A Guide to Claiming Allergic Reaction Injury Compensation

This easy-to-follow guide covers everything you must know about making an allergic reaction compensation claim.


According to Allergy UK, one in four people develop an allergy at some point in their life, with numbers increasing every year.

Figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) stated that NHS hospitals in England dealt with 20,320 admissions for allergies in the 12 months to February 2014, an increase of almost 8%. Of these, 61.8% were emergencies, a 6.2% increase on the same period last year. Nearly one in five were for anaphylactic reactions, an increase of 9.9% per cent.

Hospital admissions for food allergies increased by 6.4 per cent.

Do I have a allergic reaction injury claim?

You should be eligible to make a allergic reaction injury claim if the injury happened:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

If these two points don't apply to you, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.

To get an impartial answer, you can speak to a allergic reaction injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will never put you under pressure to start a claim.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if it was a criminal incident?

If your Allergic Reaction Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a allergic reaction injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for a allergic reaction injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your allergic reaction injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your allergic reaction injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Allergic Reaction Injury compensation amounts

The following allergic reaction injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fourteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

Injury Severity Example Amount
Dermatitis Minor A rash or irritation to hands £1,360 to £3,150
Dermatitis Moderate Affecting hands with recovery expected £6,890 to £9,100
Dermatitis Serious Affecting hands with indefinite duration £10,960 to £15,300
Digestive system Moderate Serious non-penetrating injury with ongoing sympto £13,380 to £22,130
Digestive system Moderate Moderate non-traumatic injury £3,150 to £7,600
Digestive system Severe Severe toxicosis £30,630 to £41,860
Digestive system Serious Penetrating wounds, lacerations or serious pressure £5,280 to £10,040
Digestive system Serious Serious non-traumatic injury £7,600 to £15,200
Show more

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your allergic reaction injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Claiming for an allergic reaction

Despite precautions taken by the allergy sufferer, contact with the allergen may occur due to the negligence of another.

For example: if an allergen is contained within a food, but not declared on the label, or a customer is wrongly informed that a menu item is free from an allergen and the food is consumed causing an allergic reaction, the food producer may be found liable for the incident.

Under the Food Safety Act 1990 individuals and businesses may also be prosecuted in relation to their management of food allergy risks.

A beautician or hairdresser who uses products containing ingredients that she has been informed the customer has an allergy to may have failed in her duty of care to the client if that client has an allergic reaction to the treatment.

Collecting the evidence for a claim

Bringing a claim for personal injury due to an allergic reaction may require the claimant to demonstrate that she informed the defendant of an allergy or enquired whether an allergen was present.

The claimant may also need to show that it was the particular substance that caused the reaction, not something she subsequently had contact with elsewhere.

In the case of anaphylaxis, where the reaction is generally within minutes of contact with the allergen, records made by healthcare professionals treating the patient may help to establish the cause. These include:

  • Measurement of mast cell tryptase over a period of time (the specific test to help confirm a diagnosis of an anaphylactic reaction)
  • A description of the reaction with circumstances and timings to help identify potential triggers.
  • A list of administered treatments.
  • Copies of relevant patient records, e.g., ambulance charts, emergency department records, observation charts, anaesthetic charts.
  • Results of any investigations already completed, including the timings of mast cell tryptase samples.

Allergens and allergies

An allergen is any substance that causes the body's immune system to overreact and produce antibodies against it.

An allergy occurs because a person develops a sensitivity to the allergen, when the body's immune system produces a type of antibody - immunoglobin E (IgE) - to fight off the allergen

If the body comes into contact with the allergen again, IgE antibodies are released and chemicals produced that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions vary

Depending on which allergen a person is allergic to, reactions vary.

Most common are airborne substances such as pollen, which cause the typical symptoms of hay fever - sneezing, blocked, itchy or runny nose; conjunctivitis - itchy, red, streaming eyes and asthma - wheezing, breathlessness and a cough.

People allergic to certain foods or medication may experience symptoms which may include a raised, itchy red rash (urticaria or hives); swelling that affects the mouth, eyes and face; abdominal pain and gastric upset; or atopic eczema where the skin becomes dry, red and cracked.

Substances such as ingredients in soaps, cosmetics or hair dyes that come into direct contact with the skin may cause a type of eczema known as contact dermatitis.

Serious reactions may occur

In very rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction - anaphylactic shock - which may be fatal.

Whilst most allergic reactions occur locally in a particular part of the body, in anaphylaxis, the allergic reaction involves the whole body, usually within minutes of coming into contact with a particular allergen.

The symptoms of anaphylactic shock can include any or all of the following:

  • Swelling of the throat and mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A rash anywhere on the body
  • Flushing and itching of the skin
  • Stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting
  • A sudden feeling of weakness, due to a fall in blood pressure
  • Collapsing and becoming unconscious

Avoiding an allergic reaction

A person who knows of their allergy will generally take steps to avoid all contact with that allergen. For food allergies this would include checking labels on pre-packaged food, and if eating out, seeking confirmation that menu items were nut free.

A person with a known allergy to certain cosmetic ingredients would use products that were free from the allergens, and should advise a beautician or hairdresser before any treatment.

Contributory negligence and allergic reactions

Most people who know what their allergy is triggered by. In serious cases, an individual is likely to have been professionally diagnosed and prescribed adrenalin and perhaps other medications as well.

A claimant who does not carry that medication with her in an environment where exposure to an allergen is foreseeable may be found to have contributed to the injury and any compensation reduced. This is known as contributory negligence and will be heavily dependent on the circumstances of the case.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Medical negligence

According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.

If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Clinical Negligence Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your allergic reaction injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a allergic reaction injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my allergic reaction injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my allergic reaction injury claim?

If your allergic reaction injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees.

Read more about how no win, no fee works

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Allergic Reaction Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert