Latex Allergy Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a latex allergy injury, we can help.
If your illness were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a work illness compensation claim with the help and support of a work injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your ill health. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your illness, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of illness claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.
We can help you make a work illness claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
The Health and Safety Executive estimates that nearly 6% of the population has a latex allergy.
Many everyday products contain latex, such as latex gloves, tyres, swimming caps and the foam inside some makes of pillows and mattresses.
Employers and manufacturers must ensure that individuals with a latex allergy are not unreasonably put at risk through exposure to latex-containing products and latex dust.
Where this duty is breached, and the breach results in an allergic reaction, a claim for compensation can usually be made.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if:
- you were diagnosed in the last 3 years and;
- someone else, such as your employer, was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to injury claims expert on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a latex allergy injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a latex allergy injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
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:
How long does a latex allergy claim take?
The length of time needed to settle a latex allergy claim can vary significantly.
A straightforward uncontested personal injury claim can settle in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take significantly longer. Usually, a claim should take 6 to 9 months. See: 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.
Causes of latex allergies
Latex Allergy is an allergic response to:
- Proteins present in natural rubber latex or
- Chemicals used in processing natural rubber latex
Following exposure to natural rubber latex, some individuals may develop extreme sensitivity to these proteins or chemicals. The body's immune system is triggered and will react to any future exposure to latex. The body believes latex is harmful and produces antibodies in response.
Finding the cause
It will be necessary to determine the source of the latex allergy when making a claim. For the claim to be successful, In the context of work-related illness, it must be established that the latex allergy was caused by a breach by the employer. Sources of an allergic reaction to latex can include:
- Latex gloves (e.g. when mislabelled as latex-free)
- Latex balloons
- Inhalation of latex particles
- Rubber balls and other rubber products
Witness statements an medical evidence will be used to demonstrate the trigger for the allergic reaction.
Symptoms of a latex allergy
There are two applicable categories of latex allergy response: Type I and Type IV.
Type I Latex Allergy Response
Type I is the most severe type of allergic response. Symptoms occur immediately following contact with latex and can include respiratory difficulties, skin reactions and asthma. In very serious cases Type I latex allergy can produce anaphylaxis. This is a potentially life-threatening allergic response which severely restricts the ability to breathe.
Type IV Latex Allergy Response
A Type IV Latex Allergy response presents symptoms several hours after contact with latex. Symptoms typically include an itchy rash at the site of exposure, such as the hands if latex gloves have been worn.
Compensation is calculated based on the severity of the injury, so more general damages compensation is paid for most claims for a Type I response than for a Type IV reaction.
Compensation is also paid for the impact the symptoms have had on your life. If complications result from a Type I reaction, and claim can also be made for resulting injuries and longer-term conditions such as asthma.
Diagnosing a latex allergy
Medical tests will be used to identify the type of latex allergy:
- Type I Latex Allergy - blood and skin prick tests, combined with a detailed clinical history
- Type IV Latex Allergy - ?patch testing' can confirm which chemicals are producing the latex allergy reaction
If you are unsure if your injury or illness resulted from an allergic response to latex, you can still make a claim. Your lawyer will arrange for an independent medical report to confirm the latex allergy diagnosis.
Risks of latex exposure in the workplace
Employees who are regularly in contract with products containing latex could be at risk of developing a latex allergy.
Higher-risk latex exposure occupations include:
- Medical staff, including doctors, nurses and surgeons
- Dental surgeons and nurses
The most common latex allergy producing product is latex rubber gloves. Latex gloves are often powdered to stop them sticking together. Latex allergy may be triggered from this airborne power, even where no direct contact is made with the gloves.
Latex allergy regulations
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), employers must assess the risks of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, including latex.
Employers must take reasonable steps to control the risks of latex exposure. Employers must also provide training and information on latex exposure in the workplace.
Preventative measures in the workplace can include:
- Provision of non-latex gloves
- If latex gloves must be worn; providing a powder-free, low protein option
- Screening employees who have excessive exposure to latex products for latex allergies
If an employer is proven to have failed in their duty of care under COSHH Regulations, they could be held liable for latex allergy compensation claims.
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, no risk
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees 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
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee 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 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 injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
How do personal injury solicitors get paid?
If your latex allergy injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
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 workplace illness 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.
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.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.