Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning?

Many of us make a habit out of eating out several times a week. Busy schedules sometimes require going to the drive-through during our lunch hour or grabbing take-out on the way home from work. On the weekend, may find you enjoying an evening out for dinner at your favorite restaurant with family and friends. While occasionally the selection of food items or the service we receive at a certain establishment can vary from establishment to establishment, we generally trust that the food they are serving at these places is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

At the Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas restaurant accident lawyers provide professional legal representation for people who become ill as the result of food served at local restaurants and eateries. Beyond just a mere stomach ache, eating food that is contaminated or that has not been handled properly can result in severe illnesses, and, in extreme causes, can even be life threatening. When you are a victim of food poisoning, it is possible to sue the restaurant and its owners for your suffering.

Types and Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses

Food Poisoning from Vegas Restaurant
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), roughly 48 million cases of foodborne illness are reported each year. Affecting one out of every six Americans, food poisoning can have significant health impacts, resulting in over 125,000 hospitalizations each year, while being responsible for as many as 3,000 deaths. There are a variety of types of foodborne illnesses, which can produce symptoms ranging from mild to severe. While simple strains of bacteria may cause stomachaches and cramping that last for 24 to 48 hours, more advanced strains could leave you with symptoms that recur for months and even years after the event. Among the most serious types of food poisoning include the following:

  • Hepatitis A: can result in jaundice and flu type symptoms that can occur for weeks or several months after exposure;
  • Cyclosporiasis: can result in vomiting, loss of appetite, cramping, and fatigue that reoccurs over a period of months;
  • Listeria: causes muscle cramping and can result in premature birth for pregnant women, in addition to the development of meningitis in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems;
  • E coli: causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can result in kidney failure;
  • Botulism: causes vomiting, blurred vision, and muscle weakness that can recur off and on for an indefinite period of time and may lead to respiratory failure.

Holding Restaurants Accountable

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne diseases are caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can be harbored within food items. Proper food safety and storage practices play a major role in the development of these types of illnesses, and restaurant owners and managers can be held accountable for negligent conditions which allow customers to be infected. These types of conditions include the following:

  • Failure to clean and sanitize food preparation and storage areas;
  • Failure to maintain adequate cooling temperatures in freezers and refrigeration units;
  • Failure to store foods properly or to throw out food items which have reached their expiration date;
  • Failure to follow cooking time and temperature requirements;
  • Failure to maintain employee standards of cleanliness, such as hand washing and requiring employees to wear gloves when handling food.  

An Overview of Nevada’s Food Poisoning Laws

One of things that makes food poisoning injury claims complicated is that these cases can arise under multiple legal theories. Depending on the specific nature of the case, a plaintiff may be able to file a food poisoning injury lawsuit on the grounds of:

  • Negligence: Negligence is the failure to take proper care within the context of a particular set of circumstances. To prove a defendant is negligent, you have to provide evidence demonstrating that they failed to act in a reasonably safe manner given the duties they owed to their customers/guests.
  • Strict Liability: Unlike negligence, strict liability does not technically require proving wrongful conduct by the defendant. Instead, in certain circumstances, a business is automatically liable for injuries caused by a dangerous or defective consumer product—potentially including food.

In a food poisoning case, your attorney will help you figure out exactly what went wrong. In the modern world, food distribution and preparation is complicated. Many different businesses are usually involved in the process, including producers, distributors, shippers, retail stockers, and restaurants. Any of those parties may potentially bear legal liability for a food poisoning injury.

How Do You Prove Food Poisoning for a Lawsuit?

You may be wondering: What do I need to show to prove liability in a food poisoning case? It is a reasonable question. After all, food poisoning can be difficult to prove. You may know that you got sick shortly after eating a particular meal, but you may not have immediate access to the information you need to prove causation and fault. Here are some of the key types of evidence that can be useful in a food poisoning injury claim:

  • Contemporaneous notes that document when the meal was eaten and when (and what symptoms emerged);
  • Receipts, photographs, or other documentation proving that the meal was eaten;
  • Medical records that diagnose you with a particular food borne illness;
  • A formal complaint to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD); and
  • Additional similar reports or complaints from customers;

Ultimately, every case is different. Relevant evidence can come in many different forms. The best thing you can do to protect your safety and your rights is to seek immediate medical attention. Try to preserve as much information as possible and consult with an attorney right away.

Compensation Available to Injured Victims

compensation for injuries
Proving fault is only one step in bringing a successful personal injury claim in Nevada. Beyond establishing liability, victims should also be prepared to document their damages. Under Nevada law, you can seek financial compensation for the full extent of your losses—but only if you can prove those damages. Businesses and insurance companies try to resolve claims for the lowest amount possible. At Ladah Law Firm, we know how to help clients maximize their financial support. You may be eligible to recover money damages for:

  • Emergency medical treatment;
  • Other medical bills and expenses;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Mental health counseling;
  • Loss of current and future earnings;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Permanent scarring/disfigurement; and
  • Wrongful death of a loved one.

You Can Rely on the Las Vegas Food Poisoning Injury Attorneys at Ladah Law

Food poisoning injury claims are complicated. There are a number of different complicated issues that you need to deal with in order to successfully prove liability and maximize your financial recovery. At Ladah Law Firm, we know how to hold negligent businesses and big insurance companies accountable. When you reach out to our Las Vegas law office, you will have an opportunity to speak to a Nevada food poisoning attorney who will:

Conduct a free, comprehensive review of your case;
Answer your questions and explain the legal claims process;
Investigate the incident—gathering and organizing evidence; and
Take whatever legal steps are required to get you justice and compensation.

We believe that every victim deserves attentive, personalized legal representation from their personal injury attorney. You are never just another case that needs to be handled. Our law firm will put in the time and effort to represent you the right way, with a diligent focus on the specific facts of the case. We have a long record of successful case results and testimonials from satisfied clients.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas restaurant accident attorneys have extensive experience handling food poisoning claims. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. If you or someone you care about is a victim of food poisoning, you need a professional advocate on your side. Our experienced Las Vegas restaurant accident lawyers can advise you on how to hold negligent restaurant owners and managers responsible for the damages you have suffered so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Call or contact our office online today to schedule a confidential case review 702-252-0055.