Chicago is known for its many fabulous restaurants and wonderful food. Everyone looks forward to dining out, whether celebrating with family and friends or a casual meal out. What no one expects is to get sick following a meal in a restaurant, leaving one to wonder “Did I get food poisoning”? Food poisoning affects approximately 1 in 6 Americans every year, resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the CDC. The most common causes of foodborne illnesses stem from Salmonella, Toxoplasma, Listeria and Norovirus. Food poisoning symptoms can range from very mild to extremely severe and may even include death. For the more severe cases, you may wish to explore the possibility of taking legal action.
What should I do if I think I have food poisoning?
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. At the hospital, tests can be run for food poisoning, followed by appropriate treatment. In severe cases, you need to make sure that you are treated sooner rather than later to avoid complications, such as sepsis, or permanent damage to your organs. Medical treatments might include re-hydration with fluids, medications or surgery in the more extreme cases.
How can I prove that I ate contaminated food that led to food poisoning?
Save your receipt from the meal, if possible. If you still have some of the food that you suspect made you sick, save it but make sure that it is properly labeled to avoid contamination to anyone else that you live with. Tell your doctor what you ate and answer all questions honestly and as completely as you can during your medical appointment so that the circumstances surrounding your illness can be well documented. In attempting to prove that you got sick from the tainted food, your lawyer can also investigate the restaurant’s practices surrounding safe food handling, food temperatures, sanitation, etc.
Can I take Legal Action if I have food poisoning?
Yes, you can take legal action if you suffered from food poisoning or if a loved one died as the result of food poisoning. Not everyone who suspects food poisoning will benefit from legal action, but speaking with an attorney will help you decide if you want to take matters further and bring accountability to the restaurant or other responsible party. It is very important to consult with an attorney before you speak to anyone from the restaurant’s insurance company, as insurance adjusters are highly trained to protect their insureds and deflect blame.
Whether or not you end up taking legal action, you should report the incident to the county health department and to the restaurant, to hopefully avoid the same thing happening to someone else.
If you or a loved one believe that you were the victim of serious food poisoning, give us a call for a complimentary strategy session to determine whether or not you may benefit from taking legal action.