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Food Allergy Claims Solicitors Guide – How To Claim Food Allergic Reaction Compensation?

Food allergy claims solicitors

Food allergy claims solicitors

If you are somebody who suffers from food allergies, whatever it is you’re allergic to, then you will know that exposure to allergens can be a very serious matter. If you have had an allergic reaction whilst at home or eating out, then Legal Expert may be able to help you make a claim. Restaurants, cafes and food preparation companies have a legal duty to specify any allergens that are used as ingredients in a food product. They must also state if allergens may have been present during the food preparation process. These laws are there to keep the public safe and if for any reason these requirements have been breached, leading to an allergic reaction from a consumer, whether mild or serious, then the person responsible may be held liable. If you work in a food preparation area and are exposed to allergens which have caused an allergic reaction then you may also be able to make a claim. Speak to us at Legal Expert today. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action after discussing the details of your Call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 to find out more. One of our helpful advisors will be able to point you in the right direction. But, before you pick the phone up, our helpful guide will help you to learn more about food allergies, the legal requirements regarding allergens and ways in which you can make a claim.

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A Guide To Food Allergy Claims Solicitors

If you have a food allergy then you will know how important food safety is when eating out. Whether it is a nut allergy, a dairy allergy, a wheat allergy or one of the many of food allergies that people suffer from, you will understand how crucial it is to get as much information as possible about the allergens that may be present in your food when visiting a restaurant or buying prepackaged food. If you have been exposed to an allergen which resulted in an allergic reaction then you may be wondering can you sue a company for an allergic reaction? The answer is yes. A food allergy lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action but if you are allergic to one of the 14 most common allergens and information about allergens has not been provided in the restaurant then you may be able to prove food allergy negligence and be successful in suing the restaurant for an allergic reaction.

This guide seeks to better inform you about the legal requirements that govern the hospitality industry when it comes to food allergies. It will tell you the types of compensation you may be able to claim if you have been the victim of negligence in a restaurant setting. Legal Expert have many years of experience in this type of personal injury claim and will be able to allocate a personal injury lawyer to you to help you win the compensation you deserve following your allergic reaction.

What Is A Food Allergy?

A food allergy is basically when your body’s immune system goes into overdrive when you come into contact with a certain allergen. In this case, the allergen will be contained in a certain type of food. Food allergies can flare up when food is consumed or even when the skin comes into contact with a type of food in the case of severe allergies. It is therefore crucial that somebody suffering from an allergy is able to avoid triggers at all costs. The type of food that causes an allergic reaction will differ from individual to individual. It could be, for example, a seafood allergy or a fruit allergy. Some people may be allergic to more than one type of food. As your immune system is reacting to exposure to the allergen you are likely to experience unpleasant symptoms. These can range from a mild annoyance which can include an itchy rash right through to life-threatening anaphylaxis, which can cause breathing difficulties, a fast heartbeat and a sudden drop in blood pressure. Other symptoms that may suggest a food allergy includes a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of your mouth, face or throat, finding it difficult to swallow, experiencing shortness of breath, sickness or nausea and abdominal pain or diarrhoea. It can be difficult to establish exactly which kind of food is provoking this reaction but allergy testing can help you to isolate the allergen that your body is reacting to.

To find out more you may find it useful to visit the NHS website regarding allergens.

The Law And Food Allergies

The law recognises the seriousness of exposure to an allergen for people with a food allergy. Therefore the Food Standards Agency state that businesses must label their packaging appropriately to indicate any allergens that are present within the ingredients or the process by which the food was made. If the food is not packaged then shops, restaurants and cafes must indicate at the point of sale what allergens may be present, this can be via signage or by word of mouth, in other words, staff must advise customers of any allergens present in the food or the food preparation process.

These rules apply to any food that is sold to consumers including loose items, pre-packed products, ready meals, restaurants and takeaways. It covers all manner of food outlets including restaurants, school kitchens, workplace canteens, hospital kitchens, catering vans and fast food outlets. Everyone serving food to customers must ensure that the correct information is displayed or in some way communicated. If they fail to do that and as a result, you suffer an allergic reaction then you may be able to make a claim.

