Q: I became ill after eating at a restaurant. How do I prove a food poisoning claim?
If you became ill after eating at an Atlanta restaurant, proving damages can be very difficult. It may require seeing a doctor or getting laboratory testing to determine the source of your illness. Linking your illness to food poisoning that others have suffered after dining at the restaurant – or other facility such as a school cafeteria – where you ate prior to becoming ill may be a factor as well.
It’s important to seek legal advice to help you adequately address this issue and others if you’re filing a food poisoning claim.
Proving You Suffered a Foodborne Illness in a Restaurant
It’s important to establish liability in order to recover anything in a claim. This can be done a number of ways, including going to the doctor to determine the type of illness. By testing a stool sample, a laboratory can find out which pathogen made you ill. But even in this case, it can be difficult to prove that the pathogen came from the restaurant food.
Your attorney can help you find out if others also got sick after eating at the restaurant. The health department may be investigating a source of food poisoning in some cases. If it has found a link between a pathogen and a restaurant, it may help your case.
Damages in a Food Poisoning Claim
The types of compensation recoverable will depend on the extent and severity of the illness. Medical bills usually fall under recoverable compensation. This may include hospitalization if the illness was serious. Receipts and medical statements will help prove these damages.
The amount of time you missed from work could also affect recoverable damages. It might have been a few weeks or even longer if there were serious complications. Other forms of compensation—such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and other losses—are more difficult to prove. An attorney can help determine the value of noneconomic damages.
Keep in mind that if you suffered very minor to no damages – such as if you had an upset stomach for a few hours – you may not have a valid food poisoning claim. It’s important to seek legal advice if the illness was serious and caused significant damages. If you’re in the Atlanta area, call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.