How To Claim Compensation For An Allergic Reaction To Dairy Products
Anybody who suffers is allergic to dairy is put at risk if food labelling doesn’t indicate the presence of dairy clearly enough. If that happens, the supplier of the food could be in breach of their duty of care and a compensation claim might be possible. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at claiming for an allergic reaction to dairy products caused by a negligent act. We’ll provide information on what causes a dairy allergy and when allergic reaction compensation could be payable. We’ll also discuss how much compensation you could be entitled to.
Here at Legal Helpline, we believe you’re well within your rights to claim if you been made to suffer because of somebody else’s negligence. That’s why our advisors provide free advice and a no obligation assessment of your claim. Should the claim be strong enough, they could introduce you to one of our panel of solicitors who provide no win no fee services. To begin your claim right away, why not call us on 0161 696 9685?
If you’d prefer to find out more about claiming for an allergic reaction settlement, please continue reading.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Dairy Allergy Compensation Claims
- What Is An Allergic Reaction To Dairy Products?
- Dairy Allergies Vs Milk Allergies And Lactose Intolerance
- What Foods Have Dairy Products In Them?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Being Allergic To Dairy?
- Food Safety And The Labelling Of Allergens
- Dairy Allergy Claims Against A Restaurant Or Coffee Shop
- How To Prove Your Dairy Allergy Compensation Claim
- Dairy Allergy Compensation Calculator
- What Are Special Damages In An Allergic Reaction Claim?
- How Legal Helpline Could Help You
- No Win No Fee Dairy Allergy Compensation Claims
- Speak To Legal Helpline
- Supporting Information
A Guide To Dairy Allergy Compensation Claims
In this guide, we want to show you when it’s possible to claim compensation following an allergic reaction to dairy products. It’s important to note that simply suffering an allergic reaction isn’t enough. There needs to have been some form of negligence, by somebody who owed you a duty of care, that led to the reaction. To prove what caused you to suffer, you’ll need evidence. Our advice is that, following an allergic reaction, you:
- Retain any packaging from prepacked food.
- Photograph the menu where the food was listed.
- Keep a sample of the food consumed if possible.
- Ask any witnesses who heard you discuss allergens with staff, to write down what they heard.
- Report the incident to staff where the incident took place.
- Seek treatment from your GP or at a hospital.
When you’ve taken the steps above, your chances of winning your claim could improve. Something else you’ll need to consider is the personal injury claims time limit. In general, this is a 3-year period from the date of the allergic reaction.
As we progress through this guide, we’re going to look at dairy allergen symptoms, the laws around food labelling and also scenarios which could lead to a claim for an allergic reaction to dairy products.
Legal Helpline are able to help you begin a claim if you, your child or a loved one have suffered an allergic reaction caused by negligence. When you’ve read this guide, if you feel like you’d like to discuss your claim with us, please call the number at the top of the screen.
What Is An Allergic Reaction To Dairy Products?
Being allergic to dairy means your body reacts when proteins from milk and other dairy products are consumed. It’s unknown why, but for people who suffer from dairy allergy, the body reacts as if those proteins are dangerous substances. The symptoms seen (which we’ll look at shortly) are the body’s way of trying to deal with the perceived threat.
There are a number of dairy allergy tests that the NHS can offer. The first, and quite common is skin prick testing. This is where a doctor will place a small amount of dairy product on the skin and prick it with a needle. If there’s a red, itchy bump develops then the allergy is confirmed.
Blood tests are sometimes used to diagnose an allergy as are elimination diets. This process works by removing dairy products from the diet to see if symptoms disappear. If they do, the allergy can be confirmed by reintroducing small amounts of dairy to see if the symptoms reoccur.
Dairy Allergies Vs Milk Allergies And Lactose Intolerance
It’s important to note that dairy allergies are not the same as lactose intolerance. An allergy is based on the immune systems reaction to an allergen. Lactose intolerance is caused because sufferers are missing an enzyme called lactase.
Lactase breaks down the sugar that’s found in milk (lactose). While some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance can be similar to those of a dairy allergy, they are not life-threatening.
What Foods Have Dairy Products In Them?
It’s quite surprising what foods contain dairy products that could lead to an allergic reaction. There are some obvious products such as cheese, milk, cream, yoghurt and butter. Importantly, any product should be labelled as containing an allergen by law, so even if you’re not sure if a product is safe, you should be able to check by reading the label.
Here are some other foods you should also avoid if you’re allergic to dairy products:
- Evaporated and condensed milk.
- Cheese spreads.
- Powdered hot chocolate drinks.
- Ice cream.
- Sour cream.
- Reduced lactose milk.
- Instant mashed potatoes.
- Some pancakes and waffles.
- Some breads, biscuits and rolls.
- Fruit smoothies (if they contain yoghurt).
- Some processed meats.
What Are The Symptoms Of Being Allergic To Dairy?
