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The short answer is yes. When we think of a personal injury, we often think of a car accident caused by someone speeding or running a red light. However, anytime someone is injured due to another’s negligence, they can seek compensation from the at-fault person. This includes things like food poisoning so long as the person or restaurant you got the food from was negligent, and the negligence was the cause of your injuries.

What is Negligence?

Each person owes others around them a duty to not injure others around them. However, just because your actions injured another, doesn’t mean you were automatically negligent. The law looks at the actions of the alleged at-fault person to see if they were reasonable and prudent. If the person’s actions fell short of what another reasonably prudent person what have done in the same or similar circumstances, then the person was negligent.

How to Make a Food Poisoning Claim in Washington State

Under Washington state law, the person wanting to make a food poison injury claim must prove the following:

  • That the food came from the alleged at-fault person or company,
  • That the injuries suffered came from the food eaten,
  • That the person/restaurant was negligent in the preparation, packaging or serving of the food,
  • The victim suffered actual harm from the poisoning.

The biggest difficulty in proving your case is determining if your illness came from the food you think it did. Typically, it takes a day or two for food poisoning to come to a head. This means that the injured person has to track down where or what he or she ate, and then prove it was poisonous.

How to Prove Food Poisoning

Proving food poisoning is difficult takes testing, scientific research and a bit of sleuthing. Once someone feels they were poisoned by food, after going to the doctor, they need to contact the health department which can open a case and attempt to track down the source of the poisoning.

If the department can determine the bacteria that led to your poisoning and link it to the alleged at-fault establishment, then a case might be able to be made that they poisoned you. You need to tell them when you were there, what you ate and when you first noticed symptoms.

Many times, the health department will come up empty linking your sickness to the restaurant or alleged source of poisoning. This doesn’t mean that you didn’t get poisoned form them, but that it can’t be proven.

Other times, the health department might have several cases from the same place during the same time period, and then it can be determined that the poisoning likely came from there.

Where Can Food Poisoning Come From?

  • Restaurants
  • Food Trucks
  • Cafeterias,
  • Packaged Food,
  • Convenience Stores (both prepared and packaged),
  • Community Events (potlucks etc.)
  • Food Fares

Damages for Food Poisoning

Anytime you suffer a personal injury, you can seek all financial damages that you incurred due to the injury. Those common to food poisoning are:

  • All bills for medical treatment,
  • Medicines,
  • Lost wages,
  • Travel and other costs with treatment,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Permanent Disability,
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life,
  • Mental Anguish

Contact a Spokane Personal Injury Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Personal Injury Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.


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