What Should You Do If You Suffer An Allergic Reaction To A Food

If you have a known food allergy that causes mild to moderate symptoms then it can be helpful to carry antihistamines with you in case you unwittingly come into contact with an allergen. Antihistamines are available over the counter and it is usually best to choose a non-drowsy brand. However, if your reaction to an allergen is more severe and you are at risk of anaphylaxis then you may require adrenaline if you begin to have an allergic reaction. The adrenaline works to open your airways and narrow your blood vessels in order to reduce the impact that low blood pressure can cause. Adrenaline usually comes in the form of an auto-injector which can be used in an emergency. An auto-injector requires you to inject yourself or have somebody inject you into your thigh. An ambulance should also be called.

Foods Which Can Commonly Cause An Allergic Reaction

The food groups that most frequently cause an allergic reaction are:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Tree nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios and macadamias.
  • Peanuts
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans including crab, prawns and lobster.
  • Fish
  • Soya
  • Lupin
  • Gluten containing cereals including wheat, barley, rye and oats.
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mustard
  • Sulphur dioxide at a concentration of more than 10 parts per million. Sulphites are often found as a preservative in dried fruits.
  • Molluscs including oysters and mussels.

What Food Allergy Symptoms Might I Suffer?

The response from your immune system when you come into contact with a substance that you are allergic to can cause your body to produce a wide variety of symptoms. Even tiny amounts of the allergen can cause your body to release histamine which triggers unpleasant and even life-threatening reactions.

It is estimated that as many as 8% of children and 3% of adults have a food allergy. Food allergy symptoms can range from mildly irritating right through to life-threatening. The allergic symptoms can appear very quickly within a few minutes after coming into contact with the food or can occur up to 2 hours after eating it. This can make it hard to diagnose a food allergy initially but once you have experienced the symptoms of a food allergy, you are likely to want to avoid it ever happening to you again.

Food allergy symptoms can be very frightening. Your mouth may begin to tingle or itch and you may break out in an itchy rash. More worryingly your face, lips or tongue may begin to swell. This can also occur in other areas of the body. You may suddenly find it difficult to breathe and begin wheezing. Food allergies can also appear in the same way as food poisoning symptoms with nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. Due to the low blood pressure that an allergic response produces, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded and may even faint.

Very severe allergies can trigger anaphylaxis which causes restriction of your airways, a swollen throat which makes it difficult to breathe, a serious drop in your blood pressure, a fast pulse and even loss of consciousness. If you experience anaphylaxis, emergency treatment is essential to save your life.

Severe Food Allergy Reactions

The most important thing to remember about a severe food allergy is that if you suspect anaphylaxis you should dial 999 as it could save someone’s life. Anaphylaxis is caused by an allergic reaction and can affect blood circulation and your respiratory system. If you’re at risk of anaphylaxis it is strongly advised that you completely avoid the food that might provoke a reaction. If you are known to be at risk of anaphylaxis then you may be asked to carry medication with you in the form of an adrenaline shot. Using an autoinjector you can inject yourself in the thigh as soon as possible if you feel an allergic reaction happening. Reactions can be so severe that death can occur in as little as half an hour. Even after administering adrenaline, you still need to be seen by an emergency doctor as you may require further treatment.

What If I Did Not Tell The Restaurant About My Food Allergy?

Whether or not you have advised a restaurant that you suffer from a food allergy, the restaurant still has a responsibility to warn customers if any of the 14 most common allergens are present in the food or the food preparation area. If you have an allergic reaction and the restaurant has not notified customers of this information then you are free to make a claim against them. However, if your food allergy involves a foodstuff that is not included in the list of 14 major allergens then you do have a responsibility to let the restaurant know that you may have an allergic response. Not informing the restaurant does not automatically mean, however, that you can’t make a claim, but it may be decided by the court that you are responsible in part for the injury that occurred as a result and you may need to make a split liability agreement.

