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I Had An Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Restaurant What Are My Legal Rights? – Can I Claim Compensation?

By Stephen Hackett. Last Updated 17th August 2021. Welcome to our guide about claiming compensation for an allergic reaction after eating at a restaurant. No matter how you have sustained an allergic reaction, no matter whether it was a wheat allergy, gluten allergy, or something different if the injury was not your fault you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. This guide provides critical details on how you can ensure you get the amount you deserve. So, read on to find out all you need to know.

Allergic reaction in restaurant

Allergic reaction in a restaurant

The first thing you need to do is make sure you get the details of anyone that witnessed the accident, as well as the individual who caused it, which in this case will be the details regarding the owner of the restaurant. Obviously, it can be quite difficult to think on your feet if you have just experienced a horrible accident. Nonetheless, such details can really strengthen your case.

After this, it is imperative that you go to a doctor and get professional medical attention. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. If you do not see a medical expert you will have virtually no chance of getting compensation for your food allergy claim. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they can simply cope with the injury themselves. However, no matter how minor your reaction may be, you have to make sure there is proof of you suffering the injury, which is why you need to seek medical attention.

Once you have done this, the next step is to find a high-quality solicitor, who can handle your case for you. Legal Expert can assist you with this, as we have an excellent team of experienced No Win, No Fee personal injury solicitors. They will help to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to. Moreover, you do not need any money to begin your case. You can reach us on 0800 073 8804.

You can also write to us about your case using our claim online form, or chat with us now using the live chat service, bottom right.

After you have been put in touch with one of our exceptional solicitors, the final thing you must make sure you do is to keep evidence of any expenses you’ve accumulated as a result of your injuries. This includes everything from travel expenses and childcare costs, to loss of income and medical expenses. You may be able to claim for these as special damages.

If you follow the advice provided in this post you should have a better chance of submitting a successful compensation case. However, there is a lot more to the claims process than this, which is why we have put together this guide. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know regarding making a claim with the assistance of an allergy claim solicitor.

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A Guide To Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction In A Restaurant

I had an allergic reaction after eating at a restaurant, what are my rights? If you are thinking about making a personal injury claim for any allergy, whether this is a nut allergy, milk allergy, or something else, one of the first questions you may want answered is how much compensation are you likely to receive? Unfortunately, it is impossible to give you a definitive answer without knowing the ins and outs of your case. Nevertheless, this guide will first help you to determine whether you have a good chance of getting compensation, and then we will provide you with a breakdown of the different amounts in relation to the type of allergy you have suffered. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know.

Am I Entitled To Compensation?

Before you can even begin to think about how much money you could be entitled to, you first need to determine whether you have a good basis for a successful claim. Essentially, you need to be able to answer yes to the following three questions:

  1. Did the injury occur because of someone else’s error or negligence?
  2. Did the allergy happen within the last three years?
  3. Did you receive medical attention for your food allergies?

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?

When you make a personal injury claim you are entitled to two types of compensation. First and foremost, you have general damages. This is compensation for your suffering – i.e. the severity of your injury and how it is going to impact your everyday life. In addition to this, you may possibly also receive special damages. This is any out of pocket expenses you have encountered because of your injuries, such as travel costs and medical expenses.

Every case is different and so if you would like more specifics regarding your case, get in touch with Legal Expert. However, before you do this, make sure you continue reading for more information.

What Is A Food Allergy?

Let’s begin by giving you a food allergy definition. A food allergy occurs when the immune system in your body has a reaction to specific types of foods that can be described as unusual. Most allergic reactions are mild.

However, there have been cases when people have suffered severe symptoms because of a food allergy. Some people have even lost their lives by eating something they were allergic to. Therefore, these cases do differ dramatically in terms of severity. Food allergy testing is available if you suspect you could be allergic to something but you are unsure.

What Are The Most Common Causes And Symptoms Of A Food Allergy?

