The costs associated with bacterial infections caused by tainted foods are significant and substantial. Listeria is one cause of food poisoning, which affects an estimated 76 million people every year. The listeria infection spreads in a variety of ways, unlike most other foodborne illnesses. This bacteria is widely spread in nature and usually found in water and soil. Food poisoning is one way of contracting the bacteria, and infected animals are another source. New mothers may also transmit the infection to the fetus. If your medical examiner believes you are infected, contact a food poisoning attorney immediately.
According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune recently, locating the source of most foodborne illnesses is a tough task. Tracing the infections back to the source is often a futile effort on the part of public heath agencies. Unfortunately, most victims of food poisoning caused by the listeria bacteria never recover the compensation they may be entitled to.
In 1999, a national study revealed that each year, of the millions of people who suffer food poisoning, over 323,000 are hospitalized and approximately 5,000 die. The data that is available currently cannot provide the actual extent of the problem today, because most cases of food poisoning are not reported according to public health experts. Because the symptoms in some people are not severe enough that they feel they need medical attention, numerous cases of food poisoning caused by listeria and other bacteria go unreported.
Listeria can only be identified through laboratory tests, and since many cases are mild and not reported, it is most likely more common than you may suspect. If more people were aware that they could seek legal compensation for their illness, more cases may be reported. When someone becomes ill because of the negligence of someone who did not take the necessary precautions to prevent spreading bacteria, they can often be compensated for medical bills and other costs.
The economic costs associated with food poisoning is not known, but is believed to be billions of dollars. Some economists who analyze these illnesses estimate the cost using data related to lost wages and medical treatment, so the figures cannot be exact. For individuals who become severely ill or even disabled due to food poisoning, the costs can be astronomic. In fact, in 2007 over 60% of all bankruptcies that were filed were due to medical costs. Three fourths of those who filed bankruptcy were covered by medical insurance. While listeria is not usually life threatening, it can be very dangerous in certain people. The elderly, young children and pregnant women are most at risk of serious complications.
If you become ill because of listeria or any other foodborne bacteria, contact a reputable attorney. You may be entitled to compensation, and those who are negligent should be held responsible for their actions. Listeria can be deadly in certain circumstances, and you deserve payment for costs incurred as a result of the infection.