Nut Allergy Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a nut allergy injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Around 5,000 people are hospitalised each due to an allergic reaction to food, according to statistics from the Food Standards Agency. A high proportion of those reactions occur when a person unknowingly consumes nuts in food they have bought from a shop, restaurant or takeaway.
Nut allergy symptoms include abdominal pain, shortness of breath and facial swelling. A severe reaction to nuts is called anaphylaxis and may be life-threatening.
If you suffer an allergic reaction after being served food contaminated with nuts, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. The claim will fall under the category of food allergy compensation claims.
The law regarding nut allergies
Exposure to foodstuffs containing nuts can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences for nut allergy sufferers. The government recognises this and in 2014 introduced the Food Information for Consumers Regulations which makes it easier for customers to learn about the presence of nuts and other allergens in the food they purchase for consumption.
Under the new legislation, anyone who supplies food to customers must warn about the presence of nuts in their food products (specifically peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios.) That warning can be written onto food packaging, displayed on a menu or given orally by waiters.
All food establishments are covered by the legislation. This includes restaurants, cafes, takeaways, caterers, school and work canteens, hospital kitchens and shops that sell pre-packaged foods.
Do I have an injury claim?
As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if your injury happened:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Injury claim eligibility - Common questions
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 an injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I still claim if I didn't report the nut allergy injury?
If you did not report the accident it can make it more difficult to pursue a nut allergy injury claim, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.
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.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common nut allergy injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a nut allergy claim take?
The time needed to get compensation for an allergic reaction injury can vary significantly.
A straightforward liability accepted injury claim might be concluded in a couple of months. If liability is denied, the process might take longer. Typically, an injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
Proving a nut allergy claim
Proof is critical to the success of a nut allergy claim. An experienced injury lawyer will gather evidence to show that the defendant breached their duty of care to the allergy sufferer. This evidence may comprise:
- A copy of the menu
- Food packaging
- A copy of the catering contract
- Samples of the food consumed
- Witness evidence from someone who overheard the conversation about the presence of nut allergens in the defendant's products.
Medical evidence is also required to demonstrate that the reaction was a result of nut consumption. Resuscitation Council UK recommends that blood samples are taken between 30 minutes and 2 hours after the symptoms first develop in order to confirm that the patient has indeed suffered an anaphylactic reaction. It will help the claim if the claimant sought medical advice shortly after the event.
These results and a report from an independent medical practitioner describing the nature and extent of the injuries will form the basis of the compensation claim.
What if I forgot my medication?
People who have been diagnosed with a nut allergy are expected to take reasonable steps to protect their own health. In particular, they are expected to carry their prescribed adrenalin and other medications with them.
When a customer did not carry their medication, it is arguable that they were partly responsible for the injury they suffered as a result of an allergic reaction. A claim may still be brought in this instance. However, the Court may decide that the claimant was contributory negligent and apportion the compensation on a just and equitable basis.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it was not your fault, we can help you make a no win, no fee injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. 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 injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.