Houston Food Poisoning Lawyer
Have you suffered from food poisoning after eating food from a store or restaurant in Houston, TX? You could be entitled to substantial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Houston food poisoning lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers can help you hold the at-fault party responsible for your losses.
Our legal team has over 45 years of experience helping victims recover compensation after an injury or illness. We’ve recovered tens of millions for individuals and families in Houston.
Contact us today by dialing (713) 500-5000 to schedule a free initial consultation to get started with your food poisoning case. We work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you first.
Table of Contents
How Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Food Poisoning Case
Food poisoning is more than just a bout of nausea and vomiting. Food borne illness can cause debilitating sickness, requiring hospitalization and missed days from work. It can require medication to treat illness and intravenous fluid to replenish your body.
You deserve compensation if a store or restaurant in Houston, Texas, didn’t properly prepare or handle food items and you got sick after consuming them. But proving your food poisoning claim can be an uphill battle — without the right attorney.
Our Houston personal injury lawyers have decades of experience helping injury and illness victims hold businesses and corporations liable for the harm they’ve caused. We have recovered tens of millions for our clients. Our founding attorney is even Board Certified in personal injury trial law, making him a personal injury expert.
When you hire Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, you can expect us to:
- Conduct an investigation into the sourcing and handling of the food that made you sick
- Identify whether others got sick from the same food items
- Calculate your damages and determine the value of your claim
- Consult with experts like microbiologists and epidemiologists to strengthen your case
- Identify whether you can join in a class action lawsuit
- Handle all communications and negotiations with the business and its insurers
- Take your case to trial if the at-fault parties refuse to pay a fair settlement
You need to act quickly to protect your food poisoning claim. Contact us today to schedule your free case review with one of our Houston personal injury attorneys.
How Common is Food Poisoning in the United States?
Around 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne diseases annually. Millions of people only experience minor sicknesses. However, foodborne illnesses hospitalize 128,000 people. Approximately 3,000 people die from complications related to food poisoning.
Some demographics are more vulnerable to foodborne sickness than others, including:
- Children under 5
- Adults aged 65 and older
- Individuals who are immunocompromised
- Pregnant women
However, anyone can become sick after eating contaminated food. That’s why restaurants and businesses are expected to handle and prepare their foods safely.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
Foodborne illness is caused by eating contaminated food. The food item can experience contamination at any point of production, including growing, harvesting, preserving, transporting, and preparing.
Cross-contamination is a frequent cause of food poisoning. Cross-contamination happens when harmful bacteria or microorganisms are transferred from one substance or object to another. This form of contamination is especially common in raw foods like salad and produce. These foods are not cooked, and therefore, the harmful bacteria are not destroyed before consumption.
The most common bacterial, viral and parasitic contaminants are:
- Campylobacter – Found in meat and poultry.
- Clostridium botulinum – found in canned commercial foods.
- Escherichia coli (E. coli) – Found in contaminated water, milk, and beef, mainly undercooked ground beef
- Hepatitis A – Found in raw, ready-to-eat produce and shellfish harvested from a contaminated water source.
- Listeria – Found in deli meats, hot dogs, unwashed raw produce, and unpasteurized meat and cheese.
- Norovirus – Like Hepatitis A; it is found in raw produce and shellfish.
- Salmonella – Raw or contaminated meat, especially poultry. Also found in milk and egg yolks.
- Vibrio vulnificus – found in raw shellfish from contaminated water.
These contaminants can all be spread in different ways, from improper preparation to an infected food handler. Visit a doctor immediately if you think you may have come into contact with contaminated food.
What Are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning symptoms will differ depending on what contaminant a person consumes. Moreover, it can take hours or days to develop symptoms after eating contaminated food. Most cases of food poisoning are minor and result in stomach flu-like symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.
