You expect the food you eat in restaurants to be safe. However, around 48 million consumers get food poisoning each year and restaurants are responsible for 42% of cases. Seeking damages for a mild case that lasted a couple of days will not be worth the time. However, if the contaminated food has caused an extensive illness requiring a trip to the hospital or doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are some tips on pursuing a food poisoning case against a restaurant.
Prove One of These Factors
You will need to prove one of the following factors for a valid food poisoning case: strict product liability, breach of warranties, or negligence. In some states, a strict product liability will absolve you of having to prove the restaurant caused your illness because of a defective product.
In states that don't have strict product liability, you will have to prove the negligence of the establishment. Find out if the restaurant violated breach of warranty, which means the product(s) didn't meet minimum standards.
Seek Medical Attention
Do not delay getting medical attention for food poisoning. See your doctor immediately to get stools tested for Ecoli, listeria, norovirus, hepatitis, and salmonella. If more than two people get sick from the same restaurant, the doctor could order PFGE (Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) testing on all of them.
Bacteria has genetic fingerprints that can be used to trace contamination to the source even without the specific food or knowing the food that caused the illness. Your doctor takes PFGE fingerprints from the food or equipment used at the restaurant and compares them with the PFGE from your bacteria.
Get copies of all medical bills and receipts for out-of pocket expenses not covered by insurance. Out-of pocket expenses usually include co-pays, prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and travel expenses related to treatment. Request your medical admissions charts, doctor accounts, or anything related to your treatment. Keep up with lost income and verify you missed work by getting a note from your employer.
Determine If an Employee Caused the Illness
Sick employees who keep working increase the risk of spreading bacteria to food. Sometimes, the restaurant forbids the employee to take time off. Some states do not allow sick employees to work in restaurants.
An employee could contaminate the food from contact caused by not washing hands. If you get proof an employee caused the illness, you may be able to sue the restaurant for punitive damages. Punitive damages give monetary rewards to victims of food poisoning from negligent parties.
Food poisoning should be taken seriously by restaurants, as they owe duty of care to customers. If you need help getting justice for you food poisoning, contact an experienced attorney from a firm like Herbert Law Firm LLC to help you make a claim against the restaurant.Share
11 May 2015
After my mom turned 68 years old, she started doing all kinds of strange things. She spent her monthly retirement checks on excessive amounts of food and clothing but didn't pay her rent or bills on time. At one point, she forgot who I was to her. Since my mom lived alone at an independent apartment complex, I couldn't monitor her behavior every second of the day. I brought these things to my mom's attention, but she refused to get medical help. After my mother called the fire department to report a fake fire, I took legal action. I contacted a general attorney and became my mother's power of attorney. I now had the right to monitor my mom's finances and medical care. If your loved one needs help, read my blog for information on general attorneys. You'll find tips, articles and much more to help you get started.