Food poisoning is a risk we take every time we eat out. There are so many conditions that can lead to foodborne illness — food that’s a few degrees off in temperature for a few minutes too long can turn toxic. If the restaurant has been negligent in maintaining their food safety standards, they should be held responsible.
The question, however, is whether or not it’s worthwhile to seek damages for food poisoning. The process may be drawn out and expensive, as well as fraught with complications. Learn about the potential for collecting damages when you get food poisoning at a restaurant, and why you should have a South Carolina personal injury attorney.
Proving Foodborne Illness
The first complication in suing a restaurant over food poisoning is that there is a wide range of conditions that can cause food poisoning to occur. This can make it very difficult to prove that a restaurant was negligent in your contraction of illness. Since food poisoning, depending on the variety and source, can take several days to manifest, it can be hard to prove where you got it.
Even if you can prove that it came from the restaurant, you’ll still need to prove that they were careless and it was that carelessness that caused your food poisoning. Since accidents happen all the time that aren’t anyone’s fault, this can also be tricky.
The Cost of a Lawsuit
Lawsuits can be long, drawn-out and costly. Certainly it’s no picnic getting sick, but in general, food poisoning isn’t fatal, nor does it usually cause lasting or disabling harm. There are certainly exceptions like severe E. coli or botulism, but the majority of foodborne illnesses are no worse than a 24- or 48-hour bout of the flu.
What this means is that even if you can prove injury, you likely won’t see much of an award. The time and expense of the lawsuit may simply not be worth it to pursue.
Penalizing the Restaurant
Your first thought may be to penalize the restaurant for what happened and perhaps stop them from hurting anyone else. There are other ways to accomplish this—you can contact your local health department with your suspicions, for example. They will examine the restaurant and ensure that they’re operating up to standards.
Calling a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
If you get sick and you think it may have been due to food poisoning in a restaurant, you may want to consider calling on the services of an experienced and qualified South Carolina personal injury attorney. When you work with an attorney, they can give you the best possible advice on how to pursue your case and the damages you may be able to collect.
They can also advise you when not to pursue a case. It’s important to take the counsel of your lawyer, and understand that they are experienced and knowledgeable in their area of focus. At Harris and Graves, we’ve spent many years helping personal injury victims get the compensation they deserve. If you’re in South Carolina and need help with your injury case, complete our online contact form or give us a call for a no-cost consultation today.