Food Allergy Compensation Claims – Can I Claim?
Any Allergic reactions can be scary and distressing.
There’s every chance you have been left shocked, shaken and possibly traumatised by the allergic reaction.
There can be a range of reactions from minor to severe and even life threatening in which case you will need all the support and care to help you move forward.
Compensation for the allergic reaction won’t turn the clock back but it will certainly help you to move on.
So, are you able to pursue a food allergy compensation claim and how do you go about obtaining compensation?
Time Limits for Bringing Food Allergy Compensation Claims?
- Well first things first if you have suffered an allergic reaction then as a general rule your claim must be brought within a 3 year period (or 3 years from the age of 18).
- It’s also necessary to demonstrate that another person or defendant company did something wrong and was to blame for the allergic reaction.
The Law and Food Allergy Compensation Claims
In December 2014 a very important piece of legislation came into force – the Food Information Regulations 2014.
The purpose of the regulations was to help allergy sufferers to identify whether food they were buying contained allergens.
There are 14 food allergens that are highlighted within the regulations which all can be responsible for causing reactions:
Cereals containing gluten, such as wheat (including spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley and oats
Crustaceans, for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish
Milk (including lactose)
Nuts (ie almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamia or Queensland nuts)
Celery (including celeriac)
Sulphur dioxide/sulphites, if they are more than 10 milligrams per kilogram or 10 milligrams per litre in the finished product
Lupin, including lupin seeds and flour
Molluscs, for example mussels, oysters, snails and squid
Read the full allergen guidance for food business which underlines the extensive ways in which food businesses must now put in place a comprehensive series of measures to guard against the risk of contamination.
Is my Food Allergy Claim going to Succeed?
As Food Allergy Compensation Claims specialists we deal with these types of claim day in and day out.
We have expertise in a wide variety of Food Allergy Compensation Claims including:
We are therefore very well placed to give you an informed opinion in relation to the merits of your claim.
We will use all of our experience to weigh up the evidence and will let you know if your food allergy claim is likely to succeed.
This means you can receive an authoritative opinion straight away.
We won’t give you false hope but if we believe your claim is one which we can win we will be delighted to help you.
Contact us for a free and no obligation chat so you know where you stand.
What was the Cause of the Reaction?
- If you have suffered an allergic reaction it’s really important that you establish exactly what caused the reaction.
- Leaving aside the question of compensation, by finding out what mistakes have been made, important lessons can be learned.
- By getting to the root of the problem you may well be reducing the risks of contamination for others.
How some Restaurants can get it so very Wrong?
We know there are a variety of serious mistakes that can lead to an allergic reaction when eating out.
- The menu itself fails to identify one or more of the 14 major allergens that pose a risk for Allergy sufferers.
- The Client carefully orders a meal off the menu which doesn’t contain any allergens. Unfortunately when the food arrives it contains allergens due to cross contamination or other human error.
- We also come across situations where the client specifically alerts the staff to an allergy which seems to be noted down carefully. However, due to a miscommunication or an error of some sort the food arrives containing the allergen.
It is really surprising how common mistakes are when eating out.
It’s especially worrying when it literally could lead to a serious allergic reaction that could even prove fatal.
Certain food establishments fail to take all necessary precautions and can appear remarkably blase about their obligations and complying with the law.
They may fail to implement proper training in the kitchens and fail to invest in training the waiting on staff.
When businesses don’t take the trouble to embrace their responsibilities and put in place robust systems and procedures then mistakes can and do happen.
What Evidence do you need to support your allergy claim?
As a general rule you need to bear the following points in mind:
- Can you prove you visited the restaurant? – Your receipt, a copy of the menu, name of the manager, waiting on staff, details of witnesses?
- Report the incident – Call the restaurant and speak to the manager and follow this up with an e-mail. It’s astonishing how may restaurants seek to deny that the Client was ever a customer of theirs. By ensuring the accident book is completed (even after the event) you should be able to get over this hurdle!
- Is the Restaurant Insured? There’s no reason why the insurer’s details should not be disclosed to you. Will the restaurant co-operate?
- Involve Environmental Health? – The restaurant certainly won’t thanks you for this approach. But if they are failing to take your complaint seriously it may be necessary to up the ante here. Again it will depend on your particular circumstances – seek legal advice.
- Can you obtain a copy of the Menu? – If the menu was inaccurate then it’s essential you have a copy as this will be vital evidence. Menus change all the time and you need to ensure that you have a copy of the exact version.
