Welcome to this guide which answers the question of ‘How long do I have to make a data breach claim in the UK?’ In today’s digital age, the threat of data breaches has become a growing concern for both individuals and businesses alike. A data breach occurs when sensitive information, such as personal details or financial data, is accessed, stolen, or exposed by unauthorised parties. If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation in the UK.
However, it’s crucial to act quickly as there is a time limit for making a data breach claim. This time limit is known as the “limitation period,” which exists to ensure that claims are brought forward within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to make a claim within the limitation period can result in the claim being time-barred, meaning you will lose your right to claim compensation.
If you’re wondering how long you have to make a data breach claim in the UK, then this guide is for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about the limitation period for making data breach claims. We’ll explain how long you have to make a claim, the factors that can affect this time frame, and what steps you need to take to make a successful claim.
Don’t wait any longer. Get in touch with one of our expert advisors today to find out how long you could have to claim and how we can assist you in starting your data breach claim.
What Is A Data Breach?
A data breach occurs when there is an unauthorised or unlawful access, use, or disclosure of personal information. This can happen due to a cyber attack, a lost or stolen device, or simply due to human error. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing data protection laws, including the Data Protection Act 2018.
To have a valid data breach claim, you must meet certain criteria. Firstly, you must have suffered harm as a result of the exposure of your personal data. This harm can take many forms, including financial loss, emotional distress, or damage to your reputation. Secondly, the organisation that holds your data must have acted wrongfully. This could include failing to take appropriate security measures to protect your data or failing to notify you of a breach in a timely manner.
It’s worth noting that not all data breaches will give rise to a valid claim. For example, if no harm has been suffered or if the organisation can demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to protect your data, then you may not have a valid claim.
If you’re unsure whether you have a valid claim, it’s always best to seek expert legal advice. Experienced advisors from our team can review your case and advise you on your legal rights. They could connect eligible claimants with data breach solicitors who could take their claim forward under a No Win No Fee agreement.
Finally, it’s important to be aware that there are time limits for making a data breach claim. We’ll discuss these time limits in the next sections, so be sure to read on.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK? – Why Limitation Periods Exist
Time limits exist in data breach claims to ensure that claims are brought forward within a reasonable period of time. The limitation period for making a data breach claim is generally six years from the date of the breach.
There are several reasons why time limits are in place. Firstly, it ensures that claims are brought forward while the evidence is still fresh, and witnesses’ memories are still reliable. This can improve the chances of a successful outcome.
Secondly, time limits help to ensure that claims are dealt with in a timely manner, reducing the burden on the legal system and the organisation responsible for the breach.
Finally, time limits provide certainty and finality for both the claimant and the defendant. After the limitation period has expired, the claimant loses their right to bring a claim, and the defendant can be sure that they will not face any further legal action.
It’s important to be aware of the time limits for making a data breach claim, as failure to bring a claim within the limitation period can result in your claim being time-barred. However, there are certain circumstances in which the limitation period can be extended and some where it may be shorter.
What Is The Limitation Act?
The Limitation Act 1980 is a piece of UK legislation that sets out time limits for bringing legal claims. The Act governs the time limits for a wide range of legal claims, including data breach claims, personal injury claims, and breach of contract claims.
The purpose of the Limitation Act is to provide certainty and finality for both claimants and defendants. By setting time limits for bringing claims, the Act ensures that claims are brought forward within a reasonable period of time, while also ensuring that defendants are not subject to legal action indefinitely.
It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you have a valid data breach claim, as the limitation period for bringing a claim can expire quickly.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK If The Claim Involves Human Rights Or Public Bodies?
The time limit for bringing a data breach claim in the UK can be impacted by several factors, including the type of organisation responsible for the breach and the nature of the harm suffered.
Claims against public bodies, such as government agencies or local authorities, can be subject to different time limits.
Similarly, claims involving a breach of human rights can also be subject to different time limits. In some cases, a claimant may be able to bring a claim up to one year after the breach occurred.
If you’re unsure about the time limit for bringing a data breach claim, or if your claim is subject to different time limits, it’s important to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our panel of experienced data breach solicitors can advise you on the best course of action and help you to bring a successful claim.
What Compensation Could I Claim For A Data Breach?
In a data breach claim, claimants may be able to claim several types of damages, including financial losses, non-financial losses, and compensation for any distress or inconvenience suffered as a result of the breach.
Financial losses can include direct financial losses, such as losses incurred from fraudulent transactions, as well as indirect losses, such as loss of earnings or damage to credit ratings.
Non-financial losses can include distress, anxiety, or loss of privacy.The Judicial College Guidelines have provided rough guidance for the amounts that may be awarded for general psychological injuries in data breach cases. You can see these below.
- Severe Psychological Injuries – £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately Severe Psychological Injuries – £19,070 to £54,83
- Moderate Psychological Injuries – £5,860 to £19,070
- Less Severe Psychological Injuries – £1,540 to £5,860
It’s important to note that these guidelines are only rough guides and are not legally binding. The amount of damages awarded will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the extent of the harm suffered.
If you believe you have a valid data breach claim, it’s important to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our panel of experienced data breach solicitors can advise you on the damages that may be claimable in your case and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Make A Data Breach Claim With Under A No Win No Fee Agreement?
If you have suffered harm as a result of a data breach, you may be able to make a No Win No Fee claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA is an agreement between you and your solicitor that means you only pay for their work if your claim is successful.
To make a No Win No Fee data breach claim, you will need to find a solicitor who offers this type of agreement. We work with a panel of experienced data breach solicitors who offer such agreements for eligible cases.
To get started, you can contact one of our advisors who will assess your eligibility and connect you with a solicitor from our panel who can help with your case. Your solicitor will work with you to gather evidence, prepare your case, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
If you’re concerned about the cost of making a data breach claim, a No Win No Fee agreement could be the solution you need. Get in touch with us today to see if you’re eligible and take the first step towards getting the compensation you deserve.
Further Insight Into How Long You Have To Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK
Hopefully, we’ve now answered the question of ‘How long do I have to make a data breach in the UK?’. Here, you’ll find some more useful links.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – Data breaches and fines.
Ministry of Justice – Limitation periods.
National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – Reporting cyber incidents.
Data Breach FAQs – Gain further insight into data breach claims.
What Is A Data Breach Claim? – A general guide.
A Guide To Password Data Breach Claims – Learn about data breaches involving passwords.