Cases of Salmonella, Listeria, botulism, norovirus, E. coli, and other foodborne illness outbreaks occur in Hollywood, Miami, and across Florida each year. You may be trying to make all the right decisions about the healthful foods you eat, but poorly stored, prepared, or served foods can injure you.
In some cases, foodborne illnesses results only in mild digestive upset and maybe a few hours of discomfort. In other cases, however, the illness can be life-changing. Botulism, for example, can easily become deadly or can lead to extensive paralysis, leaving the victim in an assisted-living facility.
Do you have a food poisoning claim in Hollywood or Florida?
If you’ve been injured because of food poisoning, you may wonder whether you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the other losses you have suffered. Determining whether you have a claim can be quite complicated in these cases.
In order to make a personal injury claim, you need to prove:
1) That foodborne illness caused your injuries.
Surprisingly, this can be quite difficult. It can be challenging, for example, to determine exactly which foods caused your illness, and unless you secure medical evidence right away the timeline of the illness can remain unspecific. This situation may be a little bit easier if your illness was caused by a government-recognized or widespread case of food poisoning or foodborne illness that is linked by investigators to a specific source.
2) That a specific person or company was negligent or violated their duty of care to you.
Again, it can be quite difficult to determine exactly what and who caused your injuries. For example, if you went out to dinner three times in a row and had two meals and a snack at home using foods you’d purchased at a grocery store, it may be difficult to determine exactly which of those products injured you and therefore who the negligent parties might be. You may throw away packaging or other proof that you consumed a specific type of food.
3) That you have suffered damages.
In general, you will pursue a personal injury claim in cases of food poisoning only in situations where the food poisoning was significant. For instance, if you contracted the norovirus or Listeria and had to be hospitalized or lost significant time at work, you may have a claim for the lost wages and hospital bills you have faced.
What should you do if you have suffered food poisoning?
If you think you have a foodborne illness, there are a few things you’ll want to do:
1) See a doctor immediately. If the illness appears serious, get medical attention and get copies of the medical reports. The more information you have, the easier it may be to determine what caused your illness and to link the illness back to specific food.
2) Start documentation. As soon as you realize you may have had a reaction to a food or food product, get as much evidence as you can. Contact people you were dining with at a restaurant so you have witnesses for your evening. Keep food receipts, food packages, and any remaining food product for investigators. Keep a list of symptoms and the exact times they developed. The more information you have, the easier it may be to link your symptoms to a specific source.
3) Contact an attorney. Evidence will disappear very quickly as stores and restaurants clean their premises every day. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you realize you have suffered serious foodborne illness. Your attorney can start work right away to preserve evidence needed in your case.
If you need to speak to an attorney about a foodborne related personal injury claim, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.