Can I Hold a Restaurant Liable for Food Poisoning?

table setting at restaurant

Whether you’re going to a restaurant with friends or you order takeout from your local fast-casual eatery, the last thing you expect is to wake up the following morning feeling excruciatingly ill. After a trip to your doctor, you discover that you’ve come down with food poisoning. However, it only gets worse, eventually landing you in the hospital. While the medical bills pile up, you may wonder whether or not you can receive compensation from the restaurant. Keep reading to learn more about whether or not this is possible and discover how personal injury attorneys in Baltimore County can help you navigate this complex process.

How Does Food Poisoning Happen?

Food poisoning occurs when food becomes contaminated. This happens through bacteria like E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella, as well as viruses like norovirus or rotavirus. Less commonly, parasites like tapeworms or Trichinella can also cause food poisoning.

Contamination occurs in a number of ways, including consuming undercooked meats, unpasteurized dairy, and food that has not been stored properly. Similarly, if the person preparing the food is sick or does not take the necessary measures to wash their hands and clean surfaces or utensils, they can contaminate the food.

Generally, someone diagnosed with food poisoning can recover on their own within a week. However, some may have more severe symptoms, which can lead to hospitalization. This includes diarrhea that does not improve, dehydration, high fevers, and bloody urine. In extreme circumstances, food poisoning can lead to renal failure, seizures, and brain damage.

Can I Pursue Compensation for Damages?

Unfortunately, many don’t know that illnesses caused by negligence fall under the umbrella of personal injury lawsuits because they assume only physical injuries are covered. However, you can pursue compensation when negligence is the cause of your illness. If you were hospitalized or incurred damages as the result of food poisoning from a restaurant, it’s crucial to understand that you may be entitled to compensation. This includes lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

However, there must be a link between the bacteria or virus that caused your illness and the restaurant. Generally, this includes getting a DNA profile of the cause of your food poisoning and comparing it to anything found on surfaces, utensils, or food in the restaurant. If they match, then it is clear that the location caused your illness.

If a restaurant is responsible for the illness that you’ve sustained, it’s vital to understand your legal options. Contacting an attorney from the Law Offices of Markey & Orsi is essential to receiving compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Reach out to our firm today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our team.

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