of the computer system or any private network of the company or any institution. Hacking can be done for personal conflict also. Hacking is a mala fide attempt to access or to take control over the network of others. Hacking is basically done by the hackers. There is no hard and fast rule to define and determine the hackers. Hacking is generally done by the one who is highly skilled and intelligent to crack the password of the other’s computer system or the network. Hacking is basically done by the professionals who have the knowledge of computer system in depth. If a real hacker wants to get information about your personal belongings, they can easily get that information through hacking.

Hackers are also known as “THE CRACKERS” as they crack the password of the network or the channel to get the information out of it. Hacking is a very vulnerable process and is the information is easily disclosed.

To protect yourself against hacking and getting your information be undisclosed, there are certain remedies to be followed so that the necessary and important information remains undisclosed and the hacker could not hack the computer in order to get the information.

  1. Passwords

You should create a strong password for your computer in respect of securing your data from the hackers. Passwords should be the combination of letters, numeric and symbols. You should reset the password from time to time. One should keep in mind that there should not be the same password for different accounts.

  1. Private website

If you have your own domain name, then there is a chance that your personal information including your number, an address is available to everybody. Hence, while registering, privatize your information so that hackers make not get any information.

  1. History data

The Internet has all the records what were you up to and what you are up to. So clear off the history data once in a while so that information cannot be leaked.

  1. Avoid open Wi-Fi AND Hotspot

Hackers are active through free Wi-Fi and hotspot and can steal your private data through open Wi-Fi or hotspot. Hence, avoid using the open Wi-Fi network or giving or taking hotspot connection from any other network. Instead, connect your internet in outside places.

  1. Public computers

Cyber cafes are the most reluctant places from where cyber crime happens. Using a private account through public computers may lead you in a difficult as it can go viral easily.

  1. Online transactions

These are the days where digitalization is at its peak but not to forget to use your card details alertly. There can be a chance of fraud by online companies to collect the details of your card and misuse it.

Conclusion

The speed of the internet is growing fast and we are lagging behind it. When we use anything, we should be aware of its pros and cons. Therefore, using internet also has its pros and cons and we should safely use it for our safety. Online transaction is on demand nowadays, and after demonetization, it has increased it pace like hell. So, while doing online transaction, we should know which all are the protected websites and from where your card details should not be leaked. We should stay cautious while using public programming system and avoid entering the personal bank accounts or social media details as there are chances for these accounts to be hacked. Nowadays, in this competitive world, every company and person needs to grow fast from the other and climb the mountain of success, for this sometimes, they hack the site or account of other person to grab the details of their marketing strategies, and hence, for this, hackers are hired by these big companies.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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SAKSHI JAIN

Sakshi Jain is currently pursuing her BLS LLB from Government Law College, Mumbai. Although she’s keen to gain knowledge and explore things going around her, her priority always stays focused on law only. Although she yearns for a career in the corporate sector, she’s quite confident regarding her capability to endure in other fields also. A passionate law student and a natural reader, she wants to complete her master degree from Harvard, Oxford, or London University.

Alcohol laws in India

Alcohol is one of the intoxicating substances consumed by the people around the corner of the world. Alcohols laws are in India are not taken seriously and most of the people are not aware of it. There is no uniformity in it and varies from state to state. In it, the legal age for drinking and sale ad consumption of alcohol also includes. It is because the alcohol law is included in Seventh Schedule of the constitution of India and comes under the state list. Therefore, the state can modify the alcohol laws according to their own wish. In India, the sale and consumption of alcohol usually take place in bar, restaurants, pubs, clubs, discos, etc.

The state laws for consumption and sale of alcohol do not only mentions the age of drinking but where all places the liquor should be sold. In few states, even groceries and departmental stores also sell liquor as their state laws permit the same. As being the subject of the state list, the law varies from state to state. Therefore, the legal drinking age differs from state to state in India. There is a difference between consumption age and purchasing age. Consumption age is the age when any individual can legally consume the liquor while the purchasing age is the one when an individual can purchase liquor from the license holder.

