If an allergic reaction has set you back, we'll help you move forward

An allergic reaction injury is an immune response to substances like food or pollen, causing symptoms from mild rashes to severe anaphylaxis. Treatment includes avoidance of known allergens, antihistamines, and emergency epinephrine for severe reactions.

If you have been affected by an allergic reaction, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With almost half of British adults suffering from allergies, you are not alone

Hospital admissions for food allergies are increasing year on year.

The latest NHS data show that there were 27,172 hospital admissions in the previous year. In the same period, there were 4,756 admissions for allergy-induced anaphylactic shock.

An estimated 44% of British adults suffer from at least one allergy, and the number of sufferers is increasing every year (allergyuk.org).

If you have suffered an allergic reaction as a result of another person's actions or negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.

If you decide to make an allergic reaction injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

If you are looking for information on allergy symptoms and treatment, visit: allergies (nhs.uk).

Do I have an allergic reaction injury claim?

If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?

Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.

Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2024 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.

You can often still claim compensation even if you were partly to blame, as cases with shared fault usually settle with a split-liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long after an allergic reaction injury do I have to claim compensation?

In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.

If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.

How much compensation can I claim for an allergic reaction related injury?

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

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Allergic reaction injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

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

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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of earnings, including potential lost commission, bonuses or promotions, or any other out of pocket expenses.

Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your allergic reaction injury, including antihistamines, epinephrine injection, corticosteroids and bronchodilators.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Average allergic reaction injury general damages compensation

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

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).

Example Amount
Dermatitis
A rash or irritation to hands £1,550 to £3,590
Affecting hands with recovery expected £7,850 to £10,370
Affecting hands with indefinite duration £12,490 to £17,450
Digestive system
Serious non-penetrating injury with ongoing symptoms £15,260 to £25,240
Moderate non-traumatic injury £3,590 to £8,670
Severe toxicosis £34,940 to £47,730
Penetrating wounds, lacerations or serious pressure £6,010 to £11,450
Serious non-traumatic injury £8,670 to £17,450

Full ingredient labelling

Full allergen and ingredient labelling has been mandatory in the UK since October 2021.

These labelling laws require pre-packaged food to clearly indicate the presence of any of the 14 major allergens on the label.

These allergens include nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and others that commonly cause allergic reactions.

As of October 2021, Natasha's Law further requires businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labeling on foods pre-packaged for direct sale on the premises, a change prompted by the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from an unlabelled allergen in a pre-packaged meal (Sce. bbc.co.uk).

For more information allergy legislation, vivcit: Allergen labelling for food manufacturers (food.gov.uk).

Read more:

Food allergy claims

Serious and life-threatening allergies

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

While 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 specific allergen.

Given the risk of serious harm, food manufacturers, restaurants and shops should take care to correctly label and inform patrons of any allergens.

If you suffer an allergic reaction due to another party's failure to notify you about a allergen (or the risk of contamination), you could be entitled to claim compensation.

What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock?

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
  • 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

For more information on symptoms and treatment, visit: anaphylaxis (nhs.uk).

What allergy symptoms can I claim for?

Whether you can claim compensation following an allergic reaction will depend on the seriousness of the reaction and the impact on your life and health. The compensation for minor, short-lived conditions is usually relatively low.

However, compensation may be higher for severe anaphylactic shock, even if you make a complete recovery.

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 coughing.

People allergic to certain foods or medication may experience symptoms, including:

  • a raised, itchy red rash (urticaria or hives)
  • swelling that affects the mouth, eyes and face
  • abdominal pain and gastric upset
  • 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.

For more information on symptoms and treatment, visit: eczema (nhs.uk).

Claiming for an allergic reaction

Despite precautions taken by the allergy sufferer, contact with the allergen may still 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.

Avoiding allergens

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.

Can I still claim if I forgot my medication or EpiPen?

Most people know what they are allergic to. In serious cases, an individual is likely to have been professionally diagnosed and prescribed adrenalin and perhaps other medications as well.

If you do not carry your medication with you, in an environment where exposure to an allergen is foreseeable, the defendant may argue that you contributed to the seriousness of your injury. This is known as contributory negligence.

Whether your compensation will be reduced (or your claim rejected) on this basis will depend on the circumstances of the case.

What evidence do I need or an allergy claim

Making a claim for an allergic reaction may require you to demonstrate that you informed the defendant of your allergy, or that you enquired whether an allergen was present.

You may also need to show that it was the particular substance that caused your reaction, not something else you had contact with elsewhere.

Receipts, menus, food labels and/or witness statements will help support your account. You should also write down everything you can remember about the incident, such as details of any conversation you have with a server or restaurant staff about your allergies.

Will my medical records help?

Definitely. 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.

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What happened?

The claims process will vary depending on how your allergic reaction injury happened. Click the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee allergic reaction injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim allergic reaction injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 11/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 12/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 10/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 08/12/2023)

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor