The last thing you expect after enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant is to become violently ill as a result. After a trip to the doctor, you discover you have come down with food poisoning after eating at a restaurant. As such, you may not know that you could be entitled to damages incurred from the contamination. The following blog explores more about this in detail and discusses how a Prince George’s County personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of a legal battle.
What Is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning occurs when someone consumes contaminated food resulting in an illness. Most commonly, this is the result of a virus, bacteria, or parasite infecting the food.
More often than not, this is caused by bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella. However, a virus like norovirus or rotavirus can also cause an illness. Though rare, parasites like tapeworms can also lead to food poisoning. This illness is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever.
Generally, food poisoning is something that many can recover from at home. However, in some cases, this can become severe. As such, you may incur high medical bills and lost wages from time missed from work. Unfortunately, food poisoning can lead to brain damage, seizures, and renal failure in severe cases.
Can I Hold a Restaurant Liable for Damages?
If your food poisoning leads to damages and harm, such as high medical bills or lost income because you had to take time off of work to heal, you may be able to hold the restaurant responsible for damages. It’s important to note that there must be an established link from your illness to the eatery.
To establish a link, the kitchen, food, utensils, and other surfaces will be swabbed to collect samples. If the same bacteria or virus that caused your illness is found, the DNA profile of the bacteria causing your illness and those found in the restaurant will be compared. If they match, it can clearly show that this restaurant was the source of your food poisoning.
Once it is established that you became ill from this location, you can pursue compensation. This includes economic damages, like hospital bills and rehabilitation expenses, and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering or a diminished quality of life from complications from your illness.
If you’ve been diagnosed with food poisoning after eating at a restaurant and sustained damages as a result, you’ll want to contact our firm as soon as possible. Our dedicated legal team at McCarthy, Winkelman, Mester & Offutt will do everything possible to help you navigate this complex situation. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through this challenging time.