Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Importantly, if you have contracted gastroenteritis because of somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a gastroenteritis compensation claim.
Claiming compensation for gastroenteritis can be a complicated process. Fortunately, our team of experienced personal injury solicitors can simplify the process and reduce the stress of making a claim, as they work on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you are ready to speak with a specialist now, you can contact our free advice line at 0800 6524 881. If you’d rather learn more about the process of claiming compensation for gastroenteritis first, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- What is Gastroenteritis?
- Am I Eligible to Make A Gastroenteritis Compensation Claim?
- Common Causes Of Gastroenteritis
- How Much Compensation for Gastroenteritis Could I Claim?
- Evidence to Support a Gastroenteritis Compensation Claim
- Time Limits for Claiming Gastroenteritis Compensation
- Starting the Gastroenteritis Compensation Claims Process
Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that is commonly caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Not washing hands after going to the bathroom and coming in close contact with someone who has the virus can also trigger off a bout of gastroenteritis.
When food is not cooked properly or if it is left out for too long, it can cause gastroenteritis. The incidence of suffering from this digestive problem with home-cooked food is very low. This is because we are generally more careful when cooking at home.
Most people who suffer from gastroenteritis contract the virus after eating out, typically after eating at a buffet restaurant. Catering staff preparing foods without washing their hands and buffet dishes that are often left out too long at the wrong temperature are the two most common factors that are responsible for transferring the infection, which can cause food poisoning.
Their diminished physical size and strength make children and the elderly more vulnerable to gastroenteritis infection. Anyone who has a pre-existing condition, or a weakened immune system, may find such an infection causes more severe symptoms as well as potential long-term consequences.
Food bought from any business should be stored, prepared, handled and cooked following the correct food handling regulations. These regulations are there to protect people from the risk of illnesses such as gastroenteritis. When making a compensation claim for gastroenteritis, you’ll need to show that:
- The food or drink consumed was unsafe; and
- You then became ill after consuming the unsafe food or drink; and
- Gastroenteritis was caused by the food or drink consumed.
In accordance with the Consumer Protection Act 1987, if the source of the gastroenteritis is traced back to the food business, they may be held liable to pay compensation.
Examples of when a claim may be viable include cases where the infection has been contracted from food or water that’s contaminated whilst dining at a restaurant, a hotel, or other catering premises, or where the infection has been spread due to poor hygiene practices by catering staff or not following the correct food handling procedures.
To check your eligibility to claim compensation for gastroenteritis, please contact us for a free consultation today.
When a business supplying food and drink products takes the necessary precautions to ensure its customer’s safety, instances of gastroenteritis shouldn’t happen simply because of their negligence. However, mistakes and carelessness can result in meals being unsafe for consumption, and in severe cases, it could lead to hospitalisation.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by a number of reasons. However, some of the causes that may lead to a gastroenteritis compensation claim include:
- Businesses ignoring food safety regulations.
- Consuming contaminated food or drinks.
- Poor hygiene standards and practices.
- Using contaminated equipment or utensils.
- Failure to handle or store food correctly.
- Consuming food products that have expired or become spoiled.
- Lack of proper maintenance of food service equipment.
If you or someone you love has been ill with gastroenteritis due to the negligence of a business, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Although in the majority of cases, gastroenteritis will ease off after a few days, in the meantime it can cause a number of symptoms, the most common being:
- Inability to keep food in the stomach.
- Lack of appetite.
- Feeling sick.
- High temperatures.
- Disrupted sleep because of cramping and diarrhoea.
In most cases, symptoms will appear around a day or so after the individual is first infected and should then eventually go around a week or so later.
If you have been unwell with gastroenteritis due to negligence, making a claim can help with any financial expenses and losses you may have incurred and also compensate you for your pain and suffering. Therefore, when pursuing compensation for gastroenteritis, various factors may be taken into account in your claim. Because of this, it’s not possible to provide a specific amount in this guide. However, by consulting with a specialist advisor and providing all relevant details, a personalised compensation estimate may be provided if a claim is taken on.
In the meantime, factors to consider when making a claim include:
- General damages – These refer to the level of discomfort and harm caused by gastroenteritis and if there are any long-lasting side effects. Emotional trauma can also occur if the illness was severe and therefore may be considered.
- Special damages – These refer to all of the monetary losses you’ve incurred from having gastroenteritis such as medical expenses, travel costs, loss of income and any care claims.
An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you on the general and special damages you should look at including in your claim when determining the final settlement amount.
We’ll now explore potential compensation amounts for your gastroenteritis. Keep in mind that every claim is unique, making it challenging to provide specific compensation estimates in this guide. However, for reference, some general figures have been provided below:
- Compensation of £910 to £3,950 for gastroenteritis with symptoms continuing for a number of days/weeks.
- Compensation of £3,950 to £9,540 where there’s significant discomfort but a full recovery in a year or two.
- Compensation of £9,540 to £19,200 for serious but short-lived symptoms but the effects may last a number of years.
- Compensation of £38,430 to £52,500 for severe toxicosis requiring hospital treatment for a number of days/weeks.
These figures although based on those advised by the Judicial College for general damages should be treated only as a guide.
Being able to prove that you have been ill with gastroenteritis can be difficult. However, there are ways in which you can make the process of claiming compensation easier by taking the following steps:
- Seek treatment straight away from a medical professional. This way their report could be used as part of your evidence.
- Report your illness to the Food Standards Agency.
- Keep a diary of all the food and drink you consumed in the 24 hours prior to becoming ill.
- Take down any names and addresses of anybody who was with you whilst you ate, for example, if you ate in a restaurant.
- If consuming some pre-packed food is what made you ill, keep some of the remaining product in a sealed container for sampling.
- Keep any packaging the food or drink came in.
By taking these steps, you should increase your chances of making a successful claim for gastroenteritis compensation.
In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, you will have 3 years in which to start a gastroenteritis compensation claim generally starting from the date on which your illness was diagnosed.
If your child has suffered from gastroenteritis you could make a claim on their behalf as a litigation friend. If you do not start a claim for them, then they can make a claim for themselves once they turn 18 if they so wish. They will have 3 years within which to start their claim beginning from their 18th birthday.
We strongly recommend starting the process of claiming compensation for gastroenteritis as soon as possible. This will then give you or your legal representative plenty of time to gather evidence in support of your claim, and also will be easier for you to recall the impact the illness had on you while it is still fresh in your mind.
If the defendant accepts responsibility for your illness early on, it’s possible the claim could be concluded in as little as 6 months. Otherwise, it may take longer than a year before it is settled.
Please speak to an advisor to arrange a free consultation to discuss your compensation claim.
Starting your claim with one of our solicitors couldn’t be easier. Simply give us a call on 0800 6524 881 for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your case and ask any questions you may have. Our claims advisors will soon be able to determine if you have a valid cause for making a claim and may pass it on to our solicitors who’ll offer to take your case on using a No Win No Fee agreement.
If accepted, your personal injury solicitor will handle every aspect of your claim and you’ll be kept up to date with the progress of your case and have the opportunity at all times to ask any questions you may have.
Just to let you know, if it’s believed the initial offer of compensation is inadequate to compensate you for your illness, where possible your solicitor will negotiate further to make sure you receive the level of compensation you deserve.
If you’ve any questions or would like to find out if you could start the gastroenteritis compensation claims process today, simply call us or use the live chat.