Losing your medical records is a serious breach of your privacy and can have severe consequences. Suppose the data breach involving a loss of medical records occurs due to the wrongful actions of a medical provider or third-party data provider. In that case, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the loss of the medical records, for the harm caused.
This guide will provide you with valuable information on the criteria a claim must meet to be valid, the evidence required to support your case, and how a loss of medical records could impact someone. We will also discuss how an advisor could provide you with a free case check and connect you with a data breach solicitor to make a No Win No Fee data breach claim if appropriate.
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Can I Claim Compensation For Loss Of Medical Records?
In today’s world, medical records are typically stored electronically, and the loss of such information could result in identity theft, financial loss, emotional distress, and potential harm to your health. These are all serious issues that can have long-term consequences for an individual.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a loss of medical records, you should consider seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in data breach claims. They can help you determine if you have a valid claim and support you in seeking compensation for any harm caused.
This following sections will provide you with the necessary information to understand your legal rights, the evidence required to support your claim, and how to proceed with a data breach solicitor. With this knowledge, you can seek the compensation you are entitled to and move forward with peace of mind.
How Could A Loss Of Medical Records Occur?
Medical records are crucial documents that contain sensitive information about a patient’s health history, diagnosis, treatment plans, and medication. A loss of these records could result in serious harm to patients, including delayed treatment, misdiagnosis, and even death. There are several ways in which medical records could be lost, including wrongful actions by medical service providers and third-party data service providers.
Medical service providers, such as hospitals and clinics, could act wrongfully by failing to implement adequate security measures to protect medical records. This could include inadequate employee training, insufficient encryption, and lack of backup systems. Additionally, healthcare providers could also accidentally delete or misplace records, resulting in a loss of information.
Third-party data service providers, such as cloud-based storage companies, could also be responsible for the loss of medical records. If they fail to implement proper security measures, or if their systems are hacked, medical records could be lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorised parties.
If the loss of medical records causes harm, and it is deemed that the organisation breached its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 2018 by acting wrongfully, patients could potentially claim compensation. This would require proving that the organisation failed to protect the patient’s personal data, resulting in harm, and that the harm suffered was a direct result of the organisation’s actions. The compensation awarded would depend on the extent of the harm suffered and the severity of the breach.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For A Loss Of Medical Records
In the UK, the time limit for bringing a claim for harm caused by the loss of medical records would depend on the type of claim being made and the specific circumstances of the case.
If the claim is being made under the Data Protection Act 2018, which provides individuals with the right to compensation for damages suffered as a result of a breach of the Act, the time limit for bringing a claim is generally six years from the date of the breach in accordance with the Limitation Act 1980. However, this time limit can be extended in certain circumstances, such as if the claimant was not aware of the breach until a later date. Or, if it involves a public body, it could be shorter.
It would be wise to consider seeking advice on how long you could have to claim. Our advisors could help with this.
How Could Lost Medical Records Impact A Person?
The loss of medical records can have a significant impact on a person’s life and health. Medical records contain crucial information about a person’s health history, including their medical conditions, treatments, and medications. Without this information, healthcare providers may not be able to provide adequate care, leading to delayed treatment, misdiagnosis, or even further health complications.
The loss of medical records can also have psychological impacts on a person. It can cause anxiety, stress, and uncertainty about their health and treatment options. Furthermore, lost medical records may result in a breach of privacy, as personal and sensitive information is no longer protected.
In addition, it could cause financial loss. If medical records fall into the wrong hands, financial information could be exposed. This could lead to identity fraud or theft.
Overall, the loss of medical records can have far-reaching consequences for a person’s health, finances, and emotional wellbeing. It is important for healthcare providers to take adequate measures to protect medical records and ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
The ICO and Healthcare Data Loss
The ICO provides some insight into issues within community healthcare schemes, from audits and investigations it has undertaken. It revealed in a report that breaches in paper-based information are often due to the loss or misplacement of patient files, failure to dispose of old records, or inability to locate current records. Loss or misplacement of patient files often occurs in public spaces such as public transport, streets, or shops. Other breaches in paper-based information are due to employee errors such as sending letters to the wrong address or faxing to the wrong number. Physical damage to paper records stores is rare.
What Damages Could A Person Claim In Compensation For Loss Of Medical Records
A person who has lost their medical records may be able to claim compensation for various damages, both material and non-material.
Material damages refer to the actual financial losses suffered by the person as a result of the loss of their medical records. These may include the costs of replacing the records, any medical expenses incurred as a result of the loss, and any income lost due to the inability to work or carry out certain activities as a result of the loss.
Non-material damages, on the other hand, refer to the emotional or psychological harm caused by the loss of medical records. These may include feelings of distress, anxiety, or humiliation, particularly if the loss of the records results in the person being unable to access vital medical treatment. The person may also suffer from a loss of privacy or a sense of violation if the records are lost due to the negligence of a healthcare provider.
Calculating Non-Material Compensation
The Judicial College Guidelines offer an estimated range of compensation for psychological injuries, which varies depending on the severity of the harm. This range falls between £1,540 and £115,730. However, it’s important to note that these figures are not conclusive and serve only as a rough outline for appropriate compensation amounts for different levels of psychological damage. In reality, the actual compensation amount awarded in a data breach claim can vary significantly based on the specific circumstances of each case. Please contact an advisor to obtain a rough idea of how much you could claim.
No Win No Fee Medical Records Data Breach Claims
Many individuals choose to hire solicitors to represent them in making data breach claims. Solicitors can provide professional expertise and guidance throughout the claims process, giving claimants the best chance of securing a fair compensation payout.
One popular approach to paying solicitors for their services is through conditional fee agreements, also known as No Win No Fee arrangements. This approach involves the solicitor and client agreeing on a fee structure that only requires payment if the claim is successful. In other words, if the claim is unsuccessful, the client doesn’t owe anything to the solicitor.
These agreements offer peace of mind to those who might be hesitant to pursue a claim due to the fear of incurring legal costs.
If you think you might have a valid case for compensation for the loss of your medical records, you can speak to an advisor who can assess your case to determine if a conditional fee agreement is suitable. If so, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel to help you start your claim.
Further Insight Into Compensation For The Loss Of Medical Records
Medical Data Breach – This guide explains medical data breaches in more detail.
Hospital Data Breach – Learn more about claiming against a hospital for a data breach.
Data Breach Compensation – Our general guide to making data breach claims can be found here.
Data Security Incident Trends – Insight from the ICO as to what number of data security incidents they have been informed of.
NHS Data Protection – Details from the NHS about protecting patient data.
Be Data Aware – Learn more about being aware of how your data is used.