Salmonella poisoning compensation claims
This easy-to-follow guide considers what you should know about making a successful salmonella poisoning compensation claim.
Although the incidence of Salmonella, or salmonellosis, has declined consistently in the UK since 2000, according to Food Standards Agency (FSA) there are still 2,500 hospital admissions per year.
Worldwide, however, salmonellosis is one of the most common and widely distributed foodborne diseases. Tens of millions of human cases occur.
Over 2,500 strains (or serotypes) of Salmonella species have been identified, but the 2 most important serotypes of salmonellosis transmitted from animals to humans in most parts of the world are Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium. These typically cause gastroenteritis, which is often uncomplicated and needs no treatment, but can be severe in the young, the elderly and patients with weakened immunity.
Salmonellosis and other poisoning illnesses among holidaymakers are not uncommon for those people travelling to locations where food hygiene standards are lower than standards in the UK.
If you have been diagnosed with salmonella poisoning in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Salmonella infections are usually picked up from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The bacterium is destroyed by cooking, so undercooked food or unpasteurised milk may still carry infection.
Poor food hygiene in preparation or storage areas can result in cross contamination from raw food, particularly chicken and eggs. Food which is already cooked or needs no cooking such as fruit and salads may then become a source of infection.
People already infected with Salmonella may transmit bacteria to others through poor hygiene practice.
Establishing how and where the infection occurred is a critical step in the claims process. It must be demonstrated that the defendant was legally responsible for the poor hygiene or other breach, and that this breach led to the claimant's infection.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Symptoms generally between 6 and 48 hours after contracting the infection. Symptoms generally include diarrhoea and vomiting, and patients may also sustain fever, abdominal cramps, headache and rashes. The illness may last for several days.
A small percentage of children under 5 may carry the bacteria for 12 months after the onset of their illness.
Complications of Salmonella poisoning - such as reactive arthritis - may arise, particularly among young children and people over 65.
Reactive arthritis is thought to occur in 2 to 15 percent of Salmonella patients. Symptoms, which usually appear 18 days after infection, include inflammation of the joints, eyes, or reproductive or urinary organs.
Calculating how much can be claimed for Salmonella poisoning
Compensation is calculated based on the severity of the illness and on the impact that the illness has had on a person's life. If the symptoms prevent a claimant from returning to work or enjoying hobbies for a period, the claimant may also claim compensation for these losses of wages and enjoyment.
To bring a successful claim against a tour operator, a claimant must prove that his illness was due to the neglect or fault of the tour operator or its hotel supplier.
Determining the cause of the infection may be difficult as salmonellosis can be contracted from several sources.
A tour operator may deny liability, arguing that a claimant could have consumed contaminated food or drink elsewhere. If the claimant can demonstrate that he or she only ate inside the hotel complex for the 72 hour period prior to the onset of symptoms a claim may be possible.
Anyone with symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning on holiday should immediately report it to a holiday representative. If other holiday makers have also been infected this may help establish the cause, improving the chance of making a successful claim.
No Win, No Fee agreements, technically referred to as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), form a crucial piece of most personal injury claims.
A CFA is, in essence, a contract or "terms and conditions" between you and the personal injury solicitor.
The document sets out the work executed by the lawyer and a percentage success fee to be taken from the damages if the case is successful.
You have absolutely no hidden charges when working with a Quittance personal injury lawyer. You will be able to prioritise your recovery, with the knowledge that you will never be out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our food poisoning compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Our national network of solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, including short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Selected on the basis of their winning track record, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience.
About the author
Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert