Water contamination illness personal injury solicitors near you.
We’ve all experienced food or drink related illness at one time or another, but what happens when you pay for the food or drink that makes you ill? Provided it can be demonstrated that the negligence of the business or premises serving the food or drink lead to your illness, you are likely entitled to make a claim for water contamination personal injury compensation. MG Legal’s expert water contamination solicitors have successfully settled thousands of cases, all of them on a no win no fee basis.
What is a water contamination personal injury claim?
Put simply, any kind of illness caused by contaminated water served or supplied 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. Unlike food contamination personal injury, which is almost always caused by food served to you by a business, water contamination can come from a wider range of sources, including the taps in your home. In restaurant settings in particular, but also in other circumstances such as takeaways which serve draught beverages such as pubs and bars, or the larger fast food chains “water” can extend to mean any drink served to you that is contaminated.
Contaminated drinking water can be a massive problem, an estimated 700,000 people were affected in August 2015 when United Utilities supplied water contaminated with Cryptosporidium across West Lancashire. Another contaminant, although less common, is lead contamination. Whilst this is a larger problem in the third world, a survey by Unicef estimated that tens of thousands of households in the UK are affected by lead contamination.
If you believe you know the cause of your water related illness and the person, or business, serving or supplying you was negligent in their supply of the water, you are entitled to claim compensation. MG Legal’s expert water 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 water contamination personal injury happen?
Illness occurs after drinking contaminated water, or other beverages, which can come from a variety of sources but which all, ultimately, involve you consuming the contaminated water. The impurities or microbes in the water then make you ill either by way of infection and illness or by poisoning depending on the type of contaminant.
How can water 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 or drink 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 or drink 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. The same principle applies to water or other beverages, if each of the diners eats a different dish, but consume water from the same jug or kitchen tap, it is likely this is the cause.
To assist and also to ensure that you get the best treatment to help you recover, you can attend your doctor or even the local hospital if symptoms are severe enough, where it is likely a test will be performed, often from a stool sample. This identification of the infection can often help identify the cause of the illness, with different “bugs” coming from different sources.
Further evidence can also be obtained in the form of hygiene or testing records from the restaurant, hotel or other business and any history of similar complaints or illnesses taken into account. This is a potentially difficult process, however, MG Legal’s specialist water 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 water contamination personal injury?
Some of the symptoms of having consumed or being exposed to contaminated water 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 water contamination illness take to develop?
Contrary to popular belief, many food or drink 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:
Dysentery: This can take the form of amoebic dysentery or bacillary dysentery, caused by amoebae and bacteria. Illness, generally in the form of nausea, cramps and diarrhoea, often develops within a matter of days and occurs when you consume water, or also food, contaminated with these microbes.
Arsenicosis: This is when arsenic from wastewater, usually from industrial plants, leaches into sources of drinking water. This can cause skin lesions and can develop into more serious conditions which affect the lungs, kidney and bladder, as well as causing cancers.
Eye infections: An often overlooked condition of water poisoning, often occurs when Chlamydia Trachomatis, found in contaminated or untreated water, is used to wash your face. Symptoms can begin within a few hours.
Schistosomiasis: This is a disease caused by worms and is more commonly found in rural areas where local water is more likely to be used for bathing and recreational purposes.
Lead poisoning: As detailed above, this is caused by the failure of the local supplier to replace and refurbish old leaden pipes with newer, safer ones. Symptoms can often come on gradually, as the poisoning builds over time.
Cryptosporidium: This is the most common of all water borne infections, being caused by faecal matter entering the water and so, this can come from a contaminant at the water plant or in many cases, where restaurant or serving staff do not properly wash their hands before preparing or serving food. This can also be caused where cold items, particularly salad items, are washed in contaminated water and as they are not subsequently cooked, the infection is passed to the diner. Symptoms can take a week to appear, as this is roughly how long the infection takes to incubate within your body.
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 water 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 water 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 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 or drink over a few years. Awards in this category can reach as high as £18,020.00.
Water 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.
Water 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 water 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 water contamination personal injury solicitors today and we will get the ball rolling straight away.