Nut Allergy Claims
As anyone will know who suffers from a nut allergy it is a really serious affair.
Real care has to be taken on a daily basis to ensure that nuts or nut traces are not consumed by mistake.
Specialising in Nut Allergy Claims
If you have unknowingly eaten a food allergen, you may be entitled to bring a Nut Allergy Claim.
In order to be claim compensation successfully you will need to show that:
- You purchased the food from the Defendant or consumed the food on the Defendant’s premises, and
- The Defendant did not make you aware that the food contained a nut allergen, and
- You suffered an allergic reaction as a result of unknowingly eating the nut allergen.
This all sounds pretty simple so far BUT………. insurers like to do all they can knock back reaction compensation claims.
We have been helping clients to claim compensation with Nut Allergy Claims for years and here are a few of the arguments we have been confronted with:
Your client did not eat at our restaurant;
There were no nuts in the food that was served;
The menu was clear and stated that the meal chosen was free of nuts;
Your Client did not tell us about their nut allergy;
Your client was fine and didn’t suffer any allergic reaction;
The list could go on but it highlights just some of the difficulties that can be encountered with these type of injury claims.
It also emphasises the need for an experienced solicitor specialising in nut allergy claims with an excellent track record.
It’s fair to say we fit this bill and are accustomed to winning maximum compensation (not that we like to brag at all 🙂 )
How to Quantify Your Nut Allergy Claim – General Damages
In all accident claims there are various heads of damage or loss which make up compensation claims.
General damages are to cover the personal injury element of the claim so this is compensation for your pain and suffering arising out of the allergic reaction to nuts.
In the context of nut allergy compensation we tend to find the client has a serious initial allergic reaction to the nuts. But then the physical symptoms tend to settle down pretty quickly over a matter of a week or so.
Although the physical nut allergy symptoms usually settle down quickly the law recognises a severe allergic reaction which can be life threatening warrants a relatively high amount of compensation.
What Factors will the Court take into account when considering General Damages?
- The complete nature, severity and duration of all of the Claimant’s nut allergy symptoms including any psychological reaction;
- The initial suffering and distress the Claimant has almost inevitably suffered from (albeit commonly relatively short lived);
- Whether emergency medical treatment was administered following the allergic reaction to nuts;
- The full extent of the Claimant’s loss of amenity.
How to Quantify Your Nut Allergy Claim – Special Damages
Special Damages are to cover the actual expenses and financial losses you may have suffered arising out of the accident claim. We will ensure that you include all the relevant special damages so that nothing is missed out. Actual expenses might include medication costs, travelling expenses to the hospital as well as any loss of income from being unable to work.
On occasions we have client’s whose pre-booked holidays were ruined because of the after effects of the just after the allergic reaction to nuts and we seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of their holiday.
How Much Compensation For an Allergic Reaction To Nuts?
- The trick is to make sure that your solicitor is aware of how to quantify the claim in the right way and knows all relevant case law.
- In very broad terms claims such as these are worth £1000 up to £2500 depending upon the severity of the reaction.
- If there is a psychological component to the injury then compensation can be much higher still.
- Each claim needs to be assessed individually so that any aggravating features are highlighted and taken account of.
Here’s an actual case report involving one of our very own client’s claims:
“PSLA: £2,600 (£2,614.32 RPI) Total: £2,600 (£2,614.32 RPI)
Trial date: 9/1/2020 Judge: Deputy District Judge Wright
Court: County Court (High Wycombe) Type of Award: Court Award
Most significant injury: Severe allergic reaction after eating nut-laced meal Other injuries: Ongoing anxiety for 12 months
Extent of injury: Physical symptoms of the allergic reaction lasted for one week.Ongoing anxiety about eating out or eating food that the claimant had not prepared himself lasted for 12 months. Total injury duration: 12 months
The claimant, (C), male, aged 25 at the date of the incident and 26 at the date of the disposal hearing, suffered injury as a result of eating a nut-laced meal at the defendant’s premises in January 2019. He suffered a severe allergic reaction, causing him to feel unwell and suffer extreme panic. His throat and lips swelled and he suffered a tightening sensation and widespread itching. C was treated by paramedics and taken to A&E where he was given an injection of adrenalin and anti-sickness medication to stop his vomiting. He was discharged after a few hours and prescribed antihistamines and steroid tablets. The rash that he developed and nausea lasted a few days and it took one week for the claimant to feel back to normal in terms of physical sensations. C was upset and distressed by the incident and became much more anxious about eating out or consuming food that he had not prepared himself. That ongoing anxiety was likely to last for a twelve-month period. The Judge considered the JC Guidelines 15th Edition Chapter 6(G)(b)(iv), illness resulting from non-traumatic injury, and then took into account the psychological injuries.