- Medical Evidence – It’s crucial that you are able to demonstrate that the food at the restaurant caused the allergic reaction. Usually this is not a problem because the allergic reaction will have come on suddenly. Often our client’s reaction is so severe that an ambulance has to be called for but it’s almost always the case that some form of medical intervention is required. The medical notes and records will serve as evidence to demonstrate that you suffered an allergic reaction. These notes are very important in the context of a food allergy claim.
Who’s the Right Solicitor for You?
- It’s important that you progress matters quickly and receive the right advice from a food allergy solicitor.
- There’s no substitute for contacting us for advice without delay so we can protect your position.
- We are always helping client’s to make sure that they take all the right steps to support their claim
There’s a lot that needs to be done straight after an incident and this is where we can come in to help, advise and take the strain.
- Once a solicitor is instructed it’s important your solicitor takes the time and trouble to assimilate all the facts to enable the right compensation to be claimed.
- It’s critical to instruct a solicitor with the necessary experience and expertise.
- Your solicitor needs the right knowledge relating to the latest case law and quantum guidelines.
- This means the compensation can be pushed to highest levels.
The best thing to do us to pick up the phone and find out the answers to any of your queries and questions.
You will be able to find out whether the solicitor has the right experience and can run your claim to give you the best chances of success.
We are sure that you’ll know pretty much straight away whether a particular solicitor is going to be able to represent you and has the commitment to win your claim.
How much are Food Allergy Compensation Claims worth?
Compensation awards for personal injury claims are broken down into two main categories – General damages and Special damages.
General Damages are to compensate you for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
It will be necessary for you to see a medical expert dealing with this so the nature and extent of the allergic reaction is documented and can be accurately valued.
Special Damages are for your quantifiable financial losses and this cover a broad range of items such as:
- Loss of Earnings – if you have been forced to take time off work because of the allergic reaction and have lost earnings then you will be able to recover the net loss involved;
- Medical Expenses & Treatment Costs – any related counselling or treatment costs and medical items that you have purchased which are reasonable or necessary will be recoverable;
- Travelling Costs – it’s likely that you will have also incurred travelling expenses to medical appointments etc. Depending upon the severity of your reaction these may well mount up to sizeable figure;
- Incidental Losses – these may not add up to a sizeable figure but it’s worth keep a note and saving any receipts.
If you contact us we’ll be delighted to give you an initial indication in relation to the likely value of your claim which will depend upon a whole variety of factors.
In the meantime we have set out below the Court’s guidelines on the matter which will hopefully serve as a good starting point for you.
Quantifying Your Claim – Here’s the Court’s Own Guidelines
We have copied below an extract from the JC Guidelines (14th Edition) to help you get a feel for the compensation amounts involved…..
“There will be a marked distinction between those, comparatively rare, cases having a long-standing or even permanent effect on quality of life and those in which the only continuing symptoms may be allergy to specific foods and the attendant risk of short-term illness.”
|(i) Severe toxicosis causing serious acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, requiring hospital admission for some days or weeks and some continuing incontinence, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome, having a significant impact on ability to work and enjoyment of life.
|£33,700 to £46,040
|(ii) Serious but short-lived food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting diminishing over two to four weeks with some remaining discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and impact on sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years. Any such symptoms having these consequences and lasting for longer, even indefinitely, are likely to merit an award between the top of this bracket and the bottom of the bracket in (i) above.
|£8,360 to £16,830
|(iii) Food poisoning causing significant discomfort, stomach cramps, alteration of bowel function and fatigue. Hospital admission for some days with symptoms lasting for a few weeks but complete recovery within a year or two.
|£3,460 to £8,360
|(iv) Varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks.
|£800 to £3,460
No Win No Fee Food Allergy Claims? Absolutely!
Once we decide that a claim is likely to succeed we are happy to offer our client’s the benefit of a genuine No Win No Fee agreement.
We know from years of experience that understandably clients like to know exactly where they stand.
We make it easy for you and guarantee that we will not charge any upfront fees ….. and if for any reason the claim is unsuccessful there is nothing to pay – Promise! 🙂
Call us Now so we can Help You Win Your Claim.
Carter & Carter Solicitors
Hear a few words from one of our happy clients
“Our client was injured in a road traffic accident and after handling her claim she had the following to say about our service: " I can't thank Chris (Carter) enough for his assistance in handling my case. His tenacity and persistence was absolutely commendable."
Miss Michelle Cain from London