Injuries or illnesses caused by the ingestion of contaminated food are among the most medically intense types of personal injury cases.
This is because proving causation is complicated by the facts that a) food-related illnesses typically take a few days to occur, b) require a careful retracing of the individual’s food intake in the days prior to the illness, c) require complex blood and stool tests and d) often involve seeking a common link to other similar cases.
Although patient history, blood tests and stool sampling play a critical part in “proving” the existence of salmonella or other harmful bacteria, determining the source is often augmented by a local Health Department. Health Department investigations of potential food illness outbreaks are often the key to establishing an injury claim. Health Departments are able to survey multiple parties allegedly affected by a single source of contamination and work to pinpoint the cause of the illnesses. Obtaining this investigation and the testimony of health department investigators is often crucial to a making a successful injury claim against the entity that sold the contaminated food.
It is important to understand however, that just because an individual becomes ill as a result of eating potentially contaminated food, does not necessarily mean they have a “good case” to pursue. To warrant the time and expense needed to bring an injury claim the individual must have suffered significant damages or incurred a permanent injury.
Because of all this, it is important that an individual seeking compensation for a food-related injury, work with an attorney not just familiar with these type of cases, but one who also has access to the necessary medical expertise to develop a successful injury claim.