Should a person infected with E coli consider contacting a lawyer?
Yes. This bacteria can result in severe health complications that require expensive hospitalization and medical treatment. In many cases, when a person is poisoned with Escherichia (E coil), it is due to poor food safety measures managed by the producer. Several Escherichia outbreaks occur every year, though they are typically isolated and only cause a handful of cases. However, these outbreaks are preventable with tightly controlled quality checks, something that every food producer should maintain. If the food company does not maintain product safety, they may be liable for any medical costs that result from this infection. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help a victim attain this compensation.
Why is this bacterium dangerous, and what symptoms does it cause?
Escherichia is one of the most common bacteria species in the world. It is found in the intestines of most warm-blooded animals, where it helps maintain gastrointestinal (GI) function. However, some strains of Escherichia can be deadly when ingested. The bacteria itself does not pose a threat, but it produces what are known as Shiga toxins. Shiga toxins bind to blood vessels and enter the cells lining the vessel, known as the endothelium. Once inside the cell, the toxin deactivates ribosomes, which are responsible for creating the proteins the cell needs to survive. This results in the rapid death of the cell. This is especially problematic because the endothelium cells need to be renewed constantly.
As endothelium cells die, they cause internal hemorrhaging that can result in bloody diarrhea and vomiting. This can quickly deprive the body of fluids and cause severe dehydration. In severe cases and in people with weakened immune systems, Escherichia may also cause hemorrhaging in the kidneys, eventually causing fatal kidney failure. Children are particularly at risk for this deadly complication.
If I’ve been poisoned with E coli, how can a lawyer help me?
A personal injury attorney can help a victim navigate the complex laws dealing with food poisoning. In many states, the victim can sue under strict product liability, which means that the company is liable for damages if the victim can prove they were responsible for the infection. In some states, though, the victim must also prove that the company was negligent in their manufacturing or supplying of the product. Proving strict liability and negligence is something a personal injury attorney does regularly. These experts can help the victim gather information relevant to their case and represent the victim either in a settlement or in court.
Is it important to find a lawyer with experience in cases involving E coli, or will any lawyer be able to take the case?
When searching for a personal injury attorney, it is always best to select a professional who has successfully handled similar cases in the past. An attorney who has represented other victims of Escherichia poisoning will be better able to find the most pertinent information, and they will likely be able to organize the case more efficiently and effectively.