Salmonella Poisoning and Your Claim
Did you experience stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting? Was it the sandwich at work yesterday or was it the recent trip to the grocery store? This could be salmonella poisoning. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently issued a health alert that multiple products may be contaminated with Salmonella.
What is Salmonella? Salmonella is a bacterium found in beef, poultry and dairy products which can cause a bacterial infection in the intestines. This bacterium may contaminate vegetables, fruits and even packaged foods, such as peanut butter, frozen meals, and even crackers. The worst part is, you as a regular consumer, may not be able to tell the difference between contaminated food and safe food because contaminated foods look and smell normal. Most cases of salmonella poisoning are not life-threatening, however, they could get serious and cause severe pain and distress, unhealthy weight loss, and overall affect your daily life.
Whom can you bring your claim against? If your case is against someone involved in the business of food, such as restaurants, manufacturers of fresh and packaged foods or even the grocery store, it may be a case of defective products but if it’s against your employer, it may be a negligence case. To bring a claim against your employer and be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must prove that the infection occurred by some connection to your place of employment, such as if you are a food critic or a chef and are required to taste foods, also if you eat at a workplace cafeteria or ate at an office event where food is supplied to you and attendance was mandatory.
If your case is against the manufacturer or the store, you still need to prove that the infection was caused by their product. This is a big hurdle in food poisoning cases as they can be difficult to prove and require DNA investigations to trace the infection to a specific product. However, the infected person’s recollections are also considered essential. Important points to note down while you are suffering from salmonella are to make a record of everything you ate since at least 72 hours prior to symptoms, the time you ate, the place you ate it and if possible, how it was prepared. The best evidence would be a sample of the food if it’s possible to obtain.
What should you do if you suffer from Salmonella? If you are experiencing the symptoms and believe you suffer from salmonella, you should call your physician or you may need to take a trip to the emergency room depending on the severity of your symptoms. Your physician’s analysis and treatment can greatly help you in your claim. Next, notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible if you consumed food provided by your office, at its cafeteria or due to employment obligations because there is a possibility of obtaining workers’ compensation. Then, contact a personal injury or work injury attorney to evaluate your case. Please note most cases of Salmonella poisoning would have a nominal recovery because usually, permanent damage does not occur. Many times it would be more cost effective to not hire an attorney.
The time limit to file a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury, in this case, the day you found out you had salmonella poisoning, whereas for a workers’ compensation claim the time limit is either two years from the last payment received if you no longer work there or three years from the date you found out you have salmonella poisoning. This means that if you do not pursue your claim, you would be unable to pursue the claim.
If you have recently suffered or are suffering from a possible salmonella poisoning, please do not hesitate to call us for a free case evaluation at 888.442.6637