Legal Age in different states

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Karnataka, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Pondicherry the legal age of drinking is 18, following the state of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra (only beer), Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu has 21 years and in Punjab, Meghalaya, Haryana, Maharashtra (hard liquor), Chandigarh and Delhi, the minimum age specified is 25. There are few states, where the consumption of alcohol is illegal. They are Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland and Lakshadweep.

Drunk- Driving Law                             

The drunken drinking law in India is governed by Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Section 185 of the Act states that if a person while driving a motor vehicle, has a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) more than 30 mg in terms of 100 ml of blood, the said person shall be for the first time of the offence, be imprisoned for six months, or with fine which may be extend to two thousands, or both. If, the same person commits the offence for the second time within the period of 3 years for the commission of the first offence, the level of punishment increases. The punishment for the same will be imprisonment of two years or with a fine which may extend to three thousand rupees or both.

Public Drinking

Drinking in public places is prohibited as keeping in mind the society in which we live in. but people used to drink in public at a particular concern and secretly have liquor. But when, if caught, has to pay Rs 5000 and if, any nuisance is created by an individual in a drunk mode, then the fine increases to Rs 10,000 with a jail term of three months.

Dry Days

From the calendar year, there are some specific days when the sale of liquor is prohibited and if sold on that particular day, the license of the seller can be cancelled. Republic day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October) are considered to be the fixed days when the sale of liquor is prohibited throughout India as they are considered as the national holidays. Therefore, these days are considered as Dry day. There are few other days which are to be considered as dry day, according to the state laws for alcohol. These days also vary from state to state.

As mentioned above, the states where the sale of liquor is illegal, these kinds of states are known as Dry State.  In these state, the sale of liquor is totally banned. These states are called liquor-less state and there are separate laws which govern them

Gujarat:  Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment Bill), 2009 was passed by the governor of Gujarat.

Manipur: by the passing of Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, the sale and consumption of liquor is totally banned.

Nagaland:  the sale and consumption of Alcohol was banned by passing Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act (NLTP), 1989

Bihar: the ban on sale and consumption is governed by Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Prices

The price of the alcohol also varies from state to state. Being the cheapest in places like Delhi, Goa, Daman and Diu and expensive in the states like Maharashtra.

Constitutional perspective

Article 47 of the constitution of India states that “State shall Endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health” [1]The constitution allows the state to use the intoxicating substances and drugs for the medical purpose. It prohibits the consumption as these are injurious to health. We have seen that the legal age for consumption, possession and sale of the liquor varies from state to state, but the law not being so abiding and strict, many small children who have not crossed the majority age drinks secretly. The consumption of alcohol is not necessarily for the rich people, but the middle and poor class people also consume to a very higher extent.  This is because the laws are not so strict that people can fear of it and the availability of liquor is so frequent, that even children can purchase it easily.

Intervention of Supreme Court

In the month of December 2016, the apex court of India took an intuitive to control the crimes for drunk driving.  Supreme Court bans the sale of liquor on all national and state highways from 1st April 2017. The court further directed that no shop for the sale of liquor shall be visible from a national or state highway, shall not be situated within the distance of 500 meters from the edge of the highway, all the advertisement for the availability of liquor shall be prohibited.

Conclusion

We all know that alcohol is injuries to health but despite knowing this fact, we, which includes various age groups, tends to have it. The addition of the same leads to various health issues and sometimes, loss of health. So, there is various provision made by every state to take steps towards it. It is essential to cure this issue as nowadays, the youth are driven crazy by alcohol and makes their life addictive to it. This addictiveness leads to various problems. We need to understand that youth are the future of our country and we need to safeguard them by making strict laws for alcohol in India.

[1] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1551554/



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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SAKSHI JAIN

Sakshi Jain is currently pursuing her BLS LLB from Government Law College, Mumbai. Although she’s keen to gain knowledge and explore things going around her, her priority always stays focused on law only. Although she yearns for a career in the corporate sector, she’s quite confident regarding her capability to endure in other fields also. A passionate law student and a natural reader, she wants to complete her master degree from Harvard, Oxford, or London University.

