I Had An Allergic Reaction To Milk, Could I Claim Compensation? – Milk Allergy Claims Guide

If you’re a milk allergy sufferer, you could be at risk of serious injury if you consume a product that doesn’t list a milk product in its ingredients. Therefore, we’ve written this guide about claiming for an allergic reaction to milk caused by negligence. We’ll provide information on milk allergy symptoms and causes. We’ll also explain when somebody else could be to blame and when you could claim compensation. Finally, we’ll provide information on compensation amounts that could be paid.

Legal Helpline have a team of specialist advisors who are happy to provide free legal advice about claiming. They’ll also provide a no obligation assessment of your claim. Should they think your claim is strong enough to win compensation, they could introduce you to one of our panel of no win no fee solicitors. If you’d like to discuss your claim immediately, you can reach us on 0161 696 9685.

Alternatively, to find out more about claiming for an allergic reaction to milk, please carry on reading.

Jump To A Section

A Guide To Milk Allergy Compensation Claims

Milk allergy claims

Milk allergy claims

In this guide, we’re going to provide information about when you could claim compensation for an allergic reaction to milk caused by somebody else’s negligence. We’ll provide a wealth of information on milk allergies and try to answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance?
  • What are the symptoms of a milk allergy in adults?
  • Can you become allergic to milk later in life?
  • Can you be allergic to milk but not dairy?

In general terms, to make a personal injury claim in the UK, you need to show that:

  • You were injured or made ill.
  • By somebody who owed you a duty of care.
  • And that they caused your suffering through a negligent act.

Also, you need to claim within the personal injury claims time limit. In normal circumstances, this is 3-years from the date of the incident which caused your reaction. However, if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you can do so at any point before they turn 18. After that, they have 3-years to bring their own claim.

Of course, to win compensation, you need to be able to prove what happened, who was to blame and the extent of your suffering. To do this, you’ll need evidence. Therefore, we’ll provide information on the types of evidence that can be used to support your claim.

As the guide progresses, we’ll cover subjects such as food labelling laws, the cause of a milk allergy and when you could claim compensation.

Legal Helpline could help you begin a claim for yourself, a child or a loved one who’s unable to begin their own claim. Therefore, once you’ve read this guide, please call our advisors for free legal advice about your options.

What Is A Milk Allergy?

A milk allergy occurs when the immune system reacts abnormally to milk or products containing milk. It’s usually a cow’s milk allergy but other milk such as sheep or goat’s milk can cause an allergic reaction too. A milk allergy is one of the most common allergies suffered by children.

The reaction will usually happen soon after drinking milk or eating food containing milk. Later in this guide, we’ll discuss the milk allergy symptoms to look out for. Some good news is that it’s possible for a child to outgrow an allergy to milk so won’t have to avoid milk products for the whole of their life. It’s very unusual for an adult to develop a milk allergy in later life if they didn’t have the condition as a child.

What Is The Difference Between A Milk, Dairy Or Lactose Allergy?

When you suffer a milk allergy, it is your bodies immune system that causes the symptoms. If you suffer a lactose intolerance (which is not an allergy), it’s because your body doesn’t have an enzyme called lactase. This enzyme is used to break down lactose (the sugar found in milk).

Somebody who is lactose intolerant will probably suffer some of the more minor symptoms associated with allergic reactions to milk. However, a lactose intolerance is very rarely life-threatening. Any type of allergy can have much more severe symptoms, can be life-threatening and even fatal.

Causes Of Allergic Reactions To Milk

As mentioned earlier, allergic reactions to milk are caused by the immune system reacting to milk-based products. Specifically, it’s the proteins found within animal milk that are to blame. In cow’s milk, the alpha S1-casein protein is what leads to an allergic reaction.

When the immune system mistakenly detects the milk as a dangerous substance, it releases special proteins called antibodies. One such antibody is called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE causes chemicals including Histamine to be released. This is the cause of most of the common symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Symptoms Of A Milk Allergy

Now we’re going to look at the main symptoms of a milk allergy. First of all, here are some of the less serious:

  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, eyes or face.
  • Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath or tightness of the chest.
  • Red, itching eyes.
  • Hives – a red raised rash which may itch.
  • Cracked and dry red skin.
  • Sneezing and a runny or blocked nose.

In more serious cases, the allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis. This is also referred to as anaphylactic shock. The whole body can be affected, and the reaction will come on very quickly after exposure to the allergen. Symptoms for anaphylaxis include:

  • Struggling to breath.
  • Swelling in the throat and mouth.
  • Becoming lightheaded or confused.
  • Collapsing or becoming unconscious.
  • Blue lips or skin.

Anaphylaxis is classed as a medical emergency. The emergency services should be contacted as adrenaline will be required to try and counter the symptoms. A first-aider may be able to administer adrenaline if the victim has an auto-injector such as an EpiPen.

