If you go out for a meal, buy food from a takeaway or any other type of food outlet, you expect to have a good experience and enjoy what you’re eating. That experience can be ruined somewhat if the restaurant, café, bar, or shop, for example, have not stuck to food safety guidelines and cause you to become ill from food poisoning. While most people don’t have any problems eating out, food poisoning still happens fairly regularly and it can cause you to be out of action for several days or weeks. Therefore, we are going to look at food poisoning compensation claims in this guide.
As we progress, we’ll explain what a food business could do wrong to cause food poisoning, when that could entitle you to claim compensation, and what level of compensation you might be paid.
The process of claiming compensation for food poisoning can be quite complex at times. We have a team of experienced personal injury solicitors who could make things easier for you. Additionally, they could remove a lot of the stress from your claim (if it’s taken on) as they operate on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please continue reading our guide to food poisoning claims to learn more, and if you’re ready to talk to a specialist, you can call our free advice line on 0800 6524 881.
When Can Food Poisoning Claims Be Made?
When you eat food that you’ve purchased in a supermarket, shop, café, bar, fast food outlet, restaurant, or any other business selling food products, it should be stored, handled, prepared, and cooked in a safe way that meets food handling regulations. These are in place to help reduce the risk of contracting conditions like salmonella and norovirus.
Unlike many other types of compensation claims, you do not necessarily need to prove that the food business was negligent. You simply have to show that the food wasn’t safe, you were ill, and it was the food that caused your illness. According to the Consumer Protection Act 1987, where you can find the source of food poisoning, allergic reaction or infection, the law enforces ‘strict liability’ on the restaurant or food business responsible.
You might think that proving how you were made ill will be difficult and you’d be right in many cases. However, there are some steps that could be taken to help make claiming compensation for food poisoning easier. They include:
- Seeking medical treatment immediately.
- Telling the Food Standards Agency about the food poisoning.
- Create a list of all food you have eaten in the 24-hours prior to your illness.
- Write a list of witnesses who were with you when you ate.
- If your illness was caused by pre-packed food, and you still have it, keep it in a sealed container for sampling.
Taking these measures could drastically improve your chances of claiming compensation for food poisoning. If you’d like free advice on what else could help, please discuss your case with an advisor today.
What Could Lead To Food Poisoning Compensation?
Where a food business takes steps to prepare food safely, food poisoning should never happen. However, errors and negligence can mean a meal you purchase is not safe for consumption and you could end up hospitalised in serious cases. Some of the more common reasons for food poisoning compensation include:
- Where food is not cooked at the right temperature or for the right amount of time to kill bacteria.
- If the food is not refrigerated or covered.
- Where food handling has caused cross-contamination of bacteria.
- If poor hygiene standards exist in the food preparation area.
Again, it doesn’t really matter what caused you to suffer from food poisoning. So long as you can demonstrate where the food was purchased and that it made you ill, you could be eligible to sue the company responsible for food poisoning compensation.
What Could I Claim Compensation For Following Food Poisoning?
If you’re considering suing for food poisoning compensation, there are various things that could be included in your claim. For that reason, we can’t say exactly how much you might receive in this guide. However, when you’ve spoken to a specialist advisor, and they’ve taken every detail into account, they should be able to provide a personalised compensation estimate. For your information, the elements (general and special damages) that compensation could be claimed for include:
- Any physical suffering.
- Any psychological injuries including anxiety, distress, and even compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Your costs, financial losses, and expenses incurred because of food poisoning.
When you call our advice line, your case will be reviewed for free and without any obligation. An advisor will determine if your case is strong enough to start a food poisoning claim and could pass it to a solicitor if it is. Please remember that for any claims we take on, you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis meaning the process should be a lot less stressful.
Food Poisoning Claim Calculator
Now it is time to move on and look at what amount of compensation might be paid for food poisoning. As you may now realise, no two claims are the same and that means it’s difficult to provide relevant compensation estimates in this guide. However, we have provided some figures in our compensation table that can be used for guidance.
The figures we have supplied are based on the latest version of the Judicial College general damages compensation guidelines. This is something that legal professionals such as personal injury solicitors and insurers can use to help ascertain the right settlement figures in compensation claims. We’ve also provided our compensation calculator further down the page for various other injuries and settlement amounts that may be relevant to your food poisoning claim.
- £36,060 – £49,270 compensation for severe toxicosis.
- £8,950 – £18,020 compensation for serious yet short-lived food poisoning.
- £3,710 – £8,950 compensation for food poisoning where there’s significant discomfort.
- £860 to £3,710 compensation for food poisoning with varying amounts of disabling pain lasting days/weeks.
Please note that although any compensation figures shown are based on the JC guidelines as mentioned above they should be used as guidance only. Without our solicitors knowing how bad the food poisoning was, your future prognosis, and what costs financially the food poisoning might have caused, an accurate estimation of a settlement amount is not viable.
Time Limits When Making Food Poisoning Claims
You might be wondering how long you have to make a food poisoning claim. Well, in most cases, the time limit is 3-years. This will begin from the date you were made ill. An exception to this rule is where a child suffers because of food poisoning. When that happens, a litigation friend can begin a personal injury claim at any point before the child’s 18th birthday. If they decide not to, when the child becomes an adult at 18 they’ll then have 3 years in which to make the claim.
We would always recommend starting the food poisoning claims process as early as you can. When you do, you’ll give your legal representation plenty of time to gather the evidence required to support your claim. Also, you should find it much easier to recall how you’ve been affected whilst everything is still relatively fresh in your mind.
If the defendant takes responsibility for your injuries or illness early on, your claim could be settled in as little as 6-months. If that’s not the case, food poisoning claims can take longer than a year to be settled. In our experience, most claims end up being settled amicably without the need for court action.
When you’re ready to claim, please call an advisor and we’ll start the ball rolling by reviewing your case for free.
What A Solicitor Can Do For You
It can be quite tricky to prove that you were made ill because of food poisoning. Hopefully, this guide has made the food poisoning claims process somewhat easier. However, we believe your best opportunity to receive the maximum level of compensation is to take on specialist representation.
If your case is accepted by one of our experienced solicitors, they’ll try to do everything on your behalf. That includes evidence gathering, arranging medical assessments, and dealing with the defendant’s legal team. Don’t worry though, you’ll be kept in the loop with regular updates about how your case is progressing. You’ll also get to ask any questions that arise while your claim is being processed.
We’d like to point out that we won’t settle for the first offer of compensation you receive if we believe it doesn’t properly cover the extent of your injuries. If that is the case, your solicitor will return to the negotiating table to try and ensure the correct level of compensation is paid.
Thanks for reading our guide on food poisoning compensation claims. If you have any questions or would like to begin your claim today, please call us on 0800 6524 881. Remember, all accepted food poisoning compensation claims are handled on a No Win No Fee basis and you’ll receive free legal advice whether you decide to make a claim or not.
Updated 6th September 2021.