Can you ask Google to remove any search result relating to you?

If anyone does search your name on ‘Google’ and the results which are subsequently shown are demeaning to your image and dignity or irrelevant or any particular unwanted result shown, then can you ask ‘Mr. Google’ or from any other search engine to remove those?

In the year 2014, in the jurisdiction of Spain, it was possible. Mr.Mario Costeja Gonzalez, filed a complaint before Spain authorities for removing a particular news article from article, which was no longer relevant.

The matter (Google Inc. v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos) went before the European Court of Justice, which resolved it and ordered both the respective news agency to remove that article. It also ordered Google Inc. to remove that article from search results. ECJ held that right to be called as “right to be forgotten”

Gradually, people in many other countries began to ask Google to remove certain unwanted search results from its index. Many other websites are also being asked to remove certain web pages which contained unwanted, irrelevant, or demeaning contents.

Countries like France, Britain, Germany, which are part of European Union are clearly enforcing “right to be forgotten” or “right to be erased”. Other countries such as Canada, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia and India are also facing complaints to enforce this right, and some have enforced it.

Now coming to Indian Context, recently in 2017, three High Courts i.e. Gujarat High Court, Delhi High Court and Karnataka High Court have come across three different cases, which are as follows:

  1. Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave v. State of Gujarat & Ors. (SCA no. 1854 of 2015) : In this case, the petitioner sought remedy under Article 226 against the publication of a judgment by Indian Kanoon and same being shown by Google in its search results, which was a ‘non-reportable judgment’. Petitioner further claimed that such an act violated of Article 21. Gujarat High Court held that such publication of judgment by “website would not amount to same being reported as the word “reportable” used for judgment is in relation to it being reported in law reporter.”
  1. Another case came up before Karnataka High Court which pertained to similar ground as were before the above-mentioned judgment. In this case Karnataka High Court ordered its Registry to make every endeavor”to ensure that any internet search made in the public domain, ought not to reflect the petitioner’s daughter’s name in the cause title of the order or in the body of the order of this court in Crl.P.No.1599/2015 disposed of on 15.06.2015.”

    It further stated that:
    “This would be in line with the trend in the Westerncountries where they follow this as a matter of rule “Right to be forgotten” in sensitive cases involving women in general and highly sensitive cases involving rape or affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned.”[1]

  1. LakshVir Singh Yadav vs. Union of India (WP(C) 1021/2016): This case is pending before Delhi High Court, and High Court has issued notice to the Centre (Ministry of Communication and Information Technology) regarding views on “right to be forgotten” or “right to delink” and delinking the ‘irrelevant information’ from the internet. It also asked for formation separate legal framework  for the same.[2]

Looking back in past – Right to Privacy

Right to Privacy has been held to be a part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.It first came out in Kharak Singh v. State of U.P., (1964) 1 SCR 332, where the court laid down that right to life includes personal liberty and thus, right to privacy.

Moving on further to R. Rajagopal v. State of T.N., (1994) 6 SCC 632, where Supreme Court has went further and stated that, right to privacy is part of right to life and liberty under Article 21, and called it as “right to be let alone”.It clearly said that:

“A citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing and education among other matters. None can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent — whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical. If he does so, he would be violating the right to privacy of the person concerned and would be liable in an action for damages.”

Supreme Court has though given an exception that, where matter relating to Public records are published they shall be not be deemed to be subjected to right to privacy. This exception is now a days being subjected to change and only Public authorities are being publish such records, and private persons are not allowed to publish such things which might harm the dignity of an individual.

Therefore, answering to the question, seeing the change in Indian Jurisprudence of “Right to be forgotten” or “Right to be erased” or “Right to delink” or “Right to be let alone” one can approach to court under Article 226 or 32 and ask for removal any content which is unwanted or irrelevant or demeaning from internet.

[1] http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/300117/karnataka-high-court-upholds-womans-right-to-be-forgotten.html

[2] http://www.livelaw.in/delhi-hc-hearing-nris-plea-right-forgotten-read-petition/



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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DHRUV CHANDORA

Dhruv Chandora is currently pursuing 4th year of BA LLB (Hons) course at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. A voracious reader and a keen learner, Dhruv is also a moot court enthusiast.

