If I get sick from eating a restaurant’s food, can I successfully bring a claim?

By: Tom DeLattre

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If you can prove that the meal in question was the cause of your food poisoning, you may be able to bring a successful claim against the restaurant at fault. This proof can be collected by receiving medical care and having your doctor confirm that you, indeed, suffered from food poisoning. You would then be required to prove that your illness was caused by the particular meal at that particular restaurant, and not something you ate at home or at another restaurant.  You may also have to rule out the possibility that you simply came down with the flu or a similar “bug” that may have been going around at that time.

Though these are not easy cases, if you get sick to the point of needing medical care, you should investigate a possible claim.  The value of your claim is determined by the injury/illness incurred and the amount of medical expenses and lost wages.  Some of these cases are minimal but others can be significant, especially if the person afflicted is elderly or develops severe complications from the food poisoning.

A thorough investigation can determine if a restaurant has been cited for similar issues in the past, and what the restaurant’s inspection grade was at the time of the incident. Many restaurants, regardless of the name or chain, may have issues that cause food poisoning.  Salmonella bacteria, often associated with poultry, eggs, meat, and cheese, can adversely affect the intestinal tract of human beings. Symptoms often last up to a week and occur within 12 hours to three days from exposure. Food that is not properly refrigerated, along with employees who fail to properly wash their hands, are the most common causes of food poisoning.

To avoid these dining dangers, be careful and select your restaurants wisely. Anyone who has ever worked in restaurant kitchens will tell you, issues can occur at even the highest-end eateries. A tip for the concerned: Frying foods usually kills most harmful bacteria. It may not be the healthy choice for your diet, but if you are unsure about where you are eating, it is something to consider.

Should you have any questions regarding this type of claim, please give us a call at (407)841-7699.  Consultations are free.

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