Welcome to this guide which answers the question of ‘What are the steps involved in making a data breach claim?’ If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, you may be entitled to compensation. A data breach can have a significant impact on your life, causing financial loss, emotional distress, and damage to your reputation. Personal data breaches can occur in various ways, such as cyber-attacks, phishing scams, human error, or negligence. Any organisation that processes personal data can potentially breach it, including healthcare providers, banks, retailers, insurers, and government agencies. However, data breaches can affect anyone, regardless of the size or sector of the organisation involved.
If you’re considering making a data breach claim, it’s essential to understand the process involved and the steps you need to take. Our guide will provide a comprehensive overview of how to make a data breach claim, from gathering evidence to seeking legal advice and negotiating a settlement. We’ll explain the legal basis for data breach claims under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, as well as the types of compensation you can seek.
Whether you’ve suffered financial loss, identity theft, or emotional distress due to a data breach, our guide will help you navigate the process and achieve a fair outcome. Read on to learn more and feel free to get in touch with any questions or to begin your claim.
What Is A Data Breach? Know Your Rights
In the UK, personal data is protected by the Data Protection Act 2018, which enshrines in UK law the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This legislation sets out the rights of individuals in relation to their personal data, including the right to have their data processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently. It also requires organisations that process personal data to take appropriate measures to ensure its security, confidentiality, and integrity.
A data breach occurs when personal data is accidentally or unlawfully destroyed, lost, altered, disclosed, or accessed by unauthorised parties. Data breaches can happen in various ways, including cyber-attacks, phishing scams, theft, human error, or negligence. For example, a data breach could occur if a company’s computer system is hacked, and customers’ personal details are stolen, or if an employee accidentally sends an email containing sensitive information to the wrong person.
If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation. To be eligible, you must show that you suffered harm or distress as a result of the breach, and that the organisation responsible for the breach breached its legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018/GDPR. This means that the organisation acted wrongfully, failing to take appropriate measures to prevent the breach or failing to inform you promptly and accurately about the breach.
It’s important to note that not all data breaches result in harm or distress, and not all breaches are eligible for compensation. However, if you believe that you have a valid claim, our guide will take you through the steps involved in making a data breach claim, from gathering evidence to seeking legal advice and negotiating a settlement.
What Are The Initial Steps Involved In Making A Data Breach Claim?
The first step in making a data breach claim is when you become aware that your personal data has been compromised. You might find out about the breach through a notification from the organisation responsible for the breach, or you might notice unusual activity on your accounts or receive unsolicited communications. It’s essential to take immediate action to minimise the damage by changing your passwords, monitoring your accounts, and reporting any suspicious activity.
Once you have taken the necessary steps to protect your personal data, you should start collecting evidence to support your claim. This may include any emails, letters, or other communications related to the breach, as well as any financial records or other evidence of harm or distress you have suffered. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of any conversations you have had with the organisation responsible for the breach, including the dates, times, and names of the people you spoke to.
If you believe that the breach was significant or that the organisation responsible for the breach failed to take appropriate measures to protect your personal data, you may also want to report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection, and it has the power to investigate and take enforcement action against organisations that breach data protection laws. However, it’s important to note that the ICO cannot provide compensation to individuals affected by data breaches.
Our guide will provide more detailed information on the steps involved in making a data breach claim, including how to assess your eligibility for compensation and how to seek legal advice. Stay tuned for the next section, which will cover how to gather evidence and prepare your claim.
What Are The Next Steps Involved In Making A Data Breach Claim?
Once you have reported the data breach and gathered evidence, the next step in making a data breach claim is to seek legal advice. An expert advisor can help you assess your eligibility for compensation and guide you through the process of making a claim. They can also advise you on the relevant limitation period for your claim, which is the time limit within which you must make a claim.
One of the benefits of working with an advisor is that they can connect you with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor. This means that you won’t have to pay any upfront fees to start your claim, and you won’t be liable for any legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful. Instead, your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation if your claim is successful.
Your solicitor will help you prepare and submit your claim, including drafting a letter of claim and gathering any additional evidence required. They will also negotiate with the organisation responsible for the breach on your behalf to secure the maximum amount of compensation available to you. In some cases, your solicitor may need to take your claim to court to achieve a fair settlement.
How To Calculate Compensation For A Data Breach Claim?
In the aftermath of a data breach, claimants may suffer a range of damages, including financial losses resulting from the breach such as identity theft or fraudulent transactions. Additionally, claimants may seek compensation for the non-material damages, such as distress or psychological injuries caused by the breach. These non-material damages can vary depending on the severity and nature of the breach.
To provide guidance on data breach compensation for psychological injuries, the Judicial College Guidelines offer a framework for determining the amount of compensation to be awarded to claimants based on the nature and severity of their injuries. The Guidelines outline a range of damages for different types of injuries, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, and the level of severity of these conditions.
For instance, a claimant who has suffered severe general psychological injury may be awarded between £54,830 and £115,730, while a claimant with moderately severe general psychological injury could receive between £19,070 to £54,830. A claimant with moderate general psychological injury could receive compensation between £5,860 and £19,070, while a claimant with less severe general psychological injury may be awarded between £1,540 to £5,860.
However, it’s important to note that these guidelines only provide a rough insight into the amount of compensation that may be awarded and each claim is assessed on its own individual merits.
It’s important to work with an expert advisor who can help you navigate the claims process and work with a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Explained
Now you know the steps involved in making a data breach claim, we can move on to explaining more about No Win No Fee Agreements.
No Win No Fee claims are a popular way of funding legal actions, especially in cases where a claimant might not be able to afford the legal fees.
A No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), is a contract between a client and their lawyer. Under this agreement, the lawyer agrees to provide legal representation to the client and will only receive payment if they win the case. If the case is unsuccessful, the lawyer will not receive any payment.
In a No Win No Fee arrangement, the lawyer’s fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the compensation awarded to the client, capped at a certain percentage by law. This fee is known as a success fee.
If you have suffered a data breach and you want to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an advisor. We can help you understand your options and provide answers to your questions.
Further Guidance Related To ‘What Are The Steps Involved In Making A Data Breach Claim?’
Can I Claim For Stress Due To A Data Breach? – Learn about claiming for stress after a data breach.
Try A Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Further guidance on calculating data breach compensation.
Data Breach Compensation – General guidance on data breach claims.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – Reporting a personal data breach
Financial Ombudsman Service – Data breaches:
UK Government – Data protection and your business: