Taste and smell are two senses that are very closely related. If either is impaired or you suffer from complete loss of taste and smell, your quality of life is likely to be drastically affected. Importantly, if your senses are affected by somebody else’s negligence, you could be compensated. In this guide to loss of taste and smell compensation claims, we’ll review the types of accidents that could lead to such a claim. We’ll also explain how much compensation for loss of taste and smell might be awarded.
If you’ve suffered a loss of taste and smell due to somebody else’s negligence, we can help. Our specially trained staff offer a no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your claim and receive free legal advice. If your claim has a realistic chance of being won, we’ll pass it to one of our personal injury solicitors. If they agree to represent you, they’ll do so on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that you’ll only have to pay legal fees if your claim is won and compensation is awarded.
If you would like to know more about claiming compensation for the loss of taste and smell, please read on. If you’d like to talk to us right away, please feel free to call on 0800 6524 881 today.
Table of contents
- Understanding Loss of Taste And Smell
- Am I Eligible To Make A Loss Of Taste And Smell Compensation Claim?
- What Causes Of Loss Of Taste And Smell Could I Claim Compensation For?
- How Much Compensation For Loss Of Taste And Smell Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Loss Of Taste And Smell Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Loss Of Taste And Smell Compensation
- Starting A Loss Of Taste And Smell Compensation Claim
The senses of taste and smell are inextricably linked through the body’s chemical sensing system. When both senses are working properly, you can taste the difference between substances such as food and drink.
The senses work by nerve cells in the throat, mouth and nose. When molecules come into contact with these cells, the brain interprets the specific smell or taste. However, where damage has occurred to these cells or the area of the brain that interprets them, your sense of smell or taste may become impaired.
You may not realise it but the sense of taste is largely based on the sense of smell. Therefore, if you damage the olfactory system that detects smell, it is possible that both of your senses will be impaired.
The impact of losing your loss of taste and smell can be quite dramatic. It can result in weight loss and mental conditions such as depression. Additionally, it’s possible to sustain further injuries when you try to compensate for your loss of taste. For example, kidney problems may occur if you add more salt to meals to try and make them tastier. Similarly, diabetes suffers could be at risk if they add more sugar to sweeten meals or drinks.
Loss of taste and smell compensation claims can be based on temporary or permanent sensory impairment. As we continue, we’ll look at the types of accidents that could lead to a compensation claim.
If you contact one of our personal injury solicitors, they will do all they can to help if there’s a fair chance you’ll be compensated for the loss of taste or smell. To check your eligibility to start a claim, they’ll assess whether:
- The defendant in your claim owed you a duty of care; and
- As a result of their negligence, an incident or accident occurred; and
- You lost your sense of taste and/or smell as a result of the accident.
Most loss of taste and smell compensation claims are based on personal injury claims or medical negligence claims. The criteria for each are slightly different and the rules for proving negligence are slightly different but our solicitors can help with both types of claims. If you believe that you’re suffering from taste or smell impairment because of somebody else’s negligence, please call today for a free case review.
Some of the more common factors that could result in a compensation claim for a loss of taste and smell include:
- Head or brain trauma. Trauma to the head or brain is one of the most common causes of smell and taste disorders. An injury to the nerves in the mouth, nose or throat, the nasal passage or the frontal lobe of the brain can cause smell and taste disorders. Falls from height onto a hard surface, being struck on the head by an object falling from a height, or being involved in a road accident can cause head and brain injuries.
- Exposure to toxic fumes and some chemicals. It’s quite rare for chemicals or fumes to cause a loss of smell or taste with a single exposure. However, if you’re exposed to a hazardous substance for a prolonged period of time i.e. where you’re working with solvents in an enclosed space, damage to the nerves responsible for smell can occur.
- Medical negligence. The other main cause of sensory nerve damage is medical negligence. Medical negligence that causes any damage to the nerves around the nose or mouth during ear, nose, throat or dental surgery can upset your sense of smell and taste. An allergic reaction to medication can also have the same result.
So, you could claim for any type of accident/incident that has caused sensory impairment if it was caused by somebody else. The most common causes for these types of claims are accidents at work and road traffic accidents. To discuss whether you’re able to make a loss of taste and smell compensation claim, please call our team today.
The amount of compensation you could receive for loss of taste and smell is based on how badly you’ve been affected by your sensory loss. It’s based on the suffering caused by the condition (general damages) and any associated costs (special damages).
If you win your compensation claim, the settlement paid could cover:
- The physical suffering caused by your loss of taste and smell.
- Any psychological damage resulting from your injuries.
- The impact your injuries have on your hobbies and social life i.e. the loss of enjoyment of going for meals with friends.
- Medical costs including the price of private treatment.
- Loss of earnings and future earnings.
- Care costs.
- Travel expenses.
The below compensation amounts for loss of taste and smell are advised by the Judicial College and relate to general damages so should be used as a guide only.
- £39,170 for total loss of taste and smell.
- £32,900 to £39,170 for total loss of smell with significant loss of taste.
- £24,990 to £32,900 for loss of smell.
- £19,200 to £24,990 for loss of taste.
For your solicitor to understand exactly how you’ve been affected, you’ll need a medical assessment during the claims process. This will be conducted by a medical expert (usually arranged locally to claimants) who’ll examine you and discuss how your loss of taste and smell has affected you. Once your solicitor has received their report, they’ll explain what payout you may be entitled to. Please speak to our team if you’d like to know more about potential compensation levels.
When claiming compensation for the loss of taste or smell it will likely mean you’ll end up dealing with the defendant’s insurance company. They’ll likely only agree to pay compensation if there is compelling evidence to show how their client caused your injuries. Therefore, if you do decide to claim, you should try and collect:
- Witness details. If you lost your sense of taste or smell in an accident, ask anybody else who was present for their contact details. They may be asked for a statement of what they saw at some point during your claim.
- Accident reports. You should report any accident in which you’re injured if it happened in a public place or at work. The accident report form could be useful evidence to prove when your accident occurred.
- Medical reports. Your solicitor will request copies of your medical records from your GP or the hospital that treated you. These could prove that you didn’t have any known sensory problems before your accident and the extent of the damage you’ve suffered.
- Photographs. For personal injury claims, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene. If you can do so safely, try to take pictures from multiple angles before the scene is cleared.
- Security camera footage. If the accident was recorded by a CCTV camera (or dashcam), you are entitled to a copy of the relevant footage. Try to act quickly here as data will usually only be stored for about a month.
Please get in touch if you want us to look over any evidence for your claim you might already have collected.
You have a 3-year time limit when making a compensation claim for loss of taste and smell in the UK. This will commence on the date of your accident or the date your condition was diagnosed by a doctor.
We believe that it is much easier to secure evidence to support your claim if you begin the process as soon as possible. Additionally, starting early allows plenty of time for your solicitor to arrange for medical reports to be obtained.
If the defendant accepts liability for your injuries early on, you could receive a compensation payout in around 6 to 9 months. Where negotiation is required or more time is needed to assess the impact of your injuries, the claims process can take more than a year.
To start a claim with us today, please call our advisors on 0800 6524 881. They’ll assess your claim for free and could connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors. If the claim is taken on, you won’t pay legal fees unless you are compensated because your solicitor will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you’d like to know more about making a loss of taste and smell compensation claim, please call or use live chat to get in touch.