Can I Make A Personal Injury Claim For A Fish Allergy?

Do you suffer from a fish allergy? Did you know that if an allergic reaction is triggered by the actions of a third party, you could have the valid basis of a compensation claim for the harm you suffered? A personal injury solicitor could be able to process a personal injury claim for you. This online guide will give an overview of why you could be able to claim, and who you could be able to claim against.

Each claim has its own set of unique circumstances, and although we have covered as many possibilities as possible in this guide, you might have unanswered questions once you finish reading it. If you do, then please get in touch with our team on 0161 696 9685. One of our advisors will answer any questions you have, and explain to you how we can help with your claim.

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A Guide To Claims For An Allergic Reaction To Fish

If you live with having a fish allergy, you probably already know the steps you have to take to avoid having an allergic reaction to fish. However, much of the time you are forced to trust the information given to you by serving staff, or that is printed on food packaging, to control your diet. When this information is wrong, it can trigger an allergic reaction. When it does, and it can be proven the information was wrong, then it could be possible to make a personal injury claim for the harm you suffered. In this online guide, we look at the process of doing so. We begin by looking at what a fish allergy is, and why you could be eligible to claim if an allergic reaction is triggered by the actions of a third party.

Fish allergy claims

Fish allergy claims

The central part of this guide is given over to facts and information that relates to fish allergies. We have listed some of the main food types to avoid if you suffer from a fish allergy. We also go over the symptoms of an allergic reaction to fish, including a detailed look at what anaphylaxis is and how a fish allergy can cause it. We cover some of the causes and triggers of allergic reactions as well.

We provide information that explains the law in the UK, and how food labels must contain information about any allergen content. We also discuss how if this information is wrong, it could leave you eligible to make a claim if you suffer an allergic reaction due to this incorrect information. We also go over the similar circumstances that exist when you question food service staff about the allergen content of dishes on the menu of an eating establishment, and whether you would be eligible to claim if you are given wrong information.

The last part of this guide relates to many of the aspects of the claims process itself, both legal and financial. We have included a section that explains the kinds of evidence you may be able to procure and submit in support of your allergy claim. We have also added a table, based on the UK judicial guidelines for valuing claims, that demonstrates typical compensation ranges for different severities of illness. You will also find a list of some of the more commonly received kinds of damages that could make up your overall settlement if your claim is a success. You will also find specific information that relates to work-related illnesses claims. Finally, we try to show how using a No Win No Fee solicitor could be the best option for you, as this mitigates many of the traditional financial risks of making a compensation claim.

Our claims team can provide you with other critical information such as the personal injury claims time limit that will apply in your own case. An advisor can evaluate your claim for you, and offer you some free legal advice on how you should proceed.

What Is A Fish Allergy?

First, we need to explain how allergic reactions to fish is not the same as allergic reactions to shellfish. These are two different types of allergy. With a fish allergy, the immune system of the sufferer has a reaction to finned fish and the fish protein found in this type of food. Fish is classed as one of the major allergens contained in foodstuffs.

A fish allergy will generally develop during childhood (but it can develop later), and it can persist into adulthood, unlike other childhood allergies such as an allergy to eggs or milk. People with a fish allergy suffer varying degrees of symptoms. For some people, their allergy is almost trivial and causes them very little discomfort, allowing them to eat finned fish as long as they are careful. For others, the symptoms can be traumatic, even life-threatening.

Interestingly, fish allergies are more common in places where fish makes up a large part of the regular diet for local inhabitants. An allergy can be triggered by eating fish, touching fish or even inhaling moisture from a fish.

The main allergen in finned fish that causes an allergic reaction is the fish protein parvalbumin. The amount of parvalbumin in a fish differs by species. Meaning people with only a mild allergy may be able to eat some fish that have a lower level of parvalbumin. Unfortunately, parvalbumin does not break down due to heat, so even cooking fish thoroughly does not make them safe to eat for food allergy sufferers.

