Food-borne illnesses are more common than you think they are. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans or 48 million people get sick due to food poisoning each year. About 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die due to these diseases. The most common microbes that cause these illnesses are bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria and viruses such as Norovirus. These illnesses are typically transmitted through food and water.
If you have suffered from food poisoning, it is very likely that someone’s negligence caused it. Food producers and establishments that serve food have a responsibility and an obligation to consumers and customers to keep their facilities clean and their foods free of contamination.
Protecting Your Rights
Here are some of the steps you would be well advised to take if you suspect that you have suffered food poisoning:
• Seek medical attention: Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting and stomach aches. In some cases these symptoms may be accompanied by fever. Internal organs could be damaged if medical attention is not received. This is why it is important to seek and obtain medical assistance as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms. Some illnesses can be treated with antibiotics.
• Document your food intake: If possible, write down what you ate or drank three to five days before your symptoms. This is because food poisoning symptoms may not surface for several days after the contaminated food had been consumed.
• Diagnostic testing: Hospitals may not routinely perform tests on blood or stool samples. So, if you suspect you have food poisoning, you should insist on blood and stool samples being tested. This should be done before you start taking medications for your illness.
• Preserve the food: If you have any suspect food left over, isolate and preserve it so it can be tested in a laboratory. Make sure it is placed in a well-sealed bag or container, labeled clearly and is not accessible.
• Document your losses: Write down all expenses incurred including medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization costs, doctor’s visits, medication, etc. Also, keep the receipt showing that you purchased the product that caused your illness.
• File reports: Report your illness to the restaurant or the store where you bought the food. Also, file a report with your local health department.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has suffered health complications as a result of food poisoning, please contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm and they can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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