The most typical signs of food poisoning are:
- Nausea and/or upset stomach
- Stomach cramps
- Dehydration (from vomiting and diarrhea)
More serious cases can have aggravated versions of symptoms. In some cases, they can lead to serious illness and even death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends visiting a doctor or hospital if you have the following symptoms:
- High fever (over 102°F)
- Bloody diarrhea
- Diarrhea that lasts more than three days
- Frequent vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, such as minimal urination
Getting early treatment for foodborne illness can mitigate the seriousness of your symptoms and illness.
What Food Safety Guidelines Are Stores and Restaurants Supposed to Follow?
Businesses and restaurants that grow, harvest, store, ship, prepare, or sell food are supposed to take reasonable measures to avoid foodborne illness.
At a minimum, they should do the following:
- Food handlers should wash their hands and utensils before preparing and handling food. They should take special care to wash their hands and utensils after contact with raw foods.
- Food handlers should cook foods to the right internal temperature. This will help kill harmful bacteria.
- Food handlers should separate produce and prepared foods from other raw foods. This includes but is not limited to seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy.
- Food handlers should quickly refrigerate or freeze foods not used. This includes leftovers. Restaurants should set their refrigerators at or below 40 degrees and freezers at or below 0 degrees.
When a restaurant or business fails to take these measures, consumers/customers may become sick after eating their food. Such an illness could trigger a food poisoning claim against the business or restaurant.
When Should You File a Food Poisoning Lawsuit in Houston?
Food poisoning claims can be difficult. You must prove that you purchased a specific, identifiable food item from a restaurant or store which caused you to suffer an injury or illness. Minor cases of food poisoning might not justify the time and costs of a lawsuit.
However, you may be eligible to file a food poisoning suit in the following situations.
If you were hospitalized
Hospitalizations for food poisoning can rack up surprisingly high medical expenses. The doctors and nurses may have to give many different medications to treat your illness. They may also need to pump medicine and liquids into your body intravenously.
If you were hospitalized after eating tainted food, you might have a food poisoning claim against the restaurant or grocery store that sold you the item. Likewise, you might have a case if the food poisoning resulted in significant impairments to your health; advanced cases of foodborne illness can cause chronic arthritis, kidney failure, and brain and nerve damage.
If you were hospitalized, you likely missed work and lost valuable income from your job. This, too, will factor into your food poison case. A Houston food poisoning attorney can help you recover damages for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case consultation.
If you were a victim of a food poisoning outbreak
Many times, foodborne sickness is not a one-off. Contaminated restaurant food or grocery store items will often cause illness in many customers who consumed the food.
You will have an easier time proving your claim if you were one of multiple victims to develop food poisoning after ingesting food at a restaurant or grocery store.
Only a small percentage of food poisoning cases require hospitalization. Moreover, symptoms typically don’t manifest until multiple days after a person has ingested contaminated food. Therefore, evidence of the bacteria, virus, or parasite that caused your illness may be gone by the time you learn of the food poisoning.
Not surprisingly, grocery stores and restaurants (and their insurers) will try to argue that their food didn’t cause your sickness. Alternatively, they may claim you didn’t store or handle the food properly. These arguments are weaker if multiple people suffered an illness after consuming the same food item as you.
The best way to determine if you have a food poisoning case is to consult with a food poisoning lawyer in Houston. Attorney Brian Personal Injury Lawyers offers free consultations. Contact us today to discuss your case.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Food Poisoning Claim?
You can recover the same types of damages in your food poisoning case that you would in a personal injury case. The State of Texas allows injury and illness victims to seek compensation for two types of damages: economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic damages cover your financial losses related to your foodborne illness, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income from missed work
- Diminished earning capacity if the illness has lasting effects on your health
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages cover damages that don’t come with a receipt, bill or invoice — damages that are more personal in nature. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life (in food poisoning cases with complications)
- Loss of consortium (in food poisoning cases with severe complications)
A Houston foodborne illness attorney can help you determine the damages available in your case. They can also help you calculate the value of your case, which will be heavily influenced by your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and available insurance coverages.
Contact Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your claim’s worth.
How Do I Prove My Food Poisoning Case in Texas?