There are a number of different food allergy symptoms, as people react in different ways. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the roof of the mouth, tongue, lips, around the eyes, and face
  • Raised itchy red rash
  • An itchy sensation inside the ears, throat, or mouth

These are just the most common symptoms. Everyone reacts differently, so this should be considered a loose overview.

What Are The Most Common Food Allergies?

Individuals can be allergic to any type of food. Here are some of the most common food allergies:

  • Egg allergy
  • Celery
  • Dairy allergy
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Soya
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fruit allergy
  • Nuts
  • Mustard
  • Molluscs
  • Cereal allergy
  • Celery allergy
  • Milk
  • Lupin
  • Seafood allergy
  • Fish allergy

What Are The Laws Surrounding Food Allergens?

There are a number of different laws in place regarding food allergies. This includes allergen rules, which state that there need to be labels regarding what foods are present, including the following:

  • Molluscs like squid, snails, oysters, whelks, and mussels
  • Lupin, which includes lupin flour and seeds, which can be found in pasta, pastries, and bread
  • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites were added and at a level higher than 10mg/L or 10mg/kg in the finished product
  • Sesame
  • Mustard
  • Celery
  • Nuts, namely macadamia, pistachio nuts, brazil nuts, pecan nuts, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds
  • Milk, including lactose
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Crustaceans, for example, crayfish, lobster, crabs, and prawns
  • Cereals contain gluten, namely oats, barley, rye, and wheat

There are lots of different laws in place regarding this, including criminal laws. This includes the likes of Food Safety Act 1990, EC Regulation 178/2002 General Food Law Regulation, and Article 14 of EC Regulation 178/2002 General Food Regulation.

Correct Labelling Of Foods And Menus

In the UK, it is vital that all businesses in the food and drink industry provide details if one of the 14 key allergens are contained in any of the food provided. This includes businesses ranging from restaurants and takeaways to cafes and food stalls. Whether the food is fresh or pre-packaged, companies need to declare the allergens present. If they have not done this, and you have suffered an allergic reaction as a consequence, you may be able to claim compensation due to this.

What Are The Legal Definitions Of Different Businesses Selling Foods

It is also a good idea to know how different food businesses are differentiated. In general, you have the following three definitions…

  • Pre-packed food – This relates to any type of food that has been put into packaging before it has been sold. A good example is any pre-packed food sold in supermarkets. There is no direct communication between the producer and the consumer.
  • Pre-packed for direct sale – This means that the food has been put into packaging before being sold yet there is communication between the producer and the consumer. In this case, it would probably mean that the food is sold in the premises where it is made, for example, sandwiches that are made and sold on-site.
  • Non-prepacked foods – This relates to any loose foods, for example, meals served in a takeaway or restaurant, as well as foods sold via a delicatessen counter.

Criminal Law, Allergens, And Consumer Rights

Criminal law and civil law can be used to protect your rights and make a case for compensation. Criminal laws used include the following:

Civil Law, Allergens, And Compensation Claims

You are also protected via civil law. Liability can be risen under the product liability provisions under the common law of negligence or under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

When Do You Have The Right To Claim Compensation?

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you have a strong case. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and money on building a case if you do not have any hope of securing compensation. However, at the same time, you certainly don’t want to miss out on any money you may be entitled to either.

How to determine if you’ve got a strong case:

  • Establish responsibility
  • When did the accident occur?
  • Have you received professional medical attention?

These are the three main points you need to concern yourself with. In order to secure compensation, you need to prove that someone else made an error or acted negligently, and this resulted in the accident you were involved in, and consequently, it caused your suffering. Aside from this, the accident must have occurred within the required time limit – usually 3 years. This is the usual personal injury claims time limit on most personal injury cases. There are not many exceptions, apart from incidents whereby injuries take a while to surface, or it is impossible to pinpoint an accident date, such as industrial hearing loss and repetitive strain injury. This is very rarely the case when making a food safety claim for something that has happened in a restaurant, as the impact tends to be as good as instant. Finally, you must have seen a doctor for your injuries if you are to have any chance of securing compensation.

