Medical Records Gone Missing, Can I Make A Data Breach Claim?
If your medical records are missing, this could lead to significant negative consequences, and you may be wondering if you could claim.
The personal data of UK residents is protected by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA). If an organisation loses your medical records by failing to adhere to this legislation, and you suffer harm as a result, this could become the basis of a claim for data breach compensation.
Our advisors can help if you have any further questions about making a claim if your medical records are missing. They can offer free legal advice, and they can also evaluate your claim during a free consultation and let you know if you could be eligible for assistance from our panel of solicitors. To learn more:
Select A Section:
- What Is A Medical Records Gone Missing Data Breach?
- How Could Medical Records Go Missing?
- What Are The Dangers Of Medical Records Going Missing?
- Types Of Patient Records And Data
- My Medical Records Went Missing, How Much Could I Claim?
- Claim With A No Win No Fee Agreement
A data breach is a security incident that includes the accidental or unlawful destruction, alteration, loss, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This means any information that can identify you or can be used with other details to identify you. For example, your name is an example of personal data, as is your email address.
This also includes special category data. This is a kind of personal data that, due to its sensitive nature, requires extra protection. Special category data that could be included in your medical records can include:
- Health information, including your medical records
- Your sexuality
- Your racial or ethnic origin
- Your religious or philosophical beliefs
Data controllers and data processors must adhere to legislation in order to protect this data. Controllers decide how to use your personal data, and why it is necessary. Then, a data processor processes this information.
If your personal data goes missing, this could result in a significant amount of stress. To learn more about claiming, get in touch today.
There are many ways that a data breach of your medical records could occur, ranging from human error to criminal intent. However, in order to form a valid claim, the breach must be a result of the controller or processor’s failings. You must also suffer harm because of the breach.
Keeping these criteria in mind, some examples of how your medical records could go missing include:
- Stolen or lost paperwork is one example of your medical records to be lost.
- If your medical records are stored on a lost or stolen device, this could result in a personal data breach claim.
- If your medical records are emailed to the wrong email address, this could allow them to go missing.
These are only a few examples of how your medical records could go missing. If your case meets the criteria set out by the UK GDPR, you may be able to claim compensation. Get in touch with our advisors today to learn more.
Who Could Have Access To Your Medical Records?
There are many different circumstances under which someone may have access to your medical records, both in and out of the medical profession. For example:
- Your GP
- An administrator working for a hospital
- Somebody working in the billing department of a private healthcare facility
- Your dentist
- A doctor or nurse at a hospital or clinic
- Your employer
- A solicitor
- A judge
- Legal clerks and paralegals
In all of these cases, your personal data must be handled in accordance with the UK GDPR and the DPA.
If your medical records are lost, this could lead to you suffering long-lasting and significant negative consequences.
For example, since your medical records contain such sensitive information, the loss of these records could result in significant psychological damage. This can include PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Similarly, if you already suffer from a mental health condition, a personal data breach of your medical records could exacerbate your symptoms.
However, a personal data breach can also affect your finances. If the breach causes psychological injuries, you may need to take time away from work in order to recover. This could lead to a loss of earnings. Or, your personal data could be used to commit identity fraud. In this case, you may find debt accrued in your name or money withdrawn from your bank account.
If your medical records go missing, this could lead to a number of negative consequences. Get in touch with our advisors today to find out how you could start your claim.
You may be wondering what counts as patient records and what data is protected under legislation. As we have already mentioned, all personal data is protected by the UK GDPR and the DPA. This includes personal data that is stored in:
- GP records
- Handwritten notes or electronically generated notes stored in your medical file
- Prescriptions and notes made by a chemist
- Scanned images such as MRI scans or X-rays
- Test results, such as blood tests or urine tests
- Documents you have signed, such as a letter of consent or a Do Not Resuscitate order
If any of this information could be used to identify you, or if it contains your personal data, then it must be handled in accordance with the UK GDPR and the DPA. If it isn’t, and this causes you to suffer harm, you could be eligible to make a claim.
If your medical records went missing, you may be wondering how much you could claim. A successful data breach claim consists of two heads of compensation. These are material damage compensation and non-material damage compensation.
Material damage is the harm done to your finances by the data breach. For example, if a criminal uses your data to commit identity fraud, and this leaves you in debt, you could be compensated for this with material damage compensation.
Non-material damage compensation addresses the harm the breach does to your mental health. This includes suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that assists legal professionals when they value claims. This is because it offers guideline compensation amounts.
The table below uses JCG figures for non-material damage to give you a broad idea of what you could potentially receive following a successful claim. However, please note that these figures are not guarantees, and the actual compensation you could receive may differ.
|Psychological Damage||Severity Level||More Information||Possible Damages|
|Mental Harm||Severe||Symptoms cause severe issues in coping with daily life, and the prognosis is very poor.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Mental Harm||Moderately Severe Severe||Symptoms are similar to the bracket above, though the prognosis is better.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Mental Harm||Moderate||Despite mental health issues initially, symptoms improve, and the prognosis for a full recovery is good.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Mental Harm||Less Severe||Injury duration and its severity will determine the compensation awarded.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|PTSD||Severe||All aspects of life are affected, and there is no remaining ability to function or work as they would have before trauma.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|PTSD||Moderately Severe||With professional treatment, there is some outlook for recovery.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|PTSD||Moderate||A large recovery takes place within this bracket, and the remaining symptoms are not grossly disabling.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|PTSD||Less Severe||Within 2 years a virtually full recovery will take place, with the only remaining symptoms being minor.||£3,950 to £8,180|
For more information on making a compensation claim if your medical records go missing, get in touch with our advisors today.
In some cases, it could be possible to make a data breach claim using a No Win No Fee solicitor. This typically means that, with an arrangement such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), your solicitor will not request any upfront fees to start working on your case. Similarly, you will not pay a fee unless your claim succeeds. In this case, your solicitor will take a success fee directly from your compensation.
If your medical records have gone missing, get in touch with our team today. They can provide free legal advice, and they could potentially connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
Medical And Healthcare Data Protection Resources
For more personal data breach guides:
- How To Deal With A Data Protection Breach?
- Can I Claim Compensation For Anxiety After A Data Breach?
- What Is A Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim?
- My Medical Records Went Missing – Could I Claim Data Breach Compensation?
Or, to access further resources:
For more information on claiming when your medical records are missing, contact our team of advisors today.
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