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Workers’ compensation benefits provide medical treatment and make up for lost income after an employee suffers an injury at work. This can also extend to illnesses an employee contracts due to the nature of his or her work. One gray area that many employees wonder about is food poisoning.
In any workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker must be able to prove that the injury or illness came about through his or her work duties or any other job-related activity. In most slip-and-fall and workplace injury cases, this is fairly straightforward. However, food poisoning cases in general are difficult to prove, because you must be able to show a court exactly how you contracted food poisoning. It’s even more difficult to prove your food poisoning was work-related, and there are a few special considerations for such claims.
If you contract food poisoning and believe it to be work-related, you must consider a few factors. For example, if you got food poisoning from eating your leftovers from home during your lunch break at work, that would not count as work-related food poisoning. Even though you ate at work, your employer had no interaction with your food, thus this instance would not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
There are only a few cases in which food poisoning can be work-related:
As with any other job-related injury or illness, your first priority should be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once your immediate medical concerns are out of the way, you’ll need to report the incident to your employer and start the claims process. Many states have strict time frames in which you must report such incidents, so make sure to do so as quickly as possible. One of the best steps you can take after addressing your medical needs is to connect with a qualified, reliable workers’ compensation attorney. Even if your case seems straightforward, filing for workers’ compensation entails adhering to strict deadlines and gathering necessary documentation. An attorney will help you navigate this process.
Additionally, some cases will require more than just a workers’ compensation claim. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain fair compensation for your losses. Food poisoning is an extremely unpleasant sickness, and the symptoms can vary widely in their severity. You may be able to secure reparation in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. While workers’ compensation will likely cover your immediate medical expenses and lost income from time spent out of work, you also may be able to file for damages, including pain and suffering, any necessary ongoing medical care, and lost income beyond what workers’ compensation benefits cover.