A Guide to Claiming Nut Allergy Injury Compensation

This easy-to-follow guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful nut allergy injury compensation claim.

Introduction

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.

Anyone who suffers an allergic reaction after consuming nut-containing food may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. The claim will fall under the category of food allergy compensation claims.

Common allergen

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 a nut allergy injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make a nut allergy injury claim if your injury happened:

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

However, if these two points don't apply, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.

To confirm whether you are eligible to claim you can speak to one of our experts 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.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

What if it was a criminal incident?

If your Nut Allergy 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 nut allergy 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 nut allergy injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your nut allergy 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 nut allergy 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

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 nut allergy 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.

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.

How did your injury occur?

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

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

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

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your nut allergy 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 wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your nut allergy injury.

What do I pay if I win my nut allergy 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 nut allergy injury claim?

If your nut allergy injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about No win, no fee

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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Nut Allergy 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