What Is A Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim?

This guide looks at how you could be eligible to make a depression data breach compensation claim. A data breach is a security incident that can have a number of different effects on you. These repercussions could be financial, but a breach could also impact your mental health.


Depression data breach claims guide

The anguish and aggravation caused by a data breach security incident can be acute. In this guide, we will discuss how you can seek compensation for the harm you have suffered as the result of a breach caused by wrongful conduct.

If you would like to learn more about starting a claim, please:

  • Call us for a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim on 020 3870 4868
  • Contact us online
  • Access immediate free legal help through our live support to the bottom of this page

Select A Section

  1. When Could You Make A Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim?
  2. What Are Your Rights If Your Data Has Been Breached?
  3. What Cpuld The Mental Health Impacts Of A Data Breach Be?
  4. How To Claim Data Breach Compensation
  5. What Depression Data Breach Compensation Could You Be Awarded?
  6. Start Your Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim

When Could You Make A Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim?

Before we look at how to specifically make a depression data breach compensation claim, it’s important to understand what laws outline data protection in the UK. The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) runs alongside the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), and these define personal data as information that could be used to identify you, either alone or when combined with other information. For example, this could include your name, phone number, or email address.

The data protection laws are enforced by an independent organisation called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). They can investigate and issue fines against any company, organisation or agency that fails to properly adhere to 7 core principles of data processing.

Data processing must also meet one of the 6 lawful bases for data processing. At the outset of a depression data breach compensation claim, it will be essential to show that the other party failed to protect your data, either through human error or failure to keep cybersecurity systems up to date.

A data breach is defined as a security incident whereby the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data is affected. Breaches can be accidental or done deliberately.

To find out if you could have a valid data breach depression claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Depression Caused By A Data Breach – What Is It?

Depression is a mental health condition causing symptoms such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness or despair. It can vary greatly in severity from mild unhappiness to persistent thoughts of suicide.

A data breach can create a sense of invasion and violation, which can, in turn, lead to psychological harm such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  If you have suffered harm as a result of a personal data breach claim, contact our advisors today. They can offer free legal advice and further help surrounding your claim.

What Are Your Rights If Your Data Has Been Breached?

Data protection laws offer you certain data subject rights and must be adhered to by any organisation that processes your personal data. An organisation that decides how your personal data should be processed is a data controller. A data processor processes personal data on behalf of a controller.

If you can provide evidence to show that the wrongful conduct of the organisation processing your data caused a breach, which in turn caused you harm, you could have grounds to seek compensation from those responsible. 

You cannot claim just because a breach occurred. It must be the fault of the organisation that was supposed to protect your personal data. If they took all appropriate steps to stop a breach from happening, but your data was affected despite this, then you would not be able to claim.

There is a time limit for starting a depression data breach compensation claim of 6 years. However, this limit is 1 year when claiming against a public body. Contact our advisors today to learn more about claiming.

What Could The Mental Health Impacts Of A Data Breach Be?

The mental health issues that can arise after a breach of your personal data could include:

To find out more about how you can make a claim for depression after a data breach, contact our team.

How To Claim Data Breach Compensation

Below is a compilation of possible steps you could take to make a depression data breach compensation claim:

  • Complain to the organisation directly that breached your data. Organisations have a legal obligation to report a data breach to the ICO in within 72 hours if it impacts the rights and freedoms of the data subject, and must inform you without undue delay.
  • Raise a complaint with the ICO. Please be aware that the ICO does not pay compensation. However, they can choose to impose a fine on organisations found to be in breach of data protection law.  Furthermore, if they choose to investigate your case and decide in your favour, this could support a potential claim.
  • Start to pull together as much documented evidence as you can to prove that you suffered financial or emotional harm. This can include any medical records that prove the level of damage to your mental health.

We also recommend that you seek legal advice to guide you through your claim. Get in touch with our advisors today to find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you.

What Depression Data Breach Compensation Could You Be Awarded?

There are two types of damages that may apply in your data breach case. Material damages relate to the financial losses that you have suffered due to a personal data breach. The proof you could provide might include: 

  • Bank statements showing theft from your account
  • Counselling costs for the stress or depression
  • The cost of moving house if this is necessary

Depression Data Breach Compensation – Non-Material Damages

Non-material damages refer to the psychiatric and mental health impacts that you suffered because of the data breach. Following the ruling of Vidal-hall & Others V Google Inc. (2015) it was agreed there is no requirement for you to have suffered material damages in order to claim for non-material damages.

The 2022 edition of the  Judicial College Guidelines outlines the current guideline amounts for psychiatric harm and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We’ve included these in the table below:

Description of Mental Harm JC Guideline Award Amounts and Degree of Severity Notes
Psychiatric Damage Generally £54,830 to £115,730 – (a) Severest Degree Notable issues with relationships, work and education with a poor future prognosis
Psychiatric Damage Generally £19,070 to £54,830 – (b) Moderately to Severe Degree

Better prognosis than bracket above but still representative of a long-standing disability
Psychiatric Damage Generally £5,860 to £19,070 – (c) Moderate Degree

Similar degrees of the issues in the brackets above but an improved condition by the time the case could possibly go to trial
Psychiatric Damage Generally £1,540 to £5,860 – (d) Less Severe Degree

This bracket looks at the length of disability caused and the creation of a specific anxiety disorder or phobia
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £59,860 to £100,670 – (a) Severe Degree Permanent and severe impact that radically alters the person’s life in all areas
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £23,150 to £59,860 – (b) Moderately Severe Degree Still a significant and long-standing impact that may improve with professional counselling
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £8,180 to £23,150 – (c) Moderate Degree An overall recovery with remaining symptoms being bearable
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £3,950 to £8,180 – (d) Less Severe Degree This bracket is reflective of PTSD that resolves within a 12 – 24 month period leaving only minor symptoms after this period.

Our advisors can give you more information, including a free estimation of the value of your claim. Furthermore, they might be able to connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Start Your Depression Data Breach Compensation Claim

Data breach claims can be complex and require detailed attention. With this in mind, you may feel that professional help is a good option.

A No Win No Fee agreement offers a way to fund legal representation. When a data breach specialist works with you under an arrangement like this (also called Conditional Fee Agreements) there are immediate benefits, such as no upfront fees and nothing to pay as they work on your claim.

A successful outcome will mean that you pay a maximum 25% deduction from your settlement payout if the claim is a success. If you’re not awarded compensation, then you don’t pay for their services.

Why not get in touch with our team to see whether we could connect you with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor? You can:

  • Call us about your depression data breach compensation on 020 3870 4868
  • Contact us online
  • Get free legal help through our live support option below

Learn More About The Mental Health Effects Of Data Breach

In conclusion, as well as details on depression data breach compensation claims, the links below offer further reading on this topic:

Or, for more helpful information:

If you have any more questions about making a data breach depression claim, contact our advisors today.

Written by JW

Edited by FS/CH