Foodborne illnesses can lead to many significant short- and long-term health consequences ranging from mild to severe, including permanent impairments and death. These can negatively affect your physical and mental well-being, ability to work, and quality of life.
If you’ve acquired a foodborne illness, you may be eligible to pursue compensation to account for your financial and personal losses. Our personal injury lawyers at KJT Law Group can help with your claim or lawsuit. Contact us today to learn about your legal rights and options.
What Is a Foodborne Illness?
Consuming contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food items or beverages can result in a foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, these infections can occur due to harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. Common symptoms of foodborne illnesses include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever.
Food poisoning can sometimes be life-threatening and lead to severe symptoms such as extreme dehydration, high fever, and bloody diarrhea, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have a foodborne illness for treatment and to prevent further complications.
What Are the Potential Long-Term Health Consequences of a Foodborne Illness?
Foodborne illnesses can have long-term health effects. Some individuals can develop chronic conditions such as kidney failure, brain damage, or reactive arthritis. Certain infections can increase the risk of developing other adverse health conditions later in life. Therefore, addressing and treating foodborne illnesses promptly is crucial to minimize potential long-term health consequences.
Depending on the circumstances of a foodborne infection, some severe health issues can last for months, years, or a lifetime. Furthermore, severe cases may also require extended hospitalization and long-term medication, resulting in financial challenges for victims and their families.
What Compensation Can You Pursue for a Foodborne Illness?
If you are experiencing long-term consequences from food poisoning, you may be able to pursue compensation that reflects the financial and personal losses you’ve suffered. Economic damages reimburse you for monetary losses. Evidence used to prove these losses may include medical bills and employment records.
Recoverable economic damages may include the following and more:
- Medical costs due to emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, prescription medications, specialist visits, and other forms of medical care
- Lost wages for taking time off of work during your recovery period
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from resuming work at your former occupation or limit your ability to earn a similar income in the future
Non-economic damages reimburse you for personal or subjective losses you suffered to make you “whole” again. These are estimated using special legal calculations and can include the following and more:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Disability and long-term impairments
- Reduced quality of life
Negligent parties you may pursue for compensation include a food manufacturer, distributor, or retail establishment. These include entities such as restaurants, grocery stores, wholesalers, supply companies, and processors.
How Do You Prove Your Foodborne Illness Case?
If you acquired a severe illness due to negligence, pursuing compensation requires proving that the other party was negligent and is liable for covering your losses. This process consists of establishing they owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and this breach directly caused your illness and damages.
A duty of care is a legal obligation one party owes to another. In your case, it would be for the other party to ensure the safety and quality of the food or beverage they provided. If a person or entity breaches or fails to uphold this duty, this is considered negligence.
For example, if a restaurant that served you neglected to follow California Retail Food Code rules and caused you to suffer from food poisoning, this would be a breach of duty.
Finally, you must prove that the at-fault party’s breach of duty directly led to your illness and damages, or that you would not have contracted food poisoning “but for” their actions or inaction. To file a food poisoning lawsuit, you must also prove you sustained economic or non-economic losses.
What Is Strict Liability?
In some cases, you may be eligible for a strict liability claim. Strict liability claims do not require plaintiffs to prove negligence. Instead, they must simply show that the food or beverage they consumed was unreasonably dangerous and caused their illness. Public health authorities typically use microbiological techniques to identify specific pathogens to show they caused foodborne illness.
Contact KJT Law Group for a Free Foodborne Illness Case Review Today
If you or a loved one suffered long-term severe health consequences from a foodborne illness, we encourage you to seek help from a personal injury lawyer who understands how to navigate these cases. Contact us at KJT Law Group today by calling (818) 507-8525 to receive a free case review and assess your eligibility for foodborne illness compensation.