Ate Chocolate Contaminated with Glass...

by Carol
(Riverside, CA)

My 2 year old daughter and I consumed chocolate from a major manufacturer that was contaminated with glass. We went to the ER to get x-rays a few hours after the incident, and all the doctor told us was that we had to watch our stool.

It was very painful for both of us and my daughter seemed very upset. Will this be a valid personal injury case?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Ate Chocolate Contaminated with Glass...":

Carol (Riverside, CA):

It may be, but if you both recovered within a few days of the incident and suffered no serious injuries, you do not have the foundation for any type of a serious personal injury case.

By serious, I mean the amount of money you might expect from an insurance settlement would probably not be much more than all the doctors' bills, your out-of-pocket expenses (such as prescription and over the counter medications), any lost wages while you were treating and recovering, and a small amount for your pain and suffering.

If you want to know what you could expect, take your medical bills and those of your daughter and multiply them by three. Although this means of establishing personal injury settlement amounts is by no means an exact science, it is one which has been used by attorneys for many years.

Once you know the full amount you can decide whether to go ahead with a formal demand, and possible lawsuit, or not. Of course, if you end up with serious internal damage, meet with an attorney. A serious injury case should not be handled by a non-lawyer.

In the State of California, you can sue for injuries in Small Claims Court. The jurisdictional, or "maximum amount" you can sue for is $7,500 dollars. If you decide to file there, you can request any amount, up to and including $7,500 dollars, you believe is a fair and just settlement for your daughter's injuries.

In addition to your medical bills, you can include out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and an amount for pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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