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Personal Injury Blog

Seeking Compensation for Chemical Burns From a Restaurant

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The only burns you may worry about when walking into a restaurant or those coming from the liquid lava hot coffee or heated fajita skillet. Perhaps in the worst case you may worry in the back of your mind about a kitchen fire gone out of control. However, it is actually more common for burns that happen inside a restaurant to be of a chemical nature, and knowing how will make you second guess every restaurant you ever step into.

Consider this scenario: You walk into a restaurant and order a nice cold beer. While you look over the menu you have a few sips, but you start to feel strange. Your mouth starts to burn, then your throat, and soon you begin to vomit. After being rushed to the hospital, likely have your stomach pumped, you find out that you have a series of chemical burns in your throat and stomach.

Even if your beer tasted fine, it could have been deeply laced with caustic chemicals. Yet, to many, this horror story seems like something that happens rarely, but unfortunately for everyone, it happens in the United States several thousand times per year. For those who have worked in restaurant kitchens before, they likely already realize how it is possible.

Why Chemical Burns From Restaurants are So Common

For those who have gotten sick or internal burns from eating or drinking at a restaurant, it happened because of a general lack of care. Often during peak hours, those cleaning dishes in the back of the house are in a hurry due to general pressure to get those dishes back in serving shape in record time. This might mean that they skip steps that are done for safety.

Often plates are generally kept safe because they have good natural drainage. However, cups are at risk because obviously, they can hold liquid. This means they are at risk to become coated with the chemical cleaner used to sanitize the dishes between use. However, it is not always the dishwasher's fault. In the above scenario, that chemical-laced beer could have very well come from the tap lines. Some establishments clean their tap lines using chemicals, and when not properly flushed, you could find yourself drinking a chemical-laced brew.

What to Do About Chemical Burns

If you ate or drank at a restaurant and had to be rushed to the hospital for chemical burns, there is no denying that you should have a right to compensation to cover your medical bills. The key to any personal injury case is being able to prove liability. Due to the very nature of chemicals, you often will have a solid case. Most caustic chemicals do more harm over time, but they start doing harm almost immediately. This means if that restaurant full of witnesses can attest that you drank beer from the tap and started having a reaction, then it can be blamed on the restaurant.

While restaurants typically have good insurance to cover incidents like this, that doesn't mean they won't fight against your claim. The real issue is not that they don't want to pay for the injuries their negligence caused you, but rather that the lawsuit would affect their reputation. Issues like this can often close down a restaurant.

Alternatively, it may not always be the restaurant's fault. If they outsourced someone to clean their tap lines, for example, then the fault may actually lie with that third party. This means that it is actually that company you would need to pursue.

If you have suffered from chemical burns while eating at a restaurant and want to seek compensation for your injuries, contact us today. Chemical burns, particularly in your throat can be devastating and have lifelong consequences.


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