Food Poisoned? Can You Sue?
Food poisoning is fairly common. Whether it is from eating out or food purchased in the store, it can take a toll on your health. Sometimes, the effects can last more than just a few days. If you suffered food poisoning from a restaurant and you feel you are owed damages for it, you need to understand what you must prove to be successful in your lawsuit.
Was the Restaurant Negligent?
One of the first things you have to prove in your case against the restaurant is that it was negligent. In personal injury law, the defendant has the duty to show reasonable care. In this instance, reasonable care would be ensuring that the food was safe and prepared in a clean and safe environment. If the restaurant failed to meet its duty, you possibly have a lawsuit.
For instance, if the kitchen in which the food was prepared was dirty, you could cite the restaurant's unsanitary condition as negligence.
In addition to proving negligence, you need to show causation. Without it, you have no lawsuit.
What Is Causation?
In personal injury law, it is not enough to show that the restaurant's kitchen was unsanitary, you also have to show that because of it, you were sickened. For instance, if you are able to prove that the kitchen staff at the restaurant did not properly handle the poultry you were served and that you developed Listeria as a result, you have a case.
However, proving this can be tricky. The restaurant can argue that you were sickened by something else you ate. In the case of Listeria, it can take up to 70 days before you notice symptoms.
Were You Harmed?
The final hurdle you must overcome in your personal injury claim against a restaurant is that you were harmed. Logically, you would believe that getting food poisoning is enough to warrant damages. Unfortunately, personal injury law does not work that way. You have to prove that you actually suffered harm as a result of the disease.
For instance, if you were hospitalized after contracting Listeria, were sick for a long period of time, were unable to work, and suffered other financial and personal setbacks, you could show solid proof that you were harmed. Your attorney would rely on medical records, employment records, and your financial records to show you were harmed.
The best way to take on a restaurant for food poisoning is to hire an attorney. The attorney knows the legal challenges you can face and how to overcome them. To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer at a law firm like Gallagher Law Offices PC.