Food contamination personal injury claim solicitors near you.
We’ve all experienced food related illness at one time or another, but what happens when you pay for the food that makes you ill? Provided it can be demonstrated that the negligence of the business or premises serving the food lead to your illness, you are likely entitled to make a claim for food contamination personal injury compensation. MG Legal’s expert food contamination solicitors have successfully settled thousands of cases, all of them on a no win no fee basis.
What is a food contamination personal injury claim?
Put simply, any kind of illness caused by contaminated food served to you by another party constitutes a personal injury. Whilst it is not, strictly speaking, a physical injury like, say, a broken leg, it is still a physical illness caused to you and so, is deemed by the law to be an injury. A study published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in early 2020 estimated that 2.4 million cases of illness caused by contaminated food occur each year in the United Kingdom, meaning this is by no means a rare occurrence.
If you believe you know the cause of your food related illness and the person, or business, serving you the food was negligent in their preparation or service of the food, you are entitled to claim compensation. MG Legal’s expert food contamination solicitors can help you overcome the legal barriers to a successful claim. Once we have investigated your claim and provided we can establish negligence, expert medical evidence will be obtained and used to place a valuation on your claim. This valuation is then used to negotiate settlement with the fault party.
How does food contamination personal injury happen?
Illness occurs after eating contaminated food, which can come from a variety of sources but which all, ultimately, involve you putting the contaminated food in your mouth. Of the aforentioned 2.4 million annual cases, it is estimated that 380,000.00 are caused by norovirus (sometimes known as gastric flu), 37% of which can be linked to eating out of some description, 26% being linked to takeaways. So, it is not simply a case of “dining in” that gives you the right to claim. Provided negligence and cause can be linked to the takeaway, it is possible to make a claim for a meal you have eaten, ultimately, in your own home.
Other causes of food contamination illness can be traced to open-headed lettuce bought from shops and supermarkets at 30%, with lesser culprits raspberries and oysters at 4% and 3% respectively.
How can food contamination personal injury be proven?
There are some key cases in proving this type of case, one arose from the travel illness sphere, but which gives the basis of the finding in the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. This case was named Wood v TUI and was a landmark case, in that it set out some of the benchmarks the Court would look for in assessing a personal injury claim, based on food or drink contamination. Food was, in this case, classified as “goods” and that it could, therefore, be transferred from one party to another. This case also set a legal “bar” in that to demonstrate that the food had caused the illness, “cogent evidence that others have been similarly affected and alternative explanations would have to be excluded”.
In basic terms, if several people eat the chicken at a restaurant and subsequently each of them becomes ill, provided any other potential cause of them all being ill can be excluded, it is likely their claim would succeed.
Further evidence can also be obtained in the form of hygiene records from the restaurant, hotel or other business and any history of similar complaints taken into account. This is a potentially difficult process, however, MG Legal’s specialist food contamination solicitors are not easily put off and if there is a route to success in your case, rest assured we will find it.
What are the common symptoms of food contamination personal injury?
Some of the symptoms of having eaten contaminated food are well known, others not so well known. They can include:
Aches and pains
Skin Conditions such as erythema nodosum
We are all different and so, whether you have some or all of the above symptoms, or even some different symptoms, rest assured MG Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors will ensure your case is assessed by the correct medical expert.
How long does food contamination illness take to develop?
Contrary to popular belief, many food related illnesses can take days to make themselves known, others are much quicker. Here are some rough guides, along with the most common causes, which may help you identify the source of your illness:
Staphylococcus aureus – can begin 30 minutes to six hours after consuming the contaminated food. Most common sources are food that it already cooked, or does not need cooking such as sliced meat, puddings and pies and also sandwiches.
Clostridium perfringens – can take six to 24 hours to develop. Most common sources are larger joints of meat, gravy and also dried and pre-cooked food.
Salmonella – can begin anywhere from six hours to six days after consumption. Common sources are raw or undercooked poultry, meat, eggs, unpasteurised dairy products and also raw fruit and vegetables.
Norovirus – can begin 12-48 hours after consumption. Most common sources are leafy vegetables, fresh fruit and shellfish.
Clostridium botulinum (also known as botulism) – can be begin 18-36 hours after consumption. Commonly found in canned or fermented foods, particularly those that are “home-made”.
Vibrio – can begin one to four days after consumption. Common sources include shellfish, particularly oysters, with higher risk being in uncooked or undercooked dishes.
Campylobacter – can begin two to five days after consumption. Common sources are raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurized dairy and contaminated water.
E-Coli – can begin three to four days after consumption. Common sources include raw beef, unpasteurised dairy and raw green vegetables.
Cyclosora – can begin one week after consumption. Common sources include raw fruit, veg and herbs,
Listeria – can begin up to four weeks after consumption. Common sources include soft cheese, raw sprouts, melons, deli meat, smoked seafood and unpasteurised dairy products.
As you can see, there is a large range of incubation time for some of these illnesses and so, it can be difficult to identify the cause of your illness. It is, however, far from impossible and MG Legal’s expert food contamination solicitors are highly skilled in piecing together the necessary information to form a strong and compelling case. Get in touch today for a no nonsense discussion with one of our personal injury experts, with a view to accepting your case on a no win no fee agreement.
How much is food contamination personal injury claim worth?
No two claims are identical, with overall awards comprising two separate elements, General and Special Damages. Special Damages are financial losses, whether in the form of additional expenditure for items such as medication or travel expenses or monies you lose out on such as lost earnings. These are calculated based either on receipts or invoices or evidence of past income in the case of earnings.
General Damages are your “personal injury compensation”, the monies that you are paid by the negligent party to compensate you for the period of illness and subsequent recovery. This can, again, vary from case to case dependent upon the severity of the illness, the length of time it takes to recover and the overall effect upon your life. General Damages are based on the content of an expert medical report compiled by a doctor, in these cases often a Gastroenterologist. The report is then compared with the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines (JSB), a regularly updated book based on recent awards by the Court for all conceivably types of injury. The JSB is to be found on the desk or in the briefcase of every Solicitor, Barrister and Judge who deals with personal injury. The JSB prescribes a range of awards:
Most serious illness includes severe toxicosis, causing severe acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, requiring hospital admission for some days or weeks and some continuing incontinence, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome, having a significant impact on ability to work and enjoyment of life. This most severe bracket provides for awards between £36,060.00 and £49,270.00.
Serious but short lived food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting diminishing over two to four weeks with some remaining discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years. Awards in this category can reach as high as £18,020.00.
Food poisoning causing significant discomfort, stomach cramps, alteration of bowel function and fatigue. Hospital admission for some days with symptoms lasting a few weeks but complete recovery within a year or two. Awards can reach £8,950.00.
Food poisoning causing varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks, awards can reach as high as £3,710.00.
As you can see, even the least severe types of food contamination personal injury are still taken seriously when awards are made. The awards there are, of course, only for General Damages and so, your Special Damages are added to the awards for your actual injury.
How do I start my claim?
Simple get in touch with MG Legal by phone, email or web-contact form and we will make sure you speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor straight away. We don’t operate via agents or a call centres and so, when you contact us, you speak directly to people who will be involved in your case. We have tailor-made claim forms for every type of case to keep paperwork to a minimum and to ensure that from the start, we have the information we need from you. We will have a clear, concise Client Care Letter sent out to you, setting out the claim and how we will run it so that you know exactly what to expect. We work hard for each client and because we work on a Conditional Fee (no win no fee) agreement, we ensure that every case that can be, is successful and our success rate of over 99% speaks for itself. Contact MG Legal, specialist food contamination personal injury solicitors today and we will get the ball rolling straight away.