Products To Avoid With A Fish Allergy

One of the most important of all fish allergy facts, is the list of foods and other products that a person with a fish allergy must learn to identify and avoid. There are over 20,000 species of fish, but there is a small subset of these that a) are eaten regularly, and b) contain a level of parvalbumin that could trigger an allergic reaction, and these are:

  • Tuna (all types)
  • Trout (all types)
  • Tilapia (Nile perch)
  • Swordfish (all types)
  • Sea bass (and some freshwater bass)
  • Salmon (including processed)
  • Pilchard (including processed)
  • Mackerel (including processed)
  • Herring (including processed or pickled)
  • Halibut (all types)
  • Flounder (all types)
  • Cod (all types)
  • Carp (all types)

Alongside this list of fish, it is important that people with a fish allergy avoid certain other products, that contain fish extract of some kind. Fish is an ingredient of many foodstuffs you would not expect. Such as Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad dressing. Furthermore, fish bones and gelatine and other fish by-products can be used as filler in other kinds of food.  For example, hot dogs, frankfurters, pepperoni and other processed meats.

Symptoms Of An Allergy To Fish

For some people, fish allergy symptoms are minor and nothing more than an irritation. For others, they can be painful or even life-threatening. Most people who suffer from a fish allergy fall somewhere in the middle. The main symptoms of an allergic reaction to fish are:

  • A skin rash (hives).
  • Itching in general.
  • A runny or stuffed nose and sneezing.
  • Nonspecific headaches.
  • Stomach cramps and problems with digestion.
  • A difficulty breathing (worse for asthma sufferers).
  • Bloating of the stomach or excessive gas.
  • An upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

Some people may only suffer one or two of these symptoms, others can suffer from them all as well as other less common ones. Simply touching fish can result in skin rashes and itching in some cases. In the worst case, the victim could suffer toxic shock or anaphylaxis (more on this in the next section).

Fish Allergies And Anaphylaxis

In the previous section, we covered the general symptoms of an allergic reaction to fish. However, there is another possibility, that of anaphylaxis, a response to an extreme allergic reaction. In the past, anaphylaxis was referred to as Toxic Shock Syndrome, but it has now been separated out into its own distinct medical condition.

People who suffer this reaction can become dizzy, have problems breathing, become panicked, pass out and even die if medical treatment is not received rapidly. People who are at risk of this level of reaction are instructed to carry an epinephrine autoinjector that they can use to provide emergency treatment until a medical professional arrives.

Causes And Triggers Of A Fish Allergy

In order to prevent a fish allergy reaction, a person needs to understand how to avoid the common causes and triggers of a reaction. This means understanding what steps to take to keep themselves, safe, steps such as:

  • Be sure to check the labels of canned and packaged food, to find out if there is any allergen content. We will talk about food labelling in more depth later on.
  • If you have to buy fish, let somebody else handle it. Even wrapped fish can cause a reaction if the fish came into contact with the wrapper at any stage.
  • Think twice before eating in a fish restaurant. Even if you don’t order fish, the food you do order could have been prepared on a surface that formerly had fish on it, or cooked in the same cooking oil as fish.
  • The same holds true for Asian restaurants. Many Asian dishes include ingredients such as fish sauce, and other fish-based ingredients.

Mostly, keeping safe is about common sense. And of course, if you do have medication to help deal with an allergic reaction, make sure you keep it on you at all times.

Food Labelling And Allergy Notification Laws

There is plenty of legislation in the UK that relates to the way that food has to be labelled, and much of it is aimed at keeping people with an allergy such as fish allergies safe.

In relation to fish allergies, if a food product has fish in it, then the label must clearly state so. Using words such as “Contains Fish” that has been printed in a way that is clear to read.

If you buy any kind of packaged food, and the allergen content is not marked on it, you could suffer an allergic reaction. If this happens, and you are harmed, then you could have a basis of a claim against the company that packaged the food in the first place.

If you believe that you do have a claim, based on the fact that the allergen content of packaged food was not clearly labelled, we could be able to help you. Call our claims team and explain your situation to one of our advisors, they will help you with some free legal advice, and evaluate your claim for you.

Fish Allergy Claims Against A Restaurant

If you have an allergy to fish, then you already know that you need to take care of what you eat in a restaurant. You are probably used to asking the serving staff if certain dishes contain any fish content, etc. When you are given the correct information, you are safeguarded from the effects of an allergic reaction.

But what happens if you are given the wrong advice? You could, of course, suffer and allergic reaction. The food outlet that you are eating in is responsible for the actions of their employees, including the serving staff. Therefore, if an employee makes a mistake that causes you harm, it is the eatery that will be responsible. In this case, we could be able to help you to make a compensation claim. If you can prove that the food outlet was to blame, you could be able to make a claim. Speak to our team for some free advice on how best to start your claim.

What Evidence Could Support My Fish Allergy Claim?

