Shellfish Seafood Allergy Negligence Claims – I Suffered An Allergic Reaction To Shellfish, Could I Claim Compensation?

If you suffer from food allergies, you’ll understand the severity that an allergic reaction could have. An allergy is the body’s response to a food or substance, and the reaction can vary from minor symptoms like wheezing to something of a more sinister nature. Restaurants, cafes, and businesses that sell food have a lawful obligation to specify any allergens that have been used within their products, and a failure to do so could have a costly outcome. In the event you have suffered from an allergic reaction that was caused by a negligent third party, you might be questioning if you have grounds to make a seafood allergy claim for compensation.

Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that an allergic reaction caused by a seafood allergy could be a costly experience. In the event that a third party’s negligence has led to you suffering a harmful allergic reaction, why not contact a member of our team? We work with a distinguished panel of solicitors that could potentially assist you when seeking compensation for the suffering you’ve endured.

Jump To A Section

A Guide To Claims For An Allergic Reaction To Shellfish

It’s understandable to be unsure of your legal rights after being injured by a third party, as accidents of any nature aren’t anticipated. Unfortunately, there are various ways a seafood allergy could be triggered.  If a third party that owes you a duty of care were to breach their duties, their negligent actions could provoke an allergic reaction to seafood and cause you, or a loved one severe illness and harm.

Seafood allergy claims

Seafood allergy claims

This guide shall discuss how our panel of solicitors could assist those seeking compensation after experiencing an allergic reaction. Understandably, nobody expects to be involved in an accident of any nature, much less an accident caused by a third party. That is why this guide will;

  • Outline personal injury claims in great length.
  • Discuss how our panel of solicitors could be of assistance.
  • Discuss how allergic reactions could be caused by a negligent third party?
  • Outline how a No Win, No Fee agreement works.

Before we delve into the contents of this guide, you should be aware of the personal injury claims time limit. From the date the incident took place, you have just three years to issue a claim. Once the time limit has run its course, it’ll be increasingly difficult for you to make a claim. However, there are circumstances where extensions could alter the time limit. For example, if you suffered delayed injuries that were caused by the accident, it could be argued that the time limit should begin once these injuries have been officially diagnosed by a medical professional. For more information regarding personal injury claims time limits, you can always speak to a member of our team.

What Is An Allergy To Shellfish, Seafood Or Crustaceans?

You might be unsure as to what an allergy to shellfish, seafood or crustaceans is and how it’s caused? An allergic reaction is the body’s automatic response to something that doesn’t agree with it. In many cases, the symptoms of an allergic reaction are minor. However, there are some scenarios where an allergic reaction could have serious health ramifications. An incident of this nature could be caused by the negligence of a third party, such as a restaurant, café, or another business. In the event a third party is at fault for the suffering you’ve endured, a solicitor from our panel could potentially assist you when seeking compensation.

Symptoms Of An Allergy To Shellfish

Various allergies affect people, ranging from seafood and dairy to gluten, soy and nuts. You might be wondering what causes a shellfish allergy or seafood allergies?  Mentioned above, an allergic reaction is the body’s way of responding to a food or product that doesn’t agree with it. Allergies are prevalent in children, but some allergies can dissipate as they grow older. Adults can also develop allergies that they never previously had. 

According to the NHS, one of the most common allergies people experience is in connection with seafood. The NHS states that the common symptoms of an allergy include:

  • Blotchiness and itching
  • Watery, red and itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing and coughing

Possible Complications Of An Allergic Reaction

If you experience a minor reaction and are unsure what caused it, you might be referred to a specialist, as they can perform tests like shellfish allergy tests to decipher the cause of the reaction. However, in severe cases, an allergic reaction could cause anaphylaxis, also referred to as anaphylactic shock. In the event a severe allergic reaction occurs, the affected individual will require medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis might include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Losing consciousness
  • Swelling
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • An increased heartbeat
  • Respiratory difficulties

Causes Of Allergic Reaction To Shellfish Or Seafood

Unfortunately, numerous factors could contribute to an allergic reaction to shellfish or seafood. In some cases, accidents of this nature could be an unfortunate turn of events where nobody is at fault or to blame. However, if, for example, you were to purchase a ready meal from a supermarket that had undisclosed traces of shellfish, it could cause you significant injury and harm. The supermarket owes you a duty of care to fully identify and acknowledge the allergens within the dish. A failure to do so could be considered a breach in their duty of care.

