If you’ve gotten sick after eating in a restaurant, you might consider hiring a skilled food poisoning lawyer Gaithersburg MD provides. In food poisoning lawsuits, time can be of the essence in order to present the strongest case possible. There are also a number of steps that must be taken, which can become more difficult if not started right away. The attorneys of Cohen and Cohen, P.C. are familiar with pursuing litigation against those responsible for causing food poisoning.
A Gaithersburg MD food poisoning lawyer may be able to review your case to help you decide if you want to proceed with a lawsuit. Our attorneys are available for a free, no-obligation consultation. In the meantime, the following information may be helpful to you.
What You Need to Know Before Pursuing Food Poisoning Litigation
A restaurant has the legal obligation to serve food that is safe to eat, and that will not harm patrons. If a restaurant has caused food poisoning that results in sickness or death, they may be held liable for damages. If a top food poisoning lawyer Gaithersburg MD offers can prove which food item poisoned those who ate it, the lawyer may also name the food grower, processor, and distributor as defendants. To make a solid case, the following must be considered:
1. Your attorney may hire a medical expert to determine exactly what pathogen caused the food poisoning. It can be any of the following:
- Vibrio (bacteria)
- Hepatitis A (virus)
- Campylobacter (bacteria)
- E. coli (bacteria)
- Shigella (bacteria)
- Salmonella (bacteria)
- Listeria (bacteria)
- Norovirus (virus)
2. Testing must be performed on those who were sickened in order to determine if the cause was bacterial, and if so, the DNA fingerprint can identify patterns. This can help determine if victims were sickened by the same source. Such testing can also help narrow down the source’s geographic location.
Genetic testing and epidemiological evidence can help your case, even if the exact food item that caused the illness isn’t determined. For instance, if 20 people get listeria after eating at the same restaurant at the same time, it can be deduced that the restaurant is the cause of the food poisoning. You may want to hire a food poisoning lawyer Gaithersburg MD injury victims recommend, but it may be most beneficial if the lawyer has medical experts with whom they can consult.
A restaurant employee who is ill can cause food poisoning. An ill employee can inadvertently transfer their illness to food, or to surfaces that come in contact with the food. This can contaminate any number of food items served by the restaurant.
Your leftovers from the restaurant can be used as evidence. If you have brought home leftovers from the restaurant meal that you suspect made you sick, keep them refrigerated until you have spoken with a food poisoning lawyer Gaithersburg MD residents respect. He or she may advise you on your next steps.
Punitive damages are possible if the restaurant was grossly negligent. To be considered grossly negligent, a food poisoning lawyer in Gaithersburg MD must show that the restaurant had repeatedly and blatantly shown a disregard for violating health and food safety regulations. Punitive damages can be challenging to prove, but if awarded, will be in addition to compensatory damages that focus on medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you would like to discuss your case with a food poisoning lawyer Gaithersburg MD is proud to call their own, call the law firm of Cohen and Cohen, P.C. today.