When you eat at a restaurant or order takeout, you expect to be served with clean and safe food. If you suffer food poisoning due to eating food from an establishment, you can sue for damages. However, injury cases involving food poisoning are complicated. The nature of the matter at hand makes it difficult to pin liability on the restaurant. However, this doesn't mean that it's impossible. Before filing a lawsuit or injury claim, consider the following factors necessary for building a solid case.
Proof of Contamination
One of the hardest things to prove in a food poisoning case is contamination. How are you sure that the food you ate from the restaurant was the cause of food poisoning? In most cases, an establishment will argue that you ate something else that caused the contamination. However, if there's more than one person who fell ill after eating the food, it becomes easy to pin down the restaurant. To build a solid case, you need to prove that the contaminated food you ate at the restaurant caused your illness.
Proof of Medical Treatment
Did you pursue medical treatment after suffering from food poisoning? If you didn't, the establishment could argue that you only had a stomach bug. However, if you sought treatment for food poisoning, you may have a case. In fact, cases that result in hospitalization, extensive treatment, and loss of wages may also end in compensation. Thus, if you feel unwell after eating at a restaurant, visit a doctor immediately. Get tests for food poisoning bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and norovirus. Use these tests as proof that you sought medical treatment and that the food poisoning was bad enough to warrant medical treatment.
Immediate vs. Delayed Symptoms
Food poisoning starts anywhere between two to six hours of eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can take as long as ten days to materialize. The time difference between the moment you ate the food and the onset of symptoms can impact your case. Symptoms that develop within hours of consuming contaminated food make for a more straightforward claim. Your case becomes easier if you sought treatment immediately. However, if the symptoms took three or four days to occur, it may be hard to prove it's the restaurant's fault.
Take-Out vs. Eat-In
Food poisoning cases resulting from take-out are complicated. A restaurant may argue you contaminated the food at home. However, if you fall sick after eating in an establishment, you can build a solid case against the restaurant. Symptoms that develop while still at the restaurant can further solidify your case. However, even if you ate take-out, you can pursue compensation, especially if the food poisoning cost you a lot of money in treatment.
Successful compensation after suffering from food poisoning depends on the above factors. Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately for professional input and representation.