Broke my tooth while eating a packaged salad

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Broke my tooth while eating a packaged salad

while having dinner with family I bit hard into a rock that was in the pre packaged salad from Trader Joe’s and broke my tooth. Went in for a dental examination and confirmed loss of tooth and need extraction, bone grafting then implants. The salad came packaged with its on dressing. I have been dealing with pain, swelling of my gums, hard time eating normal,loss of wages and dental bills. What are my rights in this case?

Asked on June 18, 2018 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You should notify in writing the manufacturer of the packaged salad and the store where you purchased it and obtain the name, address, and telephone numbers of their insurance carriers.  Notify the insurance carriers in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim.
When you complete your dental treatment and are released by the dentist or are declared by the dentist to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your dental bills, dental reports, and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and store should include those items.
Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (manufacturer and store), NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence and strict liability against the manufacturer and store.  If the case settled with one but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case has NOT settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.
Negligence on the part of the manufacturer is the duty to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.  The store is liable even if it could not have known that the product was defective.
Strict liability is liability whether or not due care is exercised.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
California has a two year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a personal injury case.  This means that your lawsuit must be filed prior to the second anniversary of the date of your injury.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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