How to Make Your Personal Law Firm

One day will grow tired working for others, and then you realize that there is a need to do something for your own and try to start your own business. For law personals, it is very beneficial to start their firm whether they have just graduated with a law degree or have been working in a law firm for years. To setup and start your personal law firm you first need to know that how can you set up your business, what things you should keep in mind very first to become successful and what will be your responsibilities. There is always a risk in putting on the pilot’s hat but sometimes taking a calculated risk and shaping and effective strategy will help you to make a lot of money on your own and by your own. Here are few of the most basic tips that will help you to establish your law firm efficiently.

Try To Get Enough Clients

You have worked several years for others, or you have just graduated from a law institute, now may be you have a number of related contacts and links. Utilize your contacts and connections to attract a maximum number of clients. Make an aggressive marketing strategy that helps you to get a maximum number of potential customers. Making strong relationships with your clients by effective marketing and providing accurate solutions to their problems will help to market you by the words of your clients.

Try to Get Enough Capital

Getting enough capital to cover expense and salaries of at least one year for the employees that you may hire is a best practice for starting up. You should enough money that you can quickly pay off salaries and other expenses for at least two years without any income. Shape your strategy in such a way that you never ran out of finance before you properly start earning.

Plan an Effective Business Strategy

A practical and versatile business plan will not only help you to get your business on taking off flight but also helps you get a firm grasp of your business. The best business should be versatile and flexible enough so that you can manipulate it whenever it requires. Ask for your friends and relatives if they could help you in any possible way. Utilize your network smartly and try to get early break through.

Get a Rented Office

Find a good place for your office to be rented but make sure that is should not be too expensive.  The renting cost will most likely be the highest liability that you have to pay every month so be very cautious in choosing your rent office. Try to get an existing office suite where you can find some space for your setup as it will help you in keeping the rent cost as low as possible.

Try to get high-tech Computers

Get as high-tech computing systems as you can for your firm. Make sure that you have a proper and fast internet connection and server that helps you manage and store your data and retrieve it when needed.  Systems that are fast and prompt will help you perform you daily task with efficiency and helps you to save time resulting in increases efficiency.

Integrate a Case Management Software

The law industry is full of maintaining, creating and storing documentations. A rich functionality case management software will be helpful for you in preparing, managing and storing your important documents and case studies.  This software will also help you in organizing your appointments. 

Stay in Touch with your Clients.

One of the best ways to establish a fruitful relationship with your clients is by getting in touch with them 24/7. Setup different ways of communication so that each and every potential client can reach your easily. Make you online presence, social media accounts and most importantly get a dedicated phone and a phone number for your office so that people may contact you directly anytime anywhere. If your provide different ways to your clients to get in touch with you this will help a lot as some people prefer social network and internet over making phone calls rather some people find it easy to just make phone call and get their job done. 

Get a User-Friendly Website

This will be the most important marketing tool that you must have. Get your website designed and development by professional web developers. Provide all of your offerings, specialties, packages and charges on the portal. Make it very simple, user-friendly, and easy to navigate so that a maximum number of your clients may find you very easily on the internet. Your website should be rich with useful content so that people will easily understand you are offering them.  Getting your website as early as possible will help you to make gather maximum traffic on your website.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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CRAIG WELCH

Craig as an owner of CraigWelchLeagal specialises in Bankruptcy cases. He has a huge experience of approx. 30 years in this field. He is always ready to assist those who need legal services.

My Hotel Had Bed Bugs – Can I Sue For Personal Injury?

Hotels make their money based on reputation, and hygienic conditions are essential to building that reputation. We expect to be clean and comfortable where we sleep, especially when paying an establishment which provides that specific service. Suffice it to say, we don’t always get what we pay for. If you stayed at a hotel and experienced conditions that weren’t on par with your expectations, then the business itself might be liable. If you were bitten by bed bugs, then you might be able to sue for personal injury.

