This article discusses how to claim compensation after a county council data breach. If your personal information was mishandled by a local authority in a way that caused you harm, you may be entitled to compensation.
County councils need to collect and process a wide amount of personal data which relates to the users and residents in that borough. Our informative guide will explain what constitutes a personal data breach, as well as who can claim.
We will also discuss some examples of potential data breaches, as well as the evidence that you could collect in order to strengthen your claim.
Read on to learn more about claiming for a county council data breach, or get in touch with our advisors today. They can answer any further questions you may have and can provide free legal advice. To learn more:
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Claiming For A County Council Data Breach
- Examples Of A County Council Data Breach
- What Evidence Can Help You In A County Council Data Breach Claim?
- What Data Breach Payout Could You Receive From A Claim?
- Why Claim For A Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Learn More About What Constitutes A Data Breach
Personal data is protected for UK citizens under two pieces of legislation. These are the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) as well as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). An independent body called the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) enforces this legislation.
Personal data is any information that, alone or with other details, could identify you as a living person. This also includes special category data, which is information that is more sensitive. For example, your trade union membership status and your sexuality are both examples of special category data. If a security incident affects the availability, confidentiality, or integrity of this data, then this is a personal data breach.
All data controllers and processors must follow data protection legislation. A data controller decides how and why to use your data, and they are also responsible for establishing a lawful basis to do so. A data processor then processes the data on the controller’s behalf.
Read on to learn more about making a county council data breach, or contact our advisors for more information.
Not every personal data breach can become a successful claim. This is because your claim must meet the criteria laid out by the UK GDPR, which include:
- Your personal data must be included in the breach
- The data breach must be a result of wrongful conduct by the data controller or processor
- You must experience emotional or financial harm because of the breach
With this in mind, a county council data could happen in a number of different ways. Such as:
- When an email or fax containing personal data is sent to the wrong person or address
- A social services employee verbally discloses personal data from your records
- Council tax bills that contain your tax information are sent to the wrong postal address
If you would like to find out whether your claim could be valid, get in touch with our advisors today.
If you are interested in making a county council data breach claim, collecting evidence can help you strengthen your case. You can do this alone, or with the help of a data breach solicitor. We will discuss how one our solicitors could help you with your claim further on in this guide.
Some examples of evidence that you could use to strengthen your claim include:
- Correspondence with the organisation at fault or the ICO that confirms the breach occurred
- Medical records demonstrating any medical conditions caused by the breach, such as anxiety or depression
- Evidence of financial harm, such as bills, invoices, or credit scores
You must also ensure that your claim is started within the time limit. Generally, this is six years for a personal data breach, though this falls to one year if you intend to make your claim against a public body.
To learn more about how one of our solicitores could help you with your claim, get in touch with our advisors.
There are two areas of harm that you could receive compensation for if you make a successful personal data breach claim. These are material damage, and non-material damage. Non-material damage is the emotional harm you suffer as a result of the breach. Compensation for non-material damage could cover psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
The table below comes from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document that provides guideline brackets of compensation. This helps solicitors and other legal professionals value claims.
|Type of Mental Injury||Description||JC Guideline Award Bracket|
|Psychological & Psychiatric General Injury||Marked problems in all areas of life, such as work and personal relationships. A poor future prognosis.||(a) Severe - £54,830 to £115,730|
|Psychological & Psychiatric General Injury||A better outlook than the bracket above but still representative of a serious and long-standing disability||(b) Moderately Severe -£19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychological & Psychiatric General Injury||A marked improvement is seen in symptoms by the time of trial.||(c) Moderate - £5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychological & Psychiatric General Injury||This award bracket reflects the length of the disability and the effect it has on activities such as sleep.||(d) Less Severe - £1,540 to £5,860|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Permanent impact that prevents the person from living life or working at anywhere near the level prior to trauma.||(a) Severe - £59,860 to £100,670|
|PTSD||There is a better prognosis than the case above due to a level of recovery that can be achieved with professional treatment.||(b) Moderately Severe -£23,150 to £59,860|
|PTSD||Largely a recovery with persisting issues not being grossly disabling||(c) Moderate - £8,180 to £23,150|
|PTSD||Virtually a full recovery within a 24-month period and any persisting issues being minor.||(d) Less Severe - £3,950 to £8,180|
Please be aware that these figures are guidelines only. The actual amount of compensation you may receive could differ from the figures shown above.
Material Damage Compensation In A Data Breach Claim
As well as compensation for the emotional distress caused, you could be eligible to claim material damage compensation. This covers the financial impacts of the breach. For example, if a breach allows criminals to steal your financial details and steal money from your account, damage your credit score or make fraudulent purchases on your credit card and debit card, this could be recouped under material damage compensation.
Seeking compensation for a county council data breach may be something you feel more comfortable approaching with legal help. If so, a No Win No Fee agreement such as a Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) could help you access expert legal help, generally without paying any upfront fees or ongoing costs toy our solicitor.
Typically, the only fee your solicitor will take is a success fee following a claim that succeeds. Your solicitor will take this fee from your compensation as a small percentage with a legal cap. However, claimants who do not succeed typically do not pay their solicitor for their work.
We Offer Free Legal Advice – See If You Can Make A Data Breach Claim Today
Our advisors are here to help if you have any further questions regarding a county council data breach claim. They can offer free legal advice, and they can help you identify if you have a valid claim through a free consultation. If your claim is valid, they may then put you in contact with one of our expert solicitors.
To learn more, get in touch:
For more helpful articles:
- Estimating compensation for children in care data breach claims
- How to make a claim for a payroll data breach
- Potential payouts for a mortgage broker data breach
Or, for more resources:
If you have more questions about making a county council data breach claim, contact our team.
Writer Jeff Wilders
Editor Cat Hunt