General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £2,600. [This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of David Healey of Carter & Carter Solicitors, solicitors for the claimant.]
Document Number: AM0203649″
How to Win Your Nut Allergy Claim?
- First of all, don’t worry too much about the intricacies of these compensation claims – you can rely on us to guide you through the whole claims process.
- We will place your claim on the best footing even if you don’t have the evidence mentioned below.
- We will be able to run through exactly what evidence is required and highlight the pitfalls for you.
- Insurers will do all they can to side step your claim but fear not as we can help you to gather all the evidence you need.
- It’s important we speak as soon as possible so that you have the best chance of covering all bases before it’s too late.
The Evidence that can make or break your Nut Allergy Claim?
- A copy of the accident report form setting out exactly what happened;
- Details of the person that you reported the nut allergy incident to;
- Receipt for the meal/food;
- Details of any witnesses who heard you asking about whether the food contained nuts;
- The names of any witnesses who saw how you reacted to the food allergen
- Details of any doctors or hospitals you attended (if you have copies of records showing that you suffered an allergic reaction then so much the better);
- A copy/photograph of the menu you used to order the food;
- The packaging the food you bought came in (as appropriate).
Contact us so we can talk about how we can help you receive maximum compensation 🙂
Why Eating out can pose such a Risk for Nut Allergy Sufferers:
It seems to us, after acting for many nut allergy sufferers over the years, that buying meals from Asian restaurants or takeaways represents a particular risk and danger.
We have found that many clients have been lulled into a false sense of security when eating Asian food.
What are the reasons for this?
The difficulty is that the menus can be set out in foreign names and abbreviations may be used which are not readily clear or understood for people with food allergies.
Language can also be a barrier and it’s not always easy to find out with any clarity if there are nuts or traces of nuts in particular dishes.
For example Asian cuisine often includes hidden or unlisted ingredients such as nuts in savoury sauces (satay). (Contrary to the legal requirements.)
It’s also common for ground nuts to be included in desserts and cakes.
Even though you may feel sure your nut free meal is on its way, unfortunately misunderstanding, confusion and human error can creep in resulting in an allergic reaction.
How to start your Claim – with our Genuine No Win No Fee Offer
If you (or a loved one) has suffered an allergic reaction through no fault of your own please get in touch to claim compensation.
- We will be able to give you helpful, free advice on the claims process and the steps to take from here.
- We will discuss your case with you, free of charge.
- If we believe we can help you with your Nut Allergy Compensation Claim we will offer you our genuine No Win No Fee service.
- Our No Win No Fee service, means that you will not have to pay anything to us if you lose!
- Help is here for Your Personal Injury Claim.
How Common are Nut Allergies?
Peanut Allergies are prevalent in children nowadays and are said to be the second most common food allergy. What’s more, nut allergies are on the increase.
It’s a serious problem because all sufferers are at risk if they come into contact with nuts. Allergy sufferers are all too aware that they must take all precautions to avoid coming into contact with nuts to prevent an allergic reaction.
An allergy sufferer may well be safe when checking their food but once they start to rely on others the risk of contamination arises which can lead to catastrophic consequences.
How Much Peanut is Necessary to produce an Allergic Reaction?
Individuals who are highly sensitised can suffer a reaction to the tiniest amount of peanut. Even a minuscule amount is capable of causing a reaction.
It’s also worth knowing that if someone is repeatedly exposed then it can take smaller and smaller amounts to cause a reaction.
The reason for this is that for each exposure the immune system becomes more heightened and sensitive to the nuts.
As you’ll know – the bottom line is that if you have a nut allergy then you can’t be too careful.
Allergic Reactions – a Range of Responses and the Need to Always take Care.
Allergic reactions to nuts can often be severe and even life threatening.
Very often the circumstances of the reaction will give rise to a claim .
Anywhere which sells food need to have the right labelling and procedures in place to protect nut allergy sufferers.
Most people with a nut allergy react after contact with only a small quantity of nut such as 1 nut.
There are other individuals may react to only trace amounts.
In practice some people don’t always have to actually eat nuts to suffer a reaction.