Hopefully, you should now have a better understanding as to whether you have a strong chance of a successful case. There are other steps you can take to improve your chances too. This includes the likes of – making a note of everything that happened, taking relevant photographs, getting witness contact information and keeping a note of any costs you have incurred. The latter is particularly important, as you may be able to claim for these expenses as special damages, but you will need proof in order to do so.

What Can I Claim After An Allergic Reaction In A Restaurant?

If you have suffered an allergic reaction that was not your fault, you will probably be aware of the fact that you could be entitled to compensation. This is the case so long as you have received medical attention and the incident occurred within the last three years.

The latter is relevant because due to the Limitation Act 1980, it’s usually a legal requirement to start a personal injury claim within three years from the date the allergic reaction occurred. If, however, the victim of an allergic reaction is a child, then the three-year time limit does not start until the child turns eighteen. The time limit can also be frozen (at least on a temporary basis) if the injured party does not have enough mental capacity to act on their own behalf.

When a victim is a child or lacks the mental capacity to act independently, they can’t start a personal injury claim on their own. However, such victims could possibly have a claim started on their own behalf by someone close to them who can act as a representative. This individual is known as a litigation friend.

Nonetheless, did you know that you may not only be compensated for your suffering? Individuals who put in a successful compensation claim may also potentially receive money for special damages. This section will provide an insight into what sort of special damages you may be able to claim for if you have sustained any type of food allergy that was not your fault, be it a lupin allergy, mustard allergy, or something different.

First and foremost, it is imperative to establish what special damages are. These are essentially out of pocket expenses. They relate to any costs you have encountered as a result of your injuries. A prime example of this would be the cost of parking every time you visit the hospital. After all, if you had not experienced an allergic reaction, you would not be visiting the hospital at all. Therefore, you can claim for this.

Aside from this, other examples include the likes of childcare costs, accommodation expenses and travel costs. If you have had to pay someone to look after your child whilst in your recovery, or you have needed to use alternative travel options or accommodation, then you can claim for this. Moreover, medical expenses and loss of earnings are also covered. Has your allergic reaction stopped you from working? If so, and you do not get sick pay or you are self-employed, you can claim for this as special damages as well.

To get a better insight into the special damages that are relevant for your case, give Legal Expert a call. We have a free legal helpline available and we will put you in contact with our panel of food allergy claim solicitors who will happily answer any questions you have.

Restaurant Allergic Reaction Compensation Claims Calculator

One thing everyone wants to know, no matter whether they have had a gluten allergy reaction or they have suffered symptoms because of a shellfish allergy, is how much compensation they are going to receive. We certainly do not recommend that you use a personal injury claims calculator, as they are not very accurate. Instead, we have included compensation brackets for injuries typically related to food allergies in the table below.

The compensation brackets are based on those included within the latest Judicial College guidelines. These guidelines may be analysed by solicitors to assist them with working out the value of the physical and mental injuries you are claiming for in your compensation case. The examples of injuries and compensation brackets in the table could potentially cover you for general damages when making your claim.

Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySevere£36,060 to £49,270
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySerious But Short-Lived£8,950 to £18,020
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySignificant Discomfort For A Few Weeks£3,710 to £8,950
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjuryDisabling Pain For Some Days Or Weeks£860 to £3,710
Mental AnguishFear Of Impending Death/Reduction In Expectation Of Life£4,380
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerate£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyLess Severe£1,440 to £5,500

If you cannot find the injury you have sustained in the table above, don’t panic, as you can still make a claim with a personal injury lawyer from our team. They will inform you regarding the payout you are likely to receive.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Restaurant?

Are you worried about making a claim for an allergic reaction because of solicitor fees?