What Non-Food Products Contain Traces Of Shellfish?

You might be wondering whether an allergic reaction to shellfish could be caused by non-food related products. The short would be yes, as there are products that could have traces of shellfish within them. For example, some medicines and supplements could cause reactions, as they have traces of shellfish inside them. A prime example of this would be Glucosamine. Glucosamine is derived from shellfish and is a popular ingredient in the medicine that is primarily used to treat osteoarthritis. 

To make a claim in connection to non-food related reactions, it would need to involve a particular situation where another party is at fault. For example, if a doctor was to prescribe you medicine with Glucosamine and they were fully aware of your allergies, this could be considered medical malpractice, making them liable for any harm and suffering you endure. However, it must be stated that there have been occasional cases where those who are allergic to shellfish have shown no symptoms after using Glucosamine.

Other Types Of Reaction To Seafood

There are other potential factors that could lead to an allergic reaction. Although there are common symptoms and causes of allergic reactions, we have created a list to help illustrate some other factors that could potentially provoke an allergic reaction.

  • Anisakis Simplex – This is a nematode (worm) that is often located in fish. The worm is essentially a parasite, and to successfully kill off the parasite, the fish must be left in a freezer for 48 hours or cooked at about 60 degrees celsius. A failure to do either one of these tasks could cause Anisakis infection. The effects of Anisakis infection are quite severe. They can cause vomiting, inflammation in the gut, and bowel-related issues. Alternatively, this could cause an Anisakis allergy, which resembles common symptoms found in typical allergic reactions.
  • Ciguatera Poisoning – This is where seafood that has been contaminated by algae-derived toxins. This type of toxin is only present in fish, in particular, large reef fish that are located in tropical regions. Symptoms include tingling of the tongue, throat, and lips, upset stomach, headaches and muscle aches.
  • Metabisulfite Reactions – reactions of this nature can often be caused by the preservative used to stop crustaceans (like prawns) from discolouring. The symptoms usually include irritation, wheezing, tight chest, and in rare cases, itchiness and rashes.

Duty Of Care To Display Allergy Warning Information

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), businesses that sell food are required to be aware of the most common allergens and label their food accordingly. Labelling is extremely important when it comes to the selling of food. With the risks of allergic reaction existing, customers need to be aware of the contents they are purchasing. Not only is this lawfully required of businesses, but it allows the customer to be fully informed of the food they are consuming. 

There are laws set in place to outline the importance of labelling and they apply to pre-packaged, un-packaged, and freshly made food. One of the main governing statutes is EU Regulation 1169/2011 which covers labelling and food packaging in relation to allergens. A failure to comply with these guidelines could lead to a potentially dangerous breach in the duty of care.

Some of the most common food allergens outlined by the FSA include:

  • Celery
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Soybeans
  • Mustard

Allergic Reaction To Shellfish Compensation Claims Calculator

Those that pursue a food allergy claim for compensation might be curious as to how much compensation they could be entitled to. Some claimants might use tools like personal injury claims calculators, as they can provide an estimated compensation figure. However, we find they can be tricky to use so instead have chosen to provide a table that discusses various injuries, the severity of each injury, and the compensation range that it could fall in. These figures have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by solicitors and the courts to value cases. However, it is worth remembering that all claims for compensation are unique to the individual and the circumstances at hand. Therefore, the compensation you could be entitled too may differ from the compensation amounts that have been listed within the table.

