Nut allergy injury compensation claims
This easy-to-follow guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful nut allergy injury compensation claim.
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.
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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Any vendor who fails to warn customers about the presence of nuts in a food item may be liable to pay compensation for their customer's injuries.
To make a successful claim, the allergy sufferer must be able to show:
- That it was the food bought or consumed at the defendant's establishment that caused the allergic reaction and not, for example, food consumed in the home
- That no or inadequate warnings were given about the presence of nuts or nut traces in the food bought or consumed
- That the claimant suffered injury as a result.
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.
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.
A no win no fee contract (more correctly referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is the terms under which the solicitor is instructed by their client.
It sets out what the solicitors will do as well as how he will be rewarded if your claim is won.
If you use our solicitors for your nut allergy claim there will be no sneaky hidden costs , nothing to pay up-front and the complete peace of mind that you wont be financially out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Quittance Legal Services' nationwide network of solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, including fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our solicitors are selected on the basis of their level of experience and their track record in winning cases.
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.
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