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome

Another type of allergic reaction to milk that can occur is food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome or FPIES. This more of a delayed reaction to the milk product and might not occur for a few hours after eating or drinking the milk product. The main symptoms of FPIES are vomiting and diarrhoea.

How Should Allergens Be Correctly Labelled?

Under UK law, there are 14 different allergens which need to be identified in food products. These allergens include milk, nuts, eggs and gluten. The way their identified depends on how the food is sold.

When buying pre-packed food, the allergen should be included in the list of ingredients on the packaging. They should be highlighted with bold, underlined or coloured font. This is so that the allergen is easily and quickly identifiable.

For restaurants or eateries serving food on a plate, there are a couple of options. Allergen information should be available in writing. Allergen advice could be written on the menu. Also, they could use a noticeboard to state where to find out about allergens contained within the food. This advice could be simply to ask staff before ordering.

Another way of pointing out a potential risk is to use a ‘may contain’ label. For instance, a ‘may contain milk’ label could be used where milk isn’t in the ingredients of a meal but where there’s a chance of cross-contamination. This could happen in kitchens where milk-based products are prepared in the same area as those not containing milk.

Milk Allergy Claims Against Coffee Shops And Restaurants

It may be possible to sue a coffee shop for a milk allergy reaction in some situations. Obviously, as discussed in the previous section, you could claim if milk isn’t listed in the ingredients of food purchased in the coffee shop.

Also, it might be possible to claim if you explained your milk allergy to staff and requested a non-dairy milk alternative but still had a reaction. This could be down to the fact that the alternative wasn’t used (due to miscommunication) or was cross-contaminated.

Another scenario where a coffee shop or restaurant could be sued for an allergic reaction is when they were unaware that the product contained milk due to poor information from their suppliers. In this case, you could still sue the business that sold you the product. They may go on to counter-sue the supplier, but that’s not your concern.

There are times when somebody who’s been diagnosed with an allergic reaction forgets to bring their EpiPen with them. If that happens, and they suffer an allergic reaction, you might think that a claim wouldn’t be possible. However, it’s possible that the claim could still proceed. This would be on the grounds that the claimant was partially responsible because they didn’t bring their medication. Therefore, the amount of compensation would be reduced accordingly.

What Evidence Could Support An Allergic Reaction Claim?

As discussed right at the beginning of this guide, to prove what happened, who was to blame and the extent of your injuries, you’ll need evidence. Therefore, this section is going to explain what you could use to support your claim. In no particular order, here is the type of evidence you could use:

  • Accident report forms.
    If you report your accident to staff at the place where your allergic reaction occurred, they’re obliged under health and safety rules to record it. They will use an accident form to record what happened, who was injured, any treatment and any advice that was provided. It will also include dates and times. Obtaining a copy of the form (which you’re allowed to ask for) means the incident can’t be denied.
  • Witness statements.
    If your reaction was caused after you’d clearly explained your allergy to staff, then they could be found liable. Therefore, if anybody witnessed the exchange, you could ask them to write down what they saw.
  • Medical records.
    These can really help prove how you suffered. When you visit a GP or hospital, the doctor will keep records. These will show the extent of your injuries or suffering. They’ll also cover what medication and treatment was provided. Finally, they’ll explain any ongoing treatment that you’re likely to need.
  • Food packaging and samples.
    If the labelling on food packaging was inadequate, retain it as evidence. Also, where possible keep hold of a sample of the food for testing purposes. Finally, if the menu or noticeboards didn’t provide allergen advice, take photographs to help show this.

 The more evidence you can gather, the better your chances of showing who was to blame. If you’d like us to review the evidence you have to support your claim, please get in touch today.

Milk Allergy Reaction Compensation Calculator

If you’re wondering how much compensation you might receive following an allergic reaction to milk, then the personal injury claims calculator table should help. It provides figures taken from a legal document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document is used by solicitors, insurers, and courts to determine compensation amounts.

Type of claimCompensationAdditonal Notes
Illness£860 to £3,710A minor allergic reaction which causes stomach cramps, pain and also diarrhoea. Symptoms will last for between a 3 days to a few weeks.
Illness£3,710 to £8,950A moderate allergic reaction which lasts for around a 1 to 2 weeks, requires hospitalisation (for a few days) and where complete recovery will take around a year or two.
Illness£8,950 to £18,020Allergic reactions that cause relatively short-lived symptoms that are deemed as serious. These will reduce completely in about 2 to 4 weeks. Ongoing discomfort can continue for a couple of years.
Illness£36,060 to £49,270This range is where hospitlisation is needed for a number of days or weeks. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, accute pain and vomiting. These symptoms will have a significant effect on life enjoyment and ability to work.
Loss Of Earnings / Future LossesUp to £500,000 +Compensation for lost earnings is based on the claimants age, prospects, position, current salary etc, etc.