As you might expect, any lawsuit involving personal injury is laid upon a foundation that requires as much evidence as possible. If you experienced an unclean or unsafe environment, then there are steps you need to take to ensure you have the best case possible when it comes time to file your suit. Failure to take these steps might result in a reduction of potential recovery or a dismissal or your lawsuit.

In order to win this kind of personal injury lawsuit, you must prove the hotel’s negligence. You must also provide proof of the damages that were incurred. This isn’t always an easy task, especially since no one exactly plans to incur those damages. The hotel almost certainly won’t make it any easier. That’s why you should always photograph your hotel room whenever you stay. If something happens during your visit, you’ll be more easily covered.

Know What to Look for!

First thing’s first. You need to be certain that you file your lawsuit for the right reasons. If you know what to look for, bed bugs can be seen by the naked eye. After feeding, they grow substantially and turn red just like mosquitoes. Take a picture of a red bed bug while still in your hotel room, and you’ll be well on your way to proving a hotel’s negligence.

Know what a bed bug bite looks like. People can react differently to bed bug bites, and so it’s important to seek medical attention. Medical records can provide the requisite proof in such a personal injury case. Allergic reactions to bedbug bites are rare, but the resulting landscape of your skin can be quite unseemly.

Still, research indicates that the vast majority of people, between 30 and 60 percent, experience no visible reaction at all. Since you’re reading up on bed bug personal injury, let’s assume you fall outside of this spectrum. If this is the case, you most likely came down with a nasty rash after being bitten by more than one of the tiny insects.

If left alone, redness and swelling usually dissipate within a week or so. As with any rash, scratching can increase the longevity of any discomfort. The injury might be compounded if you were bitten on more than one occasion. When you’ve been bitten previously, the length of time it takes to react to the most current bite can be drastically reduced in much the same way as you’d expect from multiple poison oak exposures. In such cases, you might note blister-like pustules.

Whatever you do, take a picture of the affected area. DO NOT treat until you have a photograph! If you already treated the bites, your chances of a successful lawsuit will be substantially reduced.

Document and Record Everything

Most hotels provide more than one option for billing. Whatever you do, make sure you keep a copy of the bill. It’s important to know exactly how much you spent on the room, and for how long. Did you stay more than one night? If the answer is yes, were you bitten on more than one night? Be prepared to answer these questions if you go to court.

If you’ve been bitten by bed bugs and require medical attention, be sure to keep records of damages. In addition to the cost of the room, you’ll be able to seek reparation for any medical expenses. If you took pictures of the initial exposure, great. But be sure to continue to document your road to recovery. How long it took you to get better can influence the decision of the court to fall in your favor–especially if it took longer than the average recovery period of one week.

The Bottom Line

Okay, that’s all well and good, but how much can you expect to recover from a bed bug personal injury lawsuit? Well, that all depends. Can you prove the negligence of the hotel? Can you prove damages? How many bites did you incur? Was this a typical bite and reaction, or was it a prolonged exposure with prolonged medical consequences? Was there an accompanying infection or infestation because of the exposure? Were there extensive medical bills incurred? Was there a psychological component to your injury?

Don’t attempt to contact a hotel in order to recover damages on your own. Always seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer that has a history of successful premise liability cases. Failure to follow these simple steps might lead you to mistakenly help provide the hotel with information it could use to deny your entitlement to compensation.

If you’re lucky, the hotel will settle the lawsuit outside of court and you’ll avoid a substantial headache on top of the emotional distress you’ve already endured. If not, then evidence is your best friend. Photograph the room, photograph the bugs, photograph your reaction to the bites, photograph your recovery, and retain all of your bills. The more evidence of negligence or damages, the better your chance of getting the compensation you deserve.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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ABRAHAM JAROS

Abraham Jaros is the co-partner and founder of Jaroslawicz&Jaros PLLC, a law firm based in New York. During his career as a personal injury lawyer he has tried hundreds of cases and won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of his clients. When not in the court room he can be found writing to help inspire future lawyers everywhere.