If you are served contaminated food in a restaurant, the restaurant may be liable for your food poisoning damages. But before you go ahead and file a personal injury claim after becoming ill from eating restaurant food, it is important that you understand a few important facts about filing a food poisoning claim. Below are four issues to consider and discuss with your lawyer before you move forward with your claim.
The Pathogen Responsible for your Illness Must be Identified by a Doctor
Your claim cannot simply state that you felt sick and experienced symptoms of food poisoning after eating in a restaurant. You must be able to prove that you suffered from the effects of a specific bacterial or viral infection, such as Salmonella, Listeria, Hepatitis A, or E.Coli. Your doctor can determine and document the cause of your illness through a stool or blood test.
You Need Evidence to Support your Claim
In addition to the results of your laboratory tests, you will need to provide evidence that shows the financial ramifications of your illness. This can include your medical bill and documentation of your lost wages. You may also need to keep leftover food from the meal as evidence, so be sure to ask your lawyer about its usefulness to your case before you throw your leftovers in the trash.
It is Not Always Necessary to Determine the Specific Food Item that Caused your Illness
It is not always necessary to determine exactly which food was contaminated in order to recover compensation through a food poisoning claim. When multiple people who ate at the same restaurant during a specific time frame show matching Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns after suffering from the same illness, this can be enough evidence to support a claim that the restaurant served contaminated food. PFGE testing is a type of genetic testing that can determine specific strains of bacteria found in infected individuals.
Illness Can be Transmitted through Contact with Workers’ Fecal Matter
It can be unpleasant to think about, but it is important to acknowledge that in many cases, food poisoning outbreaks are caused by ill employees who do not wash their hands thoroughly before handling food, silverware, and menus. Your illness could be the result of contact with microscopic particles from your server’s most recent bowel movement.
Work with an Experienced Elk Grove Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you have suffered from food poisoning after eating at a restaurant or another commercial food vendor, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. But you do not necessarily have grounds for a claim – determine whether your food poisoning claim is worth pursuing by discussing it with an experienced food poisoning lawyer. Contact our team at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Alex Jones)