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Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Food Poisoning in New York?

Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Food Poisoning in New York?

Many people enjoy dining out at a restaurant after a hard day’s work or to celebrate a special occasion. Most diners do not expect to get ill after eating at their favorite restaurant, but unfortunately, it can happen at even the most sophisticated dining establishments. Food poisoning typically occurs when a person eats food that is not properly cooked or carries bacteria. In extreme cases, foodborne illnesses can lead to life-threatening health conditions. The timeline between eating the food and the onset of illness can make it tricky to prove the food made someone sick. However, if a government health agency has confirmed an outbreak of illness due to consuming a certain food, a personal injury claim may be easier to pursue.

Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses

Food poisoning is defined as the illness resulting from eating food or drinking water containing poisonous substances such as bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or toxins. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they will also depend on the type of contagion ingested. The first symptoms generally begin within two to six hours, and they can include the following:

  • Upset stomach/cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

It is important to seek medical attention if the symptoms become more severe, such as bloody stools, dehydration, fever over 102°F, or diarrhea that lasts more than three days.

Proving Liability

With the help of an attorney and medical professionals, there are several ways to prove that a restaurant caused your illness, including:

  • Determine the specific pathogen that caused your illness.
  • Test the bacteria for DNA fingerprints to determine the source.
  • Find out if other patrons suffered food poisoning.
  • Examine leftovers for pathogens.
  • Research the restaurant for any health code violations.

Compensation for food poisoning can result in the same types of damages as other personal injury lawsuits, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Wrongful death (if fatal)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

How to Prevent Foodborne Infections

In the majority of cases, simple steps can help prevent food poisoning. Restaurants should follow certain procedures to maintain a clean and sanitary kitchen. Dining establishments must meet strict health department regulations in order to stay in business. Meat, poultry, and fish should be cooked to a specific temperature to kill harmful germs that might exist. Employees at a restaurant should use gloves or utensils to handle foods that will not be cooked, such as lettuce or deli meats. A good rule to follow when bringing leftovers home is to refrigerate them as soon as possible so they do not spoil.

Contact a New York City Personal Injury Attorney

Food poisoning can cause serious health issues. If you or a loved one became sick after eating at an establishment, you may have food poisoning. You should first seek any necessary medical attention, and then contact a skilled attorney. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the food vendor. Our knowledgeable Brooklyn food poisoning lawyers can determine liability for your illness and assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced legal team at Goldberg Sager & Associates today at 718-514-9516 to schedule your free consultation.


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    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677