It’s important to distinguish again that a lactose intolerance is not the same as being allergic to dairy products. That’s because some of the symptoms, especially the minor ones can be similar. If you suspect either an intolerance to dairy or that you’re allergic, check with a doctor so that you’re properly diagnosed.
The main, more minor symptoms of a dairy allergy are:
- Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Bloating and gassiness.
- A runny or blocked nose.
- Red, itchy, watery eyes.
- A tight chest, wheezing, cough and shortness of breath.
- Swollen tongue, lips, eyes or face.
- An itchy, raised rash (hives).
- Dry, red cracked skin.
In more serious cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. This can be fatal or life threatening if left untreated. Anaphylaxis usually happens very quickly after exposure to the allergen. Any of the symptoms in the first list could indicate an anaphylactic shock as well as the following:
- Struggling to breath.
- Swelling in the throat and mouth.
- Confusion and being lightheaded.
- Lips or skin turning blue.
- Becoming unconscious or collapsing.
Any form of anaphylaxis is medical emergency according to the NHS. If you believe somebody is suffering anaphylaxis, you should call the emergency services and let them know. Adrenaline is used to treat this kind of reaction. It can be administered by an EpiPen or similar auto-injector. Even if you forget your EpiPen, we could still help you claim compensation if the allergic reaction was caused by poor labelling. You could be found partially to blame for not carrying your injector so compensation would be reduced accordingly.
Food Safety And The Labelling Of Allergens
Food labelling laws in the UK mean that 14 different allergens must be highlighted in any product which contains them. There are different rules depending on how the food is sold.
For pre-packed food, the label must contain the allergen within the list of ingredients. To help identify it quickly and easily, the allergen must appear in bold, coloured or underlined text.
In restaurants or establishments serving food on a plate, allergen information should be available in writing. This should ever appear on the menu, or a notice within the establishment explaining how to find out what allergens are contained within your meal. This could simply mean a sign advising you to ask staff for allergen advice.
Another option which might need to be used is ‘may contain’ labelling. This is important if there’s a risk of cross-contamination. For instance, if a product doesn’t contain any dairy product, a risk could still be present if the food was prepared in an area where an allergen had been previously used.
These laws are crucial in avoiding allergic reactions. If you suffer a reaction because the rules have not been followed, you could make a claim for your suffering. Remember the advice from earlier to keep hold of any packaging or photograph the menu. This can be used as evidence to support your claim. Also, food samples can be tested to prove the allergen was present even if it wasn’t labelled properly.
Dairy Allergy Claims Against A Restaurant Or Coffee Shop
When you visit a coffee shop, café or restaurant, you’d hope that all allergens would be clearly indicated. As a result, if you consume food or drink that contains dairy products and suffer a reaction, you could claim for your injuries. Here are some scenarios where a claim might be possible:
- When you’ve asked staff if the product was dairy free and they’ve confirmed it was.
- If you asked for dairy alternatives but dairy products were provided.
- When pre-packed food contained an allergen that wasn’t clearly indicated.
There are times when the business you’ve purchased from were unaware of the allergen being present in their ingredients because of poor advice from their suppliers. However, you could still make a claim against the company that sold you the food. They may well go on to counter claim against their supplier but that doesn’t affect your right to request compensation.
How To Prove Your Dairy Allergy Compensation Claim
As mentioned at the very start of this guide, you won’t be able to claim compensation unless you can prove:
- That you suffered an allergic reaction.
- Caused by somebody else’s negligence.
- And that person owed you a duty of care.
All three statements must be true for a solicitor to consider taking on your claim. Therefore, you’ll need to demonstrate what happened by providing evidence. Here is some evidence that could be used to prove your claim:
- Medical records. This is really important. When you visit a doctor for treatment, they’ll record what illness or injury you suffered. They’ll also record how severe it was, what treatment you received, and any medication prescribed.
- Accident reports. When you report an incident to staff at the establishment you had the allergic reaction in, they’re obliged to record it in an accident report book. You’re able to ask for a copy. This is useful when claiming because it shows what happened, who was involved, the date, the time and any injuries that were suffered.
- Food packaging. Importantly, if your food was pre-packed, the simplest way to show the allergen wasn’t included in the list of ingredients, is to keep hold of the packaging.
- Photographs of menus. In the same way, any menu should be photographed to show that it didn’t list the allergen. You could also photograph or video the establishment to show no allergen advice was displayed elsewhere.
- Food samples. In some cases, the food can be tested for traces of the allergen. Therefore, you could try to retain a sample.
- Witness statements. Finally, if you asked about an allergen but were told it was not present by staff, you could use witness statements to corroborate this.
