Data Protection Breach Of Illness – Can I Claim Compensation?
In this guide, we will explore if you can make a claim following a data protection breach of illness. Data breaches of medical records can put you at financial and personal risk, leading to a multitude of issues. We will explain who could be eligible to make a personal data breach claim and highlight how much compensation a claim could be worth.
Whether the data breach was accidental or deliberate, you may be eligible to make a claim. You could work with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis to seek compensation. This guide will highlight the benefits of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
To learn more, continue with this guide. Alternatively, you can reach out to our advisors with any questions you may have regarding a claim you would like to make for a data protection breach of illness.
- Call us at 020 3870 4868
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Select A Section
- What Is A Data Protection Breach Of Illness?
- Types Of Breaches Of Illness Data
- Who Could You Make A Data Breach Claim Against?
- What Evidence Could Support My Data Breach Claim?
- What Compensation Can I Get For A Data Breach?
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Data Protection Breach Of Illness
A personal data breach involves security incidents which lead to accidental or unlawful alteration, destruction, loss, stolen, unauthorised access or disclosure of personal data. This can include any information that can identify you, such as your date of birth, NHS number or ethnic origin. Data breaches can be both deliberate and accidental through physical and cyber means.
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) are data protection legislation in place to protect UK residents’ personal data. They hold data processors and data controllers accountable when handling personal data.
Data controllers, who are often organisations and companies, decide how and why your data is processed. Data processors are organisations in charge of processing your data on behalf of the data controllers.
In order to make a data protection breach of illness claim, you will need to answer yes to the following questions:
- Did the data processor or data controller breach data protection laws?
- Therefore, was your personal data involved in a data breach?
- And did you suffer financial losses and /or emotional distress and psychological illness?
We will discuss these damages and examples of evidence you can provide to validate your case further in this guide.
A data protection breach of illness can occur through human error and cyber crimes. If medical staff are not trained on how to keep personal data safe, then human error could cause a patient’s personal data to be breached or leaked. Some examples of human error data breaches could include:
- Sending personal information to the wrong email address or wrong house address.
- Leaving filing cabinets left open that have files containing personal data in them
- Loss or theft of paperwork or electronic devices such as USBs containing medical test results
- Failing to update computer security systems makes it easy for criminals to break through firewalls and steal personal data.
Whether you’ve fallen victim to a data breach through human error or a criminal act, then in order to hold a valid claim, you must prove that your personal data was breached because those who were in charge of it did not comply with data protection laws. Both cyber and non-cyber breaches can be included in data breach compensation claims. Contact our advisors today for more support.
Data protection laws in terms of data breaches protect personal data. This can be data that can identify you, such as your name, address, and email address, but they also seek to keep secure a type of personal data that is much more sensitive such as your ethnic origin, political beliefs and health data. Lots of organisations will have access to this information. Below we have listed the data controllers who could process your personal health data.
- A pharmacy or chemist
- A dentist
- A hospital
- A care home
- Your GP
- Private healthcare providers
- A doctor
- A nurse
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent public body that holds companies accountable when in breach of data protection laws. The ICO can fine organisations that breach data protection legislation, but they do not provide data breach victims with compensation.
If you’re unsure about who was at fault for your breach of medical data, why not reach out to our advisors? We’re offering you free legal advice and a free case assessment.
In order to make a data protection breach of illness claim, you must be able to show how you have suffered financially and/or mentally. To show this, you can present evidence such as:
- Bank statements showing any financial impact
- Medical records showing the impact of the breach
- Notifications of the breach from the data controller
- Any correspondence with the ICO
If you discover the data protection breach of illness yourself, you should report it to the data controller as soon as possible. Ask them to confirm what personal information was breached, how it happened and what the steps are moving forward.
If the data controller doesn’t provide you with a satisfactory response, you can make a complaint to the ICO, who will then decide if they will investigate on your behalf. You cannot seek a settlement through the ICO. Due to this, you’re able to make a claim for compensation alongside the ICO investigation. Call our advisors for further advice.
You can claim two types of damages for a personal data breach. Material damage refers to the loss of possessions, including financial losses. Non-material damage relates to the psychological damages you sustained due to the breach of your personal data.
In the past, you could only claim non-material damage if you also claimed material damage. However, since the Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc (2015) case, you can claim psychological damages without needing to establish material damage.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) display compensation brackets for non-material damage that are often used by legal professionals to value claims. We’ve included some examples below that may be useful for your data protection breach of illness claim.
|Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)||£59,860 - £100,670||Permanent effects prevent the injured person from working or functioning as they did before sustaining the injury.|
|Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (b)||£23,150 - £59,860||Professional help can improve the prognosis, though significant disability continues for the foreseeable future.|
|Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (c)||£8,180 - £23,150||Any continuous effects are not disabling.|
|Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (d)||£3,950 - £8,180||Minor symptoms persist, but recovery can occur within one to two years.|
|Severe Psychiatric Damage (a)||£54,830 - £115,730||The injured person will suffer from future vulnerability alongside issues of maintaining relationships with family, friends and strangers.|
|Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage (b)||£19,070 - £54,830||The prognosis is improved though the injured person will encounter significant problems coping with education, work and overall life.|
|Moderate Psychiatric Damage (c)||£5,860 - £19,070||Injuries will still cause issues for overall life though there is marked improvement with a good prognosis.|
|Less Severe Psychiatric Damage (d)||£1,540 - £5,860||The extent of the effect on daily life will determine where the injured person lands in the compensation bracket.|
Please note that these figures are a guideline. Contact our advisors today for a more accurate estimation of what your claim could be worth.
You can work with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis for your data protection breach of illness claim. The benefits of this include:
- No upfront solicitor fees
- No fees for the duration of your claim
- No solicitor success fee at the end of an unsuccessful claim
You’re only required to pay your solicitor if you’re successful in receiving a settlement. In this case, your solicitor will take a success fee at a legally capped rate from your settlement total. All of the terms and conditions will be discussed with you before agreeing to claim.
To start the claims process, reach our team by:
Related Guides On Healthcare Data Breaches
You can see more relevant sources through the following links:
- Cyber security breach statistics can be viewed on the government website.
- See data breach guidance for individuals and families here.
- The ICO offers information for taking your case to court.
Thank you for reading our data protection breach of illness guide. We have more guides available for you to read here:
- Read about claiming stress due to a data breach.
- See our guide on failure to redact data breach claims.
- Can you sue on behalf of someone else? Our guide will explain how.
- What Compensation Could I Receive For A Liverpool Hospital Data Breach?