Personal injury claims are always complex and require a lot of investigation, but foreign objects in food in particular can be very difficult to investigate. Making a claim requires you to find the party or parties responsible for allowing a dangerous or illness-causing object to enter the food you're preparing to eat or cook. Whether you dine out and find metal in the food or discover an insect in a can at home, keep these three things in mind when deciding if you want to make a personal injury claim or not.
Consider the Obscurity of the Object
In most cases, the court requires a test of reasonable expectation before allowing you to proceed with a personal injury claim. For example, an insect found in fresh and uncooked produce is unlikely to pass this test, while a piece of bone or metal in prepared soup is definitely an unreasonable addition to food. There are many cases of foreign objects in food, such as bones in boneless chicken, that can skirt the edges of reasonable expectation. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if your case will pass this test before committing to taking your claim to court.
Trace the Origin of the Object
The majority of the cost of pursuing a claim will be incurred during discovery to research the chain of handling and manufacturing to determine who added the foreign object. For food prepared in a restaurant, that could range from the server to the farm where raw ingredients were harvested. Homemade food requires you to establish you didn't add the object intentionally or accidentally yourself while preparing a meal or snack. Make sure the potential value of your claim outweighs the projected amount you'll spend on researching the origin of the foreign object before moving forward with your claim.
Document Damage from Contact
Finally, most cases that are worth pursuing as a personal injury claim involve physical damage, injury, or at least the potential for serious injury. Documenting the exact object and the risks it posed to you or the actual injury it caused can make the difference between winning or losing a claim. Request records from your doctor and share them with your personal injury lawyer to get an estimate of what you can request as compensation and your chances of winning a claim. You don't necessarily need an injury to make a personal injury claim, but it does help simplify your case.