The idea of getting food poisoning is something that we all dread. It conjures ideas not just of discomfort, but horror stories of suffering and death. In truth, the vast majority of cases of foodborne illness are relatively mild and clear up within a few days at most.
Some people wonder if it’s possible to sue a restaurant when you get ill after eating their food. In certain cases, it’s possible, but the real question is whether or not it’s worth it to try. Learn the complications that can come into play when suing a restaurant for food poisoning, and why getting advice from a Tampa personal injury attorney is important.
Foodborne Illnesses and Restaurants
In truth, if you eat out on any remotely regular basis, you’re likely to pick up a foodborne illness at some point in time. These can be really miserable, often involving diarrhea, vomiting, serious stomach cramps, and general flu-like symptoms.
In most cases, the symptoms will last for a few days and then clear up. This presents a problem when seeking compensation, as you’ll need first, to determine that what you had was food poisoning, and second, that it was serious enough to merit a lawsuit.
Where Did the Food Poisoning Come From?
Did you know that food poisoning can in some cases, depending on the nature of the bacteria or virus, take up to a week to manifest symptoms? Usually, it takes between one and three days. The problem, then, when you get sick, is knowing whether it was the crab legs you ate at the buffet last night or the macaroni salad you had at the cookout earlier this week.
Unless you have a sample of the suspected food to analyze, it can be difficult to prove what gave you food poisoning. Even if you do have a sample, there may still be a question of whether it was tainted at the restaurant or if it got tainted between being delivered to your table and making its way home to your fridge.
Was the Restaurant Negligent?
Second, you need to show that the restaurant was negligent in delivering you tainted food. Can you demonstrate that they failed to maintain safety standards, that an employee didn’t wash their hands properly or that they otherwise made an irresponsible mistake? This can be tricky unless there are a number of others who also got sick at the same time.
Did You Suffer Serious Injuries?
Finally, can you show that you suffered serious injuries from your sickness? If you were down for a couple days with flu-like symptoms, it may be difficult to justify a claim against the restaurant. For these reasons, it may not be worth it to pursue an injury claim, which can be expensive and time-consuming to complete.
Ask a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. Illnesses like botulism, e. coli and even salmonella in extreme cases can cause long-lasting and debilitating issues — and even death. If you think you have a case for food poisoning against a restaurant, call a Tampa personal injury attorney at Disparti Law Group. We’ll discuss your case for free, and let you know what kind of compensation you may be able to gain.