According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 128,000 people are hospitalized because of foodborne illnesses on a yearly basis. These statistics are alarming because food poisoning is not only painful but also can be expensive to treat, making it especially important for those who suffer serious food poisoning to contact an experienced Richmond personal injury attorney who is well-versed in both state and federal law and can help you hold the at-fault parties responsible.
Food Poisoning Defined
Food poisoning is a broad term used to describe serious illnesses caused by consuming food or drink that has been improperly prepared, cooked, or stored. Failing to appropriately clean, refrigerate, or cook food products can lead to the growth of dangerous parasites, bacteria, and viruses, such as:
- E. coli
These viruses and bacteria are responsible for the hospitalization or illness of thousands of people across the country.
Food poisoning is almost always contracted as a result of the consumption of improperly prepared animal products, including meat and eggs, which can cause some or all of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
While these symptoms usually last between 12 and 72 hours, they can have much more serious consequences for some victims, including the elderly, children, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
Virginia law requires all places that are used for the preparation, sale, manufacture, packing, storage, or distribution of food to comply with certain regulations regarding cleanliness, proper labeling, and inspections. This means that restaurants, farmers, meat processors, grocery stores, and trucking companies can all be held liable if they do not meet state standards.
However, in order to collect compensation, the injured party must demonstrate that a food company, restaurant, store, or food processor was negligent and provided contaminated food, which caused the plaintiff to contract food poisoning. Collecting certain evidence can be crucial to establishing this link. For instance, those suffering from food poisoning should try to preserve any packing materials or unconsumed food that was the source of the illness. It’s also a good idea to save any receipts and credit card records showing that the product was purchased by the consumer.
Contact a Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Today
Victims of food poisoning not only suffer from the painful symptoms that are typical of the illness but also must take time off from work and foot the bill for expensive medical bills. Although injured parties can collect compensation from the entities responsible for their illnesses and collect damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, filing a claim can be difficult and time-consuming.
At Emroch & Kilduff, we are dedicated to helping our clients collect the compensation they deserve by aggressively representing their interests in negotiations or in the courtroom. To find out more about your legal options, please contact a member of the experienced personal injury legal team at our Richmond office by calling (804) 358-1568 today.