InjuryThe Severity of the InjuryCompensation AwardedInjury Description
Food PoisoningMinorUp to £3,710Minor levels of food poisoning are expected to cause discomfort, varying degrees of pain, and diarrhoea for several days.
Food PoisoningModerate £3,710 to £8,950Moderate levels of food poisoning could cause significant discomfort with stomach cramps, fatigue, and might require hospital admission. However the affects won’t have a long lasting impact.
Food PoisoningModerately Severe£8,950 to £18,020A serious, but very short lived food-poisoning experience where diarrhoea and vomiting last for two to four weeks. It could cause significant discomfort, and enjoyment of food.
Food PoisoningSevere£36,060 to £49,270An injury of this nature is often in relation to toxicosis, causing serious pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and requiring hospital admission for lengths of time.
Ankle InjuryMinorUp to £12,900A minor ankle injury is expected to display signs of a fracture, causing pain and discomfort. However, an injury should make a well-rounded recovery.
Ankle InjurySevere£46,980 to £65,420A severe ankle injury is expected to cause serious deformity, soft-tissue damage, pain, and in drastic cases, they might require amputation.
PTSDMinor£3,710 to £7,680Minor PTSD is expected to make a recovery with one to two years’ time.
PTSDModerate £21,730 to £56,180Moderate levels of PTSD are expected to inflict intermediate symptoms and affect the individual’s ability to work.
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,470A severe case of PTSD would result in total inability to return to work, and the affected individual would never return to a pre-trauma state. They would display symptoms anxiety, depression, flash backs, and much more.

Could I Claim Compensation For Expenses And Losses Related To My Allergic Reaction?

The after-effects of an allergic reaction could take shape in a variety of different ways, from psychological trauma and physical health implications to financial loss. It’s possible to redress all the harm inflicted by recovering compensation under two heads of claim: general damages and special damages.

General Damages – General damages are intended to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injury. We’ve covered potential general damages payouts in the calculator section above. 

Special Damages –Special damages are designed to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses that have been incurred or may be incurred in the future as a result of the injury. Examples of some of the things you can claim for include:

  • Medical-related costs – If you funded treatment that wasn’t available through the NHS, the expense could be taken into consideration.
  • Aftercare Equipment – After an accident that inflicts physical harm, you might require equipment to fulfil everyday tasks. If that is the case, then the cost of aftercare equipment could be taken into consideration.
  • The loss of future earnings – If you’ve experienced an allergic reaction to seafood, you might require time off from work to recover. During this period, your employer might not have an established sick pay scheme set in place so you could be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. This payment could be significantly lower than your average income, creating a financial loss. If that is the case and you suffer a loss of earnings, this could be taken into consideration.

How Legal Helpline Could Help You After An Allergic Reaction To Seafood

Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that an allergy of any nature is a severe condition that should be treated with great care. If a third party has neglected their duty of care and has caused you to have an allergic reaction, a solicitor from our panel could potentially be of assistance. We work with a panel of specialist solicitors that are well versed in personal injury law that has decades of experience handling such matters. They can expertly guide you through the complexities of the claims process and will battle to ensure that you recover the most compensation possible.  If you’ve been negligently exposed to allergens that have caused harm, why not contact a member of our team and begin your claim with a personal injury lawyer today?

No Win, No Fee Seafood Allergy Claim For An Allergic Reaction To Shellfish, Seafood Or Crustaceans

If you have valid grounds to make a claim, a solicitor from our panel could offer to handle your case under a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped and will be set out in clear terms in the CFA.

Talk To Legal Helpline About Your Seafood Allergy Claim

If you wish to speak with a member of our team about making a seafood allergy claim, there are several ways you can do so. You could talk to one of our expert advisors via the telephone, as they can offer free, no strings attached legal advice. Or you could enquire online by submitting an inquiry form. A member of our team will review your submission and contact you at a time that suits you.

To enquire online through our online services, please click here.

To speak with an advisor, please contact us on 0161 696 9685.

Supporting Information On Making A Seafood Allergy Claim

We hope that this guide on making a seafood allergy claim has successfully informed you of the different ways a seafood allergy could be provoked by third party negligence. In addition to this online guide, we have provided some additional materials that we believe could be of use.

Ankle Injury Claims – Who is liable for an ankle injury in a public place?

Accident in Shops – Does a shop owe me a duty of care?

Foot Injury Claims – Could I claim for a foot injury caused by an employer? 


Guide by MN

Edited by REG