Can I sue a restaurant for food poisoning in California?

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Eating out has many benefits, including the opportunity to try new dishes, catch up with friends, and not have to clean up after yourself. However, despite the benefits, when a restaurant fails to uphold its legal duties, you could wind up in the emergency room. Unfortunately, after eating a meal at a restaurant you may suffer symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever. These symptoms may indicate you have come down with a foodborne illness such as food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs when an individual consumes contaminated food. If food is not handled, stored, or cooked properly contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, funguses, toxins, and chemicals can cause this foodborne illness. Most food poisoning cases are mild. However, they can be severe and lead to serious health complications. That being said, many people wonder whether they can sue a restaurant for food poisoning to collect monetary compensation for the damages stemming from the illness. Keep reading to discover when you can sue a restaurant for food poisoning and learn how our talented Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorneys can help you secure the fair compensation you deserve. 

When can you sue a restaurant for food poisoning in California?

Food poisoning is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food. Food can become contaminated at any stage of production. However, it most commonly occurs when food is not fresh, not washed well, handled in an unsanitary way, not cooked thoroughly, and improperly stored.

In California, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit as long as you can prove that the food served at the restaurant made you sick. To do this, you will need to show the court that you were diagnosed with this foodborne illness by a healthcare professional, that you consumed food from a restaurant or the person you contracted the illness from ate there, and that your illness has caused you to incur significant damages. In cases where a health department informs the public of an outbreak, you most likely have a lawsuit. However, it is imperative to note that food poisoning cases like any other personal injury claim require a substantial amount of evidence to prove the negligent parties’ actions directly caused your damages. That being said, if you are feeling sick after eating in a restaurant, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Once you have been diagnosed with food poisoning, you should make sure that your doctor takes a stool sample. This can then be tested for the specific pathogen that made you sick. Once a specific pathogen has been detected, any leftover food from the restaurant or equipment used to prepare your food can be tested for the same pathogen. This can help you link your illness to the restaurant. As mentioned above, in severe cases of food poisoning you may suffer permanent damage.

If you have recently been diagnosed with food poisoning, you need a determined and experienced Santa Clara County personal injury attorney on your side. Our firm is prepared to fight on your behalf to help you reach a just outcome.