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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Food poisoning and other types of foodborne illnesses can be devastating for victims and their families. Most people at one time or another during their lifetime suffer some type of food-related illness. In some cases, it is an isolated incident at a local restaurant or due to a tainted food item that is not widely distributed. In other cases, food poisoning is the result of a widespread foodborne illness outbreak, such as an E. coli outbreak linked to Taco Bell in 2006, which was investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most common causes of food poisoning involve people consuming food or beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Food can be contaminated at several stages of production, such as when it is grown, shipped, harvested, stored, or processed. One common way that food can become tainted is when contaminants from one surface are transferred onto the food. This usually happens with raw food, like salads, because these foods are not cooked before they are consumed, and cooking foods can often prevent food poisoning by destroying dangerous contaminants before they are consumed.
Contaminates known to cause food poisoning include but are not limited to the following:
The symptoms of food poisoning are wide-ranging and depend on the type of foodborne illness causing it. A few of the most common symptoms of food poisoning include:
If you or someone you know are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, you should seek medical attention, especially if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
There are many options for treating food poisoning, including:
If you or a loved one has suffered food poisoning and an individual, business, or organization may be at fault, you could be able to secure compensation for your pain and suffering with a personal injury lawsuit. Determining liability in a food poisoning case involves multiple steps. First, you must figure out what type of liability the case involves:
After pinning down the type of liability involved, next you will want to determine who is liable and how you can prove liability. Generally, if product liability is involved, those who are liable can include any number of individuals, businesses, or organizations involved in the distribution of the tainted food or beverage that led to the food poisoning. Proving liability in a food poisoning case can be extremely difficult. You must prove that the food or beverage you consumed was contaminated and that the contaminated food or beverage made you sick.
If you were one of many victims of food poisoning related to a foodborne illness outbreak, you may be able to form or join a class action lawsuit against those responsible. There are several advantages to a class action lawsuit, such as having experienced attorneys handling your case, no upfront costs or fees, and not having to deal with complex legal issues.
In certain states, laws concerning food poisoning lawsuits have statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation is a time limit that a victim has to file a personal injury claim. Statutes of limitation vary from state to state, so it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible following the incident that led to you or a loved one suffering food poisoning.
In addition to ensuring that you file your case in time to avoid missing the time limit, talking to a personal injury lawyer about your food poisoning case has other benefits. Many experienced and accomplished personal injury attorneys will speak to you about your situation for free. Plus, an injury lawyer can answer your questions, examine your situation, tell you whether you have a valid case, and explain the best options available to you and your family moving forward.
In most cases, lawyers only take on very serious cases of food poisoning that have caused substantial harm. For example, if you needed to go to the hospital and incurred steep medical bills, or if you missed several days of work due to the illness. If you only missed a day or so of work due to food poisoning, your lawyer may advise you against filing a lawsuit.
However, it never hurts to discuss your options with a personal injury attorney, as they often provide free consultations to find out if you have case.
Therefore, whether you are considering pursuing a food poisoning claim on your own or you are considering joining a food poisoning class action lawsuit, you should talk to a personal injury attorney today.
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