We have covered what a fish allergy is, what the symptoms of a fish allergy, and how treatment such as an epinephrine auto-injector can help people deal with an allergic reaction. Now we need to look at what happens afterwards, when you are ready to begin making a claim. You will need to be able to prove that a third party was the cause of your allergic reaction. This could involve collecting evidence, such as:

If you suffered an allergic reaction due to eating packaged food that the allergen content wasn’t marked on, you should consider keeping the following:

  • All packaging.
  • The bill showing where you bought the food and when.
  • The food itself, you can keep it frozen.
  • Any medical report that details your condition.

If you suffered an allergic reaction in a restaurant, café, fast food outlet, etc. then you should consider keeping the following kinds of evidence:

  • The bill, showing you have paid for the food, and when.
  • A photograph of the menu showing that the allergen content was not listed for the dish.
  • A sample of the food, you can take it home and freeze it.
  • The contact details of anyone who witnessed you ask the serving staff about allergen content.
  • Any medical report detailing your condition.

Evidence such as this will help to support your claim. A solicitor can use this evidence to make a case against the third party that caused you to suffer an allergic reaction, and to improve the chance of your claim being a success. If you want some free legal advice about collecting and compiling evidence before making your claim, then please reach out to our team today and speak to one of our advisors about this.

Compensation Calculator For An Allergic Reaction To Fish

You might be able to find a personal injury claims calculator to get a rough idea of the amount of compensation you could be able to claim for your allergic reaction. You can also use the table below, that lists possible compensation ranges for different levels of illness.

Medical ConditionSeverityInfoPayment
IllnessMinorAn illness that will exhibit only minor symptoms that can be alleviated by taking over the counter medicines. Recovery from the illness will take a few days to a week.Up to £3,710
IllnessModerateAn illness that will exhibit only moderate symptoms that can be alleviated by taking prescription medication after visiting a GP for a diagnosis. Recovery from the illness will take a week or two.£3,710 to £8,950
IllnessSeriousAn illness that will exhibit only serious symptoms that will require advanced treatment in hospital and prescription-only medication. Recovery from the illness could take several months, with an extended period in the hospital.£8,950 to £18,020
IllnessSevereAn illness that will exhibit only severe symptoms that could be life-threatening. The illness will require advanced treatment and along stay in hospital and prescription-only medication. Recovery from the illness could take more than a year and there may be some lingering or permanent effects.£36,060 to £49,270

You may wish to have your claim valued more accurately. A solicitor will need to do this for you. To facilitate this, you will need to go for a medical examination to prove how bad you were harmed. Speak to our team to learn more about this.

How Special Damages Could Also Compensate You

If a personal injury lawyer is successful in processing your claim, you will receive a settlement that is made up of potentially a number of kinds of damages, such as:

  • Special damages (to cover financial and other losses):
    • Loss of long-term income and working potential.
    • Loss of income if you had to take time away from work.
    • Private medical costs.
    • The cost of hiring a nurse.
    • Travel costs.
  • General damages (to cover suffering and pain):
    • An impairment or some kind of permanent disability.
    • Long-term, traumatic treatment.
    • Psychological injuries.
    • Short term shock and trauma.
    • Pain and suffering.

To get a better indication of the kinds of damage you could claim in your own case, please speak to one of our advisors.

How Could An Allergic Reaction Compensation Claim Work?

To answer the question, can you be allergic to fish at work? Yes, if you suffer an allergic reaction at work, due to the actions of your employer, then you could very well have a valid compensation claim.

However, you will need to be able to prove your employer was to blame. And this will include proving that your employer already knew that you suffered from a fish allergy, and still exposed you to an allergen. We can help you with this, speak to our team to learn how.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Allergic Reaction To Fish

You can use a No Win No Fee lawyer to mitigate some of the risks of making a claim. You will only pay their pre-agreed fee when they receive a payment for compensation on your behalf. So no new claims fee, no fee while the claim is processed, and no fee if the claim is not a success.

Contact Legal Helpline

Have you suffered an allergic reaction for fish in an eating establishment, or because the allergen content was not marked on food packaging? If so, we may well be able to help you. Speak to an advisor for more information. You can contact one on 0161 696 9685.

Supporting References

These external links might have some extra useful info:

NHS Information About Food Tolerance

UK Government Information About Food Allergies

UK Government Info About Good Labelling

You may also like to read over these other guides:

How To Claim For An Illness At Work

Holiday Accident Claims

Claiming Against A Supermarket