Food poisoning cases have the same elements as a typical negligence case. However, they are often far more complex, requiring expert testimony from doctors, epidemiologists, or even microbiologists. The case may also involve local, county, or state health departments, who will conduct their own investigation into the contaminated food.
A Houston food poisoning lawsuit requires proof of four elements:
- Duty – You will have to show the defendant owed you a duty. Every party involved in the growing, harvesting, storing, shipping, preparing, and selling of food has a duty to keep consumers safe from contaminated foods.
- Breach – You will have to prove the defendant breached their duty by failing to process, prepare, store, or handle the food properly.
- Causation – You must show that the defendant’s breach caused your foodborne illness.
- Damages – You must prove you suffered damages due to your sickness.
Your legal team will gather evidence to prove each of the four elements of your case. Specifically, they will look for evidence that shows:
- The defendant failed to maintain sanitary preparation areas or sanitary handwashing procedures before preparing food.
- The defendant failed to cook food to the right internal temperatures.
- The food experienced cross-contamination or spoilage due to improper storage.
Contact our law firm today to discuss how we can help you prove your case.
When Do I Have to File My Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
Texas imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. That means you must file a lawsuit within two years of the start of your foodborne sickness. If you fail to file your claim by the deadline, you will be barred from recovering compensation in court.
Food poisoning cases are difficult to prove. As mentioned above, evidence of contamination can disappear quickly. Therefore, the sooner you file your claim the better.
Our Houston Food Poisoning Lawyers Can Help You Fight For the Money You Deserve
Food poisoning can result in one of the worst sicknesses of your life. The party responsible for your foodborne disease should be responsible for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages — not you.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers is ready to put our 45+ years of combined experience behind your claim. We have the expertise and resources to handle even the most complex of food poisoning cases.
Contact us today toll-free to schedule your no-pressure consultation with a Houston food poisoning lawyer. We work on contingency, so there’s no risk in seeking the representation you deserve.
Houston Food Poisoning Lawyer Client Review
Read more of our Google Reviews.
Additional Houston Food Poisoning Resources
- Food Recalls in Texas
- Recent Product Recalls and What to Do if You Have a Recalled Product
- What Is Popcorn Lung?
- How to File a Claim Against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
- These 10 Everyday Objects are More Dangerous Than You Think
- Are You Prepared for a Flash Flood? Your Safety Checklist
- 3 Types of Product Liability Claims in Texas
- Houston Product Liability Lawyer
- Houston Premises Liability Lawyer
- Houston School Accident Lawyer
- Houston Child Product Recalls Lawyer
- Houston Injured Cruise Ship Passenger Attorney
- Houston Cruise Ship Worker Injury Lawyer
- Houston Brain Injuries from Toxic Exposure Lawyer
Highly Rated Drug Stores in Houston, TX
- H-E-B Buffalo Speedway — 5225 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77005
- CVS Pharmacy Westheimer Rd — 2075 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
- Doyle’s Pharmacy Sunset Blvd — 2425 Sunset Blvd, Houston, TX 77005
- CVS Pharmacy Richmond Ave — 1003 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77006
- Park Plaza Pharmacy — 1213 Hermann Dr # 140, Houston, TX 77004
- Walgreens Pharmacy at Memorial Hermann Hospital-TMC — 6400 Fannin St Ste 102, Houston, TX 77030
*Disclaimer — we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.
Government Resources for Food Poisoning in Houston, TX
- NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) — Symptoms & Causes of Food Poisoning
- Cleveland Clinic — Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness): Symptoms, Signs, Treatment
- FoodSafety.gov — Food Poisoning
- MedlinePlus (Medical Encyclopedia) — Food poisoning
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) — What You Need to Know about Foodborne Illnesses
- Cedars-Sinai — Food Poisoning
- Nemours KidsHealth — Food Poisoning (for Parents)
- HealthyChildren.org — Food Poisoning & Contamination: Information for Families
- familydoctor.org — Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
- Mount Sinai Health System — Food poisoning Information