Food-borne disease could be caused by multiple factors including contamination of food by a pathogen, parasite, or toxins. According to a report, there are close to 76 million food poisoning cases reported in U.S. alone every year, and the cause for each case is difficult to pin down to one source. Food poisoning can have severe impact on a victim’s health, and it can even be fatal. The victim of such an illness can rightfully file a lawsuit to get the compensation he or she needs to be made whole again.
Winning a Food Poisoning Lawsuit
It can be difficult to prove that you have incurred an illness from eating a particular food item. A defendant, such as a food seller or a food processor can claim that the food was contaminated after it was served to you, or even that the food was not contaminated at all. You will need to prove that the food was contaminated before it was served to you, which might require the testimony of witnesses and experts in medicine, microbiology, or food safety. Getting help from an experienced food poisoning lawyer can make the difference between receiving compensation for your injuries and receiving nothing at all.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning can be attributed to different pathogens, parasites, or even toxins in the food. There are many types of organisms that can cause food borne illness, but here are the most common ones:
- Salmonella: Salmonella can cause the infection Salmonellosis. It can be found in eggs, meat, unpasteurized milk, cheese, and raw fruits. Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. This bacteria will start showing its effect in six to 48 hours post food consumption.
- E. coli: Escherichia coli (E. coli) is generally seen in food or water contaminated by human feces. The symptoms of such an infection are vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache. Symptoms often takes a day or more to show up after food consumption.
- Hepatitis: The common source of this illness is raw products, uncooked or partially cooked food, or food or water handled by an infected individual. The symptoms are severe – jaundice or diarrhea, fever, and nausea. Generally, the illness takes more than two weeks to appear.
- Norovirus: This virus is highly contagious and could be seen in raw food items, polluted water, uncooked, or undercooked foods. Nausea, vomiting, fever and sometimes headache can be a signal for this type of infection. It will show its effect within 12 hours of food consumption.
- Staphylococcal (staph) food poisoning: This type of infection will from contact with the bacteria or the toxins produced by it. Sitting at room temperature promotes the buildup of the bacteria on eggs, meat, and food items like potato salad. The bacteria usually shows up in an hour to six hours post food consumption.
Contact a Food Poisoning Personal Injury Lawyer
Your first priority after being poisoned by food should be to seek medical attention for your illness. However, if you or your child experienced food poisoning because of the contamination of food at a store or restaurant, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation. If you are experiencing an illness caused by food poisoning, call the food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland LLP at (847) 797-8000, or a fill out our online contact form. We help clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Katie Smith)