Each injury in the JCG is compensated based on the severity and amount of suffering. Therefore, it’s important that your solicitor is able to prove the exact nature of your injuries. Otherwise, you may receive less compensation than your injuries warrant. Our panel of solicitors use independent doctors to assess you (usually locally). The report they provide can be used to demonstrate what injuries or illnesses were suffered, their severity, the immediate impact on you and if there will be any long-term effects.

In the next section, we’ll look at how the compensation amount for an allergic reaction can include other elements besides the pain and suffering it caused.

Compensation For Lost Income, Medical And Other Expenses

In the previous section, the table contained the first part of a compensation claim known as general damages. That’s the compensation that’s awarded for physical injuries and illnesses. However, you could’ve suffered financial losses because of your allergic reaction to milk too. Therefore, you could also be entitled to ‘special damages’ to cover those losses. Here are some examples of special damages:

  • Medical Costs. Although you’ll usually receive free milk allergy treatment from the NHS, you could still end up out of pocket. That’s because you may need to pay for prescriptions, over the counter medicines and other treatment. These could all be claimed back in your compensation payment.
  • Travelling Expenses. While you’re receiving treatment for your illness, there may be the need for multiple trips to a doctor or hospital. Therefore, you could claim back fuel costs as well as parking fees.
  • Care Costs. If the allergic reaction means that you need to be cared for while you’re recovering, you could claim back any associated costs. For instance, you could claim for the time of a loved one or the fees of any professional carer who supported you.
  • Lost Earnings. In cases where your ability to work is affected by your injuries, you could claim back any lost income. This could happen because you’ve taken time off to recover or to attend medical appointments. Also, for more serious injuries, you may need to claim for future lost earnings too.

Your solicitor will need proof of any financial losses. Therefore, you should hold on to receipts, bank statements and wage slips that can used to substantiate your claim. Also, some people like to keep a diary of their spending. This makes it easier to remember why you spent money and how it was linked to your injuries.

Why Choose Legal Helpline For A Milk Allergy Claim?

Now you’ve read the information we’ve provided about claiming for an allergic reaction to milk, we hope you’d like to let us help you claim. Here are some good reasons why Legal Helpline should be considered for your case:

  • Our advice and guidance is free.
  • The advisors always offer a no obligation assessment of your claim.
  • Our panel of solicitors have been handling claims for up to 30 years.
  • The claim line is open 24-hours a day. Therefore, you can start your claim whenever it’s convenient.
  • Our panel of solicitors always work hard to ensure compensation amounts are as high as possible. They’ll keep you updated throughout the claim and will act as swiftly as possible so that the claim doesn’t drag on unnecessarily.

Please call today to find out if we could help you begin your personal injury claim.

No Win No Fee Milk Allergy Compensation Claims

Many people worry about the cost of hiring a personal injury solicitor when making a food allergy claim. Our panel of solicitors understand that and therefore offer to work on a no win no fee basis for all claims they handle. Doing so allows more people to claim because the financial risks are reduced.

If, after assessing your claim, the solicitor agrees to take on your claim, you’ll be provided with a conditional fee agreement (CFA). When you read the CFA before signing it, you’ll see two key points:

  • Firstly, that you won’t have to pay the solicitor’s fees unless you receive compensation.
  • Secondly, the level of success fee payable when the solicitor wins the case.

The success fee is a percentage of your compensation. Rather than you having to send money to the solicitor to cover the success fee, they simply deduct it from the compensation before it’s sent on to you.

We believe working on this basis makes claims a lot less stressful. To find out if you’re entitled to clam on a no win no fee basis, please call the team today. There’s no obligation to proceed and we won’t put any pressure on you.

Contact Legal Helpline About Your Allergy Claim

Now that you’ve reached the end of our guide regarding allergic reaction compensation claims, we hope you’re ready to start your claim. If that’s the case, and you’d like Legal Helpline to assist you, here are the best ways to contact us:

When you contact us to discuss your allergy reaction claim, we’ll assess your claim on a no obligation basis. Our advisors will also provide free advice if you require any further evidence to support your claim. Finally, should your case prove strong enough, you could be connected with one of our panel of personal injury lawyers. If they take your case on, it will always be on a no win no fee basis.

Supporting Information

Thanks for reading our guide about claiming for an allergic reaction to Milk. Please take a look at the following guides and resources which you may find useful:

Milk Allergy Or Intolerance Information – A guide from the NHS about how doctors test for a milk allergy or intolerance in babies.

Food Safety Advice – This government portal provides loads of information about how to stay safe when buying, cooking and eating food.

Milk And Milk Products – Hygiene standards advice regarding milk products from the Food Standards Agency.

Nut Allergy Claims – Information on when you could claim compensation for an allergic reaction to nuts.

Holiday Accident Claims – Our guide to claiming compensation for holiday injuries or illnesses, which could include an allergic reaction to milk.

Supermarket Personal Injury Claims – Finally, this guide explains when you can claim for negligence in a supermarket that caused you to suffer.

Article by Brett