Symptoms can range from a mild reaction such as itching around the mouth and rashes to severe such as vomiting, diarrhoea, wheezing and anaphylactic shock.
An allergic reaction is serious when the symptoms become severe and particularly when the sufferer is struggling to breathe or has actually lost consciousness.
What are the most Common Symptoms of a Nut allergic Reaction?
The symptoms can include:
Struggling to breathe,
Itchiness of the throat,
Raised Blood Pressure,
Swelling of the Face,
How long does an Anaphylactic reaction last?
Thankfully most reactions are mild and don’t last for more than a short while.
However, any sort of anaphylaxis has the prospect to become life threatening and this tends to develop rapidly.
The anaphylaxis symptoms can hit their highest levels between 5 to 30 minutes. This is when the sufferer is at the most risk.
For most allergic reactions the initial symptoms die down after a few hours and normally settle after a few days.
Nut Allergy sufferers may be left with an itchy rash on the arms and hands but this should clear up in time.
There’s of course always the clear risk that serious anaphylaxis can have an adverse psychological reaction.
When we deal with these compensation claims we know the psychological component is important when quantifying the claim.
If you are looking to claim compensation for anaphylactic shock then contact us for specialist legal advice.
The Grim Statistics laid bare
The facts according to the Food Standards Agency make grim reading. Around 10 people in the UK die each year as a result of eating an undeclared allergenic ingredient. Many more will suffer less serious but still very unpleasant symptoms.
A small proportion of people are incredibly sensitive to nut allergens. Even the tiniest amount on their lips, or simply standing next to someone eating peanuts, can be sufficient to bring about a reaction.
If someone with a nut allergy does come into contact with nuts then symptoms frequently start quickly. Sometimes literally a reaction can occur in seconds.
Urgent medical treatment will often be required to minimise the risk of serious symptoms developing.
How Does the Law Protects Nut Allergy Sufferers?
- Since December 2014 any pre-packed food or drink sold in the UK must clearly state on the label if it contains one of 14 allergenic ingredients.
- These include tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts) and peanuts.
- It follows food businesses, such as restaurants, cafe’s, takeaways, mobile catering vans, and canteens (such as at work, schools or in hospitals) must also provide information about allergens to its customers.
- In particular, staff members can provide this either in writing or orally. Alternatively the management should clearly signpost where this information can be obtained.
The difficulty of course is whether the Defendant restaurant or take away has properly implemented these changes and taken them seriously.
We know from our experience that terrible mistakes can be made which pose a serious risk to nut allergy sufferers.
Precautions you can take to reduce the Risk of a Nut Allergy Reaction?
- Remember that there are lots of different names around the world for “peanuts”. In some countries they are known as “groundnuts” and can also be referred to as “monkey nuts” or “beer nuts”.
- Always carefully read food labels and menus and when eating in restaurants let the staff know about your food allergy.
- Check for hidden ingredients which staff may have failed to include in their ingredient list such as a sprinkling of nuts over an ice-cream.
- In particular speak with the manager and preferably directly to the chef so you can receive a firm guarantee the food is safe for you to eat. Be aware even this strategy is not foolproof. We have acted for a number of clients who have been given faithful assurances and then been served contaminated food.
- Nuts can leave dangerous trace elements so it’s all important to check that a restaurant will not inadvertently cross contaminate your food.
- Make sure that you have your anti-allergy medication when you are eating out. If there is an emergency you have an immediate way of combating the allergic reaction. (Insurers will seek to deduct compensation if the allergy sufferer does not have the medication with them at the time.)
- If you’re in any doubt at all then don’t take any risks by eating the food.
The Benefits of Choosing Us?
- We know the counter arguments and will fight your corner – relentlessly 🙂
Over the years we have acted for countless nut allergy clients who have suffered a severe reaction to nuts. These personal injury claims are often not straight forward.
The defendant will often deny the client ever told them about their request for a nut free option. You can be sure they will try to wriggle out of having to take any responsibility for your claim.
Defendants over the years have truly amazed us with their arguments to avoid claims. It’s important that you have us by your side to win the argument and claim the compensation you deserve.
- We understand how serious these reactions can be and are here to help you sympathetically.
- Benefit from all our years of experience – give yourself the best chances of success with your allergy claim.
- We will concentrate on winning your allergy claim and then maximising your compensation.
- Don’t take our word for it – have a look at some of the splendid comments our wonderful client’s have left.
- Please look here too – there are more testimonials here
We are at your service and ready to go – Your No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Experts 🙂
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