Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

The pain and gastrointestinal effects of food poisoning can range from unpleasant to excruciating. Sometimes, food poisoning can even be life-threatening. It’s possible to accrue significant medical expenses if you need to be hospitalized for a foodborne illness, and you shouldn’t have to pay for medical bills when someone else is to blame. It’s tricky to prove that a restaurant is liable for a particular case of food poisoning, but it’s still worth your time to visit a personal injury lawyer serving Tracy or Livermore. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.

A person suffering from stomach ache related to food poisoning lawsuits in Tracy, CA

Preserving the Evidence

Food poisoning liability can be difficult to prove, and your attorney will need all of the evidence he or she can get. If you brought your leftovers home from the restaurant, do not throw them out if you suspect the food made you ill. Your injury lawyer may request to send them to a lab for testing to confirm that the restaurant served you contaminated food. Upon falling ill, you should go to an urgent care clinic or ER, even if you feel like you could recover at home. Your illness may be more serious than you think, and your medical records will be instrumental in proving your claim.

Testing Your Illness

A general diagnosis of food poisoning, not supported by lab tests, probably won’t be enough to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. Ask the doctor to conduct lab tests to determine exactly which pathogen has caused your illness. Some of the most common are salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. It’s possible to use DNA testing to confirm that your pathogen originated from the restaurant.

Determining Liability

Restaurants owe a duty of care to their patrons to handle food under sanitary conditions, and to cook it to the proper internal temperature. Your attorney can investigate the restaurant to determine if the staff may have breached the basic standards of food hygiene. However, it’s also possible that the restaurant itself isn’t to blame. The problem may be further up the supply chain, such as the farm or processing plant. Pinpointing the exact cause of your illness will determine the party named as the defendant in the lawsuit.