The concept of poisoning has evoked fear throughout the ages. In the 21st century, the fear of being poisoned is no less potent, and the damage from poisons can be devastating.
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Being poisoned following the negligence acts or omission of a person or organisation can have life-changing consequences for the victim and their family.
If you suffer from poisoning, talk to us to see if you have a valid claim for compensation.
At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, we can assist you with making a compensation claim if you have suffered from poisoning, either in the UK or abroad. Our personal injury team is led by John Hall. As well as having years of experience running poisoning claims, John is a panel member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
We are a full service, award-winning law firm, not a claims company. Therefore, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and must abide by the standards set by them and the Law Society of England and Wales.
We are committed to providing quality service, sensitive, confidential client-care and expert legal advice and representation, backed up by a solid investment in technology and research.
Types of poisoning
There are several different types of poisoning for which you can claim compensation for if they were caused by the negligence of another party.
Food poisoning is an illness caused by contaminated food. The symptoms tend to be short, sharp and violent, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and general misery for a few days. However, in some cases, food poisoning can be extremely serious, resulting in the need for hospitalisation and months of rehabilitation. In rare cases, food poisoning can even result in death.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas with no smell or taste. It has therefore been nicknamed the ‘silent killer’. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you're exposed to high levels. In October 2006, Christianne and Robert Shepherd, aged 7 and 6 respectively, died in Corfu after being poisoned by carbon monoxide emitted from a faulty gas boiler. The travel company, Thomas Cook, was found to have breached its duty of care by an inquest into the children’s deaths.
Chemical poisoning can occur if toxic substances are swallowed, inhaled or seep through the skin. If you have suffered from chemical poisoning at work, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer if they did not make adequate risk assessments and/or provide safety equipment and training.
Chlorine poisoning is one of the most common forms of chemical poisoning as it is commonly used in cleaning products and in pools. The poisoning occurs when chlorine reacts with water in or out of the body to form hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid, both of which are very toxic.
Heavy metal poisoning
Several heavy metals have been associated with poisoning in human beings. These include lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Heavy metal poisoning may occur as a result of industrial exposure, air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints. Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, central nervous system dysfunction and heart conditions.
Sepsis (blood poisoning)
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is the main cause of death from infection across the world. It kills around 40,000 people in the UK every year.
The condition is always triggered by an infection. The infection may start in a tiny cut or develop after major surgery. Symptoms include;
- loss of appetite
- fever and chills
- difficult or rapid breathing
- rapid heart rate
- low blood pressure
- low urine output
If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection - pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound - sepsis is a likely cause. However, medical professionals may miss the signs, resulting in devastating illness and injuries and even death.
Can you get compensation for poisoning?
If you have suffered from poisoning and wish to claim compensation, you need to prove, on the balance of probabilities, the following:
- the person or organisation who responsible for your poisoning owed you a duty of care; and
- they breached that duty; and
- their breach caused you to suffer harm
For example, if you were on holiday and suffered a bout of food poisoning after eating from the hotel buffet, you may be able to claim compensation, either from the hotel or the tour company you booked your trip with under The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
Our experienced solicitors will quickly be able to evaluate whether you have a valid poisoning claim, then advise you on the next steps to take.
How to make a poisoning claim
If you or your child has been poisoned, you need to contact our poisoning claims solicitors straight away. Under the Statute of Limitations 1980, there is a three-year window from the time the poisoning occurred for which to make a claim compensation (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
We offer no win, no fee arrangements for poisoning claims. This means that if your compensation claim for poisoning does not succeed, you will not be charged for any legal fees.
We will provide you with sound advice and robust representation if you have suffered from any kind of poisoning. You can be fully confident that by instructing us, you will receive exceptional, dedicated service from a partner-led, experienced personal injury team
To find out more about how we can advise you on a poisoning claim, please call us on 0333 444 4422 to talk to one of our solicitors.