A lot of people never get the money they are entitled to when they make a claim for any type of injury. This is not because they have fallen victim to poor quality service. In fact, most people never even make a claim to begin with. Why? Well, there are various reasons, but the main one is the fact that they are put off by the high solicitor fees.

This is understandable. Most people experience a hurdle straight away because of the costs of even having an initial consultation. Individuals do not want to spend an extensive amount of money just to have a meeting with a solicitor to then discover they do not even have a case to begin with.

Aside from this, there is also the concern that they will not win their case. People worry about spending extortionate sums on a solicitor for their allergy claim, only for the case to prove to be unsuccessful. Not many people are in a situation whereby they can afford to lose this cash.

So, what’s the solution? You could use a No Win No Fee solicitor instead. This eliminates the financial hurdles and worries. You will not need to pay any fees upfront to begin your claim. Aside from this, you do not need to panic about the monetary implications of losing your case.

You may be pleased to know that all of our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis at Legal Expert. We are a company you can trust. We have been established for many years, and have successfully helped thousands and thousands of personal injury victims since. The only thing you need to do is give us a call on our legal helpline and we can begin the process of ensuring you get the full compensation you deserve for the illness you have suffered.

How To Get Advice From Our Specialist Legal Team

No matter whether you have been the victim of a minor or severe allergy, you need to ensure you use a good law firm to give yourself the best chance of getting the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Nonetheless, with so many different companies to choose from, it can often be difficult to know what business to go for. Luckily, we make your decision easy. Legal Expert is here to help, and here are the reasons why you should make a claim for your allergy with us…

  • We Have Plenty of Experience – We have been providing our services for many years. We have successfully helped a large number of personal injury victims situated all over the United Kingdom. Needless to say, many of these have suffered due to allergic reactions.
  • Legal Helpline – You can call our legal helpline any day of the week. You will be able to ask any pressing questions and discover whether you have a good basis for a claim without needing to spend a penny.
  • No Win, No Fee – All of our solicitors can support cases on a No Win, No Fee basis. This is highly beneficial for a whole host of reasons. First of all, you do not need any money to begin your claim. Financial risk is also minimised. This ensures you benefit from a committed service.
  • We Won’t Waste Your Time – If we do not believe you have a good chance of getting compensation, we will tell you. We won’t waste your time or ours. This is something you can be sure of considering we offer a No Win, No Fee service.
  • Great Reputation – If you don’t believe that we offer a fantastic solution for making a claim, all you’ll need to do is read the reviews that we’ve received from previous customers in their reviews. This should soon put your mind at ease.

Contact Our Team Of Experts Today

Are you ready to make a claim? If so, the only thing you need to do is dial our team on 0800 073 8804. This helpline number is open seven days per week, so you can call at any time that is convenient for you.

You will speak to one of our friendly advisors, and they will happily answer your queries and get the claims process rolling for you. Furthermore, you can contact us on our website in a number of ways. This includes via email, live chat, and through entering your details for us to call you back.

More Helpful Guides And Other Contact Information

Allergic reaction after eating at a restaurant FAQ

In this final section of our guide on your legal rights following an allergic reaction at a restaurant, we have answered some popular questions linked to this subject matter.

What is the leading cause of food allergy reactions in restaurants?

According to the NHS, the foods which most commonly cause people to suffer an allergic reaction include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and certain fruits and vegetables.

Are restaurants liable for allergic reactions?

Whether or not a restaurant can be found liable for an allergic reaction in their premises depends on the circumstances of the incident. More specifically, it depends on whether a restaurant can be considered negligent. A customer who claims against a restaurant will need to show how the restaurant acted negligently and how this behaviour directly led to them experiencing their allergic reaction.

What is an allergen menu?

An allergen menu highlights the allergens which are contained in the dishes and drinks that a restaurant or cafe offers. This type of menu can allow customers to make an informed choice when viewing and selecting the options available.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for an allergic reaction after eating at a restaurant.

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