If you or a loved one has suffered an allergic reaction after eating a product containing undeclared nuts, you could be compensated for your suffering. This guide on making a nut allergy compensation claim will explain the law surrounding nut allergies, when you could be compensated, and how much compensation for an allergic reaction to nuts you might be paid.
Our team is here to offer free legal advice on making a nut allergy claim. During an initial telephone consultation, they’ll review how you’ve suffered and explain your options. If it appears that you have a fair chance of winning your claim, we’ll connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors. They’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if your claim is accepted so you won’t have to pay anything for their work unless your claim is successful.
Feel free to read the rest of this guide to learn more about the nut allergy claims process or call us now on 0800 6524 881 to discuss a claim right away.
Table of contents
- The Law Regarding Selling Foods Containing Nuts
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Nut Allergy?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Nut Allergy Compensation Claim?
- Negligence Leading To Nut Allergy Compensation Claims
- How Much Compensation For An Allergic Reaction To Nuts Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Nut Allergy Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Nut Allergy Compensation
- Starting The Nut Allergy Claims Process
Acknowledging the seriousness of nut allergies, the government has imposed certain regulations to safeguard the interests of individuals suffering from nut allergies.
Nuts are listed in the 14 allergens that food businesses must tell their customers about. Specifically, this includes peanuts and tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts.
The rules around advertising products that contain nuts differ depending on the product sold. For prepacked foods, a list of ingredients must be included on the packaging and any allergens must be highlighted clearly (in bold, larger font, underlined etc).
For other food businesses like fast food outlets or restaurants, information on where to find out about allergens must be clearly displayed. For example, a link to a page about allergens on the company’s website should be displayed on a notice board or on the menu.
Where a product doesn’t contain nuts but is prepared in an area where nuts are used, a “may contain nuts” message should be used to warn any potential sufferers.
According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to food includes:
- Hives – a raised red itchy rash.
- Swelling of the throat, mouth or face.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Itching or tingling in the mouth.
- Dizzyness or feeling lightheaded.
- Diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Sneezing, itchy eyes and other symptoms similar to hay fever.
Many of these symptoms can last for a matter of hours, days, or even weeks. Generally, they are not serious but can be quite embarrassing and inconvenient. In more serious cases, nut allergies can be life-threatening and even fatal. This is called anaphylaxis.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis (a medical emergency) include:
- Tight chest.
- Breathing problems.
- Collapsing, fainting or dizziness.
- A swollen tongue.
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing.
Although rare, anaphylaxis does sadly cause several deaths a year and should always be treated as a medical emergency according to the NHS.
It’s important to note that allergic reactions are not the same as food intolerances although some of the symptoms are the same in both cases.
To file a successful nut allergy compensation claim, you must be able to prove that:
- Your allergic reaction was caused by the food or drink you bought or consumed at the defendant’s establishment.
- There were no details of potential allergens listed on the product packaging.
- The restaurant menu did not provide any details about possible allergens in the food item you ordered.
- The restaurant staff did not warn you about potential allergens – e.g. peanut oil or almond paste – used in the food preparation when placing your order.
Essentially, anything but the most minor of injuries could entitle you to nut allergy compensation. You’ll need evidence to prove that the defendant was negligent so we’ll explain more about this shortly.
Some examples of when you might be able to claim compensation for an allergic reaction to nuts include:
- If information about allergens was not displayed clearly (on the packaging, on a noticeboard or on a menu).
- Where you were given incorrect information about the product’s ingredients by staff.
- If poor food handling processes led to cross-contamination.
- If a “may contain traces of nuts” warning wasn’t displayed where nuts were used in other products prepared in the same location.
If you decide to start a nut allergy compensation claim, please feel free to call our specialists for a free consultation and legal advice about your options.
The amount of compensation for an allergic reaction to nuts that might be awarded will typically depend on several factors such as how much you’ve suffered and any money you’ve lost (expenses and costs) because of your allergic reaction.
We believe that having a solicitor on your side increases the chances of receiving a fair settlement in a nut allergy claim. If you work with one of ours, they could claim damages to cover:
- The pain and suffering caused by your physical symptoms.
- Any distress, anxiety, fear for your life or other forms of mental trauma caused by an allergic reaction.
- Medical costs and expenses.
- Lost earnings.
- Care costs if you needed a relative, friend or professional carer to support you while you recovered.
- Any negative impact on your hobbies and other usual activities.
- Travel costs associated with your nut allergy claim.
- Modifications to make life easier at home if your allergic reaction caused an ongoing brain injury or disability.
- Future loss of earnings if you cannot earn as much in the future because of permanent injuries.
In a nut allergy claim, you’ll need a medical assessment by an independent expert to determine your prognosis. Their report will be used to help your solicitor decide how much compensation you’ll claim. Therefore, until that report is obtained, we can’t tell you what settlement you might get.
Most nut allergy claims will be dealt with by an insurance company. In the main, they will likely deny liability for your allergic reaction and your suffering unless you can prove otherwise. Therefore, your solicitor will need to provide as much evidence as possible to support your nut allergy claim. This can include:
- Medical notes. To prove how you suffered after your allergic reaction to nuts.
- Witness statements. It’s a good idea to take the names of anybody else who saw what happened or heard the advice given to you by staff about allergens.
- Food samples. If your claim is based on prepacked foods, keep a sample in a sealed container in case it needs testing.
- Food labelling. Similarly, keep any packing to help demonstrate that the allergen advice was incorrect.
- Photographs. These can be used to prove that allergen information was not on display if you’ve suffered an allergic reaction in a restaurant, café, pub or fast food outlet. Pictures of the premises and menus can help here.
- Financial evidence. To prove any costs you’ve incurred because of your suffering, it’s a good idea to keep receipts, wage slips and bank statements.
We offer a free consultation for nut allergy compensation claims so please (if you can) have any evidence that you’ve gathered already at hand when you call.
The general time limit of 3-years for personal injury claims also applies to nut allergy claims. Usually, this will begin on the date you ate the food that made you ill. However:
- There are no time limits for nut allergy claims involving children as long as an adult begins the claim before the child’s 18th birthday.
- If a loved one dies because of an allergic reaction to nuts, the time limit will begin from the date of death or from when you found out about it.
If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll try to process your nut allergy claim as quickly as possible. If you’re struggling financially as a result of the allergic reaction, your solicitor could ask for an interim payment to cover your lost income or any immediate medical costs before the claim is finalised.
We fully appreciate that no amount of money will help you to get over the loss of a loved one who’s suffered a fatal allergic reaction to nuts, but if you do decide to claim, our specialist solicitors could help. As well as claiming on behalf of the deceased’s estate for their suffering, you could also claim compensation if you were financially dependent on them. Additionally, you could claim for any costs associated with the death such as funeral expenses. You can find out more first by reading our fatal accident claims guide.
Please feel free to call to discuss your options and remember you’ll get free legal advice and you’re under no obligation to proceed.
Please get in touch by calling us on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like to discuss starting a nut allergy claim. A friendly advisor will guide you through the claims process and explain your options for free.
Any claim taken on by our solicitors will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis meaning you don’t have to pay any legal fees whatsoever unless compensation is awarded following a successful claim.
Please use our live chat feature if you have further questions about nut allergy compensation claims.