Dairy Allergy Compensation Calculator
We’re now going to take a look at allergic reaction compensation amounts. Courts, insurers and solicitors use a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help calculate compensation amounts. The personal injury claims calculator table, below, shows some example amounts from the JCG.
|Claim Type||Compensation Range||Notes|
|Loss Of Earnings / Future Losses||Up to £500,000 +||The amount paid will depend on amount of time off, age, postion and prospects.|
|Allergic Reaction||£860 to £3,710||Pain, stomach cramps and diarrhoea for between a few days and a few weeks.|
|Allergic Reaction||£3,710 to £8,950||Symptoms will last for around a 1 to 2 weeks and hospitalisation for a few days. Full recovery will take around a year or two.|
|Allergic Reaction||£8,950 to £18,020||Relatively short-lived but serious symptoms which diminish over 2 to 4 weeks. However, there may be ongoing discomfort over a couple of years.|
|Allergic Reaction||£36,060 to £49,270||Allergeric reactions which require hospitlisation for a number of days or weeks. They will lead to acute pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. The ability to work and enjoy life will be significantly affected.|
When a dairy reaction claim is made, your solicitor needs to prove exactly what injuries were suffered, how severe they were, what impact they caused and whether there will be any long-term problems. Therefore, our panel of solicitors use independent doctors to assess your injuries. The assessments they arrange are usually carried out locally to avoid you having to travel too far.
What Are Special Damages In An Allergic Reaction Claim?
In the previous section, we looked at ‘general damages’. That’s the compensation awarded for the suffering caused by the allergic reaction caused by dairy products. The other main part of a food allergy compensation claim is for ‘special damages’. This is the award of compensation to cover financial losses linked to your suffering. Here are some examples of special damages that you could claim:
- Medical Expenses.
Should you have to pay out for prescription medicines following your allergic reaction, you could include the costs in your claim. The same is also true of over the counter medicines and other treatments.
- Care Costs.
If your injuries leave you in a state where you need to be cared for while recovering, you could include the cost of the carer in your claim. This could include the cost of a professional carer or the time of a friend or family member who’s cared for you.
- Travelling Expenses.
The cost of fuel and parking linked to medical appointments can soon build up. Therefore, you could claim these costs back. Also, if your illness means you’re unable to drive for any period, you could claim back the cost of alternative transport arrangements.
- Lost Earnings.
If you lose earnings because you need time off work to recover, you could claim them back. This is also true if you need time off for medical appointments. Finally, if the injuries are likely to affect your ability to work or job prospects in the future, you could include future lost earnings in your claim.
How Legal Helpline Could Help You
We hope that you’ve found the information presented in this guide useful. Also, we hope it demonstrates that Legal Helpline have the skills and experience to help you begin a claim. To demonstrate this further, here are some reasons we believe you should use our services:
- Our advisors provide free legal advice and a no obligation assessment of your claim.
- The claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week so you can begin when it suits you.
- We use a panel of solicitors who’ll always try to work as efficiently as possible.
- They also try to ensure every claimant receives the maximum amount of compensation possible.
No Win No Fee Dairy Allergy Compensation Claims
When claiming for an allergic reaction to dairy products, you might be concerned about the costs of hiring a solicitor. That’s why our panel of solicitors work on a no win no fee basis. They want as many people to be able to claim as possible. By offering no win no fee services, the stress and financial risk of claiming is reduced.
The claims process begins with an assessment of your claim. If the solicitor agrees you could be compensated, they’ll offer you a conditional fee agreement (CFA). This is your contract. In the CFA you’ll see two key points:
- A statement that shows there are no solicitor’s fees to pay if you don’t receive compensation.
- The level of success fee that’s to be paid when the claim is won.
The success fee is shown as a percentage of your compensation. To save you having to find the funds to pay the success fee, your solicitor simply deducts it from your compensation. Finally, the rest is sent of the compensation is sent to you.
Speak To Legal Helpline
You’ve now reached the end of this guide about claiming for a dairy allergy reaction. We hope you’ve found all of the information you need to decide whether to claim or not. We also hope that you’d like Legal Helpline to assist you with your dairy allergy claim. If that’s the case, here’s how you can contact us:
- Call our specialist team of advisors on 0161 696 9685
- Ask us to call you back by completing our online enquiry form.
- Or, finally, you can chat online with the live chat feature on this website.
When you contact us, our advisors will provide a no obligation assessment of your personal injury claim. They’ll give you free legal advice about your options as well. If they believe the claim has good grounds, they could introduce you to one of our panel of personal injury solicitors. If they agree to handle your case, it’ll be on a no win no fee basis.
Thanks for reading this guide about claiming for an allergic reaction to dairy products. To help you further, we’ve provided some links to other guides and resources below.
Peanut Allergy Claims – An online guide about claiming for an allergic reaction caused by peanuts.
Hospital Negligence Claims – Information about making personal injury claims because of suffering caused by hospital negligence.
Shop Accident Claims – A guide that shows when a personal injury lawyer could help you claim for injuries sustained in a shop.
Food Intolerance – Information from the NHS about the causes, testing and treatment of food intolerance’s.
The Food Standards Agency – The UK government’s department that regulates, monitors and manages food safety.
Lactose Intolerance – Information about diagnosing, treating or managing a dairy allergy from the NHS.