A split liability agreement is made when an accident is the fault of more than one person. It enables the parties to apportion the blame. In this situation, your final compensation payout would usually be reduced to reflect the fact that you were partly to blame because you didn’t inform the restaurant of your allergy.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim For An Allergic Reaction To Food

The standard personal injury claims time limit is usually 3 years in the UK from date of incident or diagnosis. There are some exceptions though and if you had an allergic reaction as a child, then the 3-year time limit does not commence until you reach the age of 18. It is, however, prudent to begin a personal injury claim as soon as possible so that your solicitor has a better chance of gathering evidence and witnesses. The sooner the claim is launched, the easier it is to prove a case.

What Can A Food Allergy Solicitor Help Me To Claim?

A personal injury lawyer can help you to claim a number of different types of compensation. Here is a brief guide to give you an idea what you may be eligible to claim for.

  • A general damages payout seeks to compensate you for the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced. If your allergic response was mild then you will usually be entitled to less money than if you suffered a severe reaction.
  • Medical expenses. Following an allergic reacti,on it is likely that you had to seek medical attention. If for any reason you were left out of pocket following this medical intervention then you may be able to claim back the costs. Be sure to keep all documents and receipts.
  • Travel expenses. If you were required to pay any travel expenses as a direct result of the allergic reaction, for example emergency transport to the hospital, then you may be able to claim this money back. Keep all receipts.
  • Loss of earnings. If your illness was so severe that you were unable to work following the incident then you may be able to claim loss of earnings. If the condition was so debilitating that you may be unable to return to work then you may even be able to claim for loss of future earnings.
  • If, following the incident, you were unable to complete daily tasks around the home and required help then you may be able to claim care costs to compensate the person who looked after you.

How Much Compensation Could My Food Allergy Claims Solicitor Help Me Secure?

Personal injury claims calculators can be really helpful in assisting your decision as to whether or not to make a claim. They will give you an idea of the estimated payout based on previous cases. However, every case is different and it is much more valuable to have a conversation with an experienced personal injury solicitor who will be able to look at the details of your specific case and give you a more accurate estimate of the type of damages that you could expect following your injury or illness.

ConditionSymptomsEstimated Payout
Severe toxicosisPain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever which will require hospital admission and after effects have a significant detrimental impact on lifestyle.£33,700 to £46,040.
Serious food poisoning symptomsDiarrhoea and vomiting that resolved after 2 to 4 weeks but there is an impact on quality of life for the next few years full stop£8,360 to £16,830
Food poisoningPain discomfort and change in bowel function. May be admitted to hospital but for recovery expected within a year.£3,460 to £8,360
Gastrointestinal discomfortPain, cramps and diarrhoea for several days£800 to £3,460

No Win No Fee Food Allergy Compensation Claims

The vast majority of personal injury claims funded on a no win no fee basis. The beauty of no win no fee, also known as a conditional fee agreement, is that there is no financial risk to the client. Following a free initial consultation, our solicitors will look at the details of your case and advise whether or not they believe you can successfully win compensation. If you win your case then a fee will be payable but this will be taken from your final payout. If your case is unsuccessful then you will not be required to pay any money to your legal representative. A no win no fee agreement enables you to make a personal injury claim without any of the worry of how to fund it.

How Our Food Allergy Claims Solicitors Could Help You

Once you have decided that you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim it can be overwhelming trying to decide which company to work with. Here at Legal Expert, we know that we have all of the experience and expertise that you require to successfully win the compensation that you are entitled to. We are a company who really care about our clients’ experience. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time and we do not wish to burden you any more than necessary. We will handle as much of the claim as possible whilst you put your energy into recovery. One of our friendly advisors is always on the end of a phone to answer any of your queries or concerns in order to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.

Contact Our Food Allergy Claims Solicitors Today

We are waiting to hear from you. One of our expert personal injury solicitors can help you bring your case and achieve the compensation you deserve following your allergic reaction. Call us today on 0800 073 8804 or contact us via our website. We will call you back at a time that you tell us is convenient.

Additional Resources For Food Allergy Sufferers

Allergic to peanuts – can you claim? – Find out about these specific claims

More on food allergies and claiming – Claimants’ FAQ

All about allergies -Find out more on this site.

Want to know the guidance for food businesses – Some relevant reading whether you are a business or a claimant.

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