With the increasing prevalence of data breaches, more and more people are becoming aware of their rights to seek compensation for damages resulting from such breaches. However, like with most compensation claims, there is a time limit attached to data breach compensation claims. This data breach compensation time limit varies depending on the specific circumstances of the breach.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a data breach, it is essential to understand whether you are eligible to claim compensation and what the compensation could look like. In this guide, we will explore who could be eligible to claim data breach compensation and the different types of compensation that may be available.
We will also explain how eligible claimants can make their claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which means that they will only have to pay legal fees if their claim is successful. Additionally, we will provide information on how to connect with a data breach solicitor from our panel should you be eligible to claim.
If you have been the victim of a data breach and believe that you may be entitled to compensation, it is crucial to act quickly. Contact us today via phone on 0800 408 7827, contact form or live chat, and our expert advisors will be happy to assist you in understanding your rights and taking the next steps towards making a claim.
What Is A Data Breach Claim?
A personal data breach occurs when someone’s personal information is accessed, destroyed, or altered without authorisation. This information can include anything from names and addresses to bank details and health information. Personal data breaches can happen in a variety of ways, such as hacking, theft, or accidental disclosure.
To be eligible to claim compensation for a data breach, you must have been a victim of the breach. This means that your personal data must have been accessed or disclosed without authorisation, and you must have suffered damage or distress as a result. Examples of damage or distress include financial loss, identity theft, or emotional distress.
In addition, the breach must have been caused by the data controller’s negligence or breach of their legal duty. This means that the data controller failed to take adequate measures to protect your personal data or did not respond appropriately to the breach.
How Can A Breach Of Data Protection Happen?
Personal data can be breached by a range of different organisations, including:
- Businesses – Any organisation that collects personal data from its customers or clients, such as banks, retailers, and healthcare providers, could potentially suffer a data breach.
- Government agencies – Government agencies that collect personal data, such as immigration offices, and social welfare departments, may also be at risk of a data breach.
- Educational institutions – Schools, colleges, and universities often hold a large amount of personal data about their students, including sensitive information such as medical records, which could be targeted by hackers.
- Non-profit organisations – Even non-profit organisations may hold personal data about their donors, volunteers, or service users, making them a potential target for data breaches.
If personal data is breached, it can have a significant impact on the individual affected. This can include:
- Identity theft – If personal data such as name, address, and National Insurance number is stolen, it can be used to steal the individual’s identity and commit fraud.
- Financial losses – If credit card or bank account details are stolen, the individual may suffer financial losses as a result of unauthorised transactions.
- Emotional distress – The knowledge that personal data has been breached can cause significant emotional distress after a data breach, particularly if the individual is worried about the potential consequences.
- Reputational damage – If personal information is leaked, it can cause reputational damage to the individual if the information is embarrassing or sensitive in nature.
It’s important for organisations to take measures to protect personal data and prevent breaches from occurring.
What Is the Data Breach Compensation Claims Time Limit in General?
In general, there is a limitation period of six years for making a data breach compensation claim. This means that you typically have six years from the date of the breach to make a claim. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
It’s always best to act quickly if you believe you have a claim, as it can take time to gather evidence and build a case.
What Legislation Dictates The Data Breach Compensation Time Limit?
The act that limits how long you have to claim data breach compensation is the Limitation Act 1980. This act sets out the time limit for making a compensation claim for a data breach, which is generally six years from the date of the breach.
Are There Any Exceptions To The Data Breach Compensation Time Limit?
There are some exceptions to the data breach claims time limit that may apply to claims made under the Human Rights Act or against public bodies. For example, in certain circumstances, the time limit for bringing a claim against a public body may be shorter than the standard six-year period. Additionally, claims under the Human Rights Act may be subject to different time limits depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
It’s important to note that these are just examples of potential exceptions to the standard time limit for data breach claims, and that each case will be unique. If you believe you have a claim and are unsure about the time limit that applies, it’s always best to speak to an advisor who can provide clarification based on the specific details of your case.
What Damages Could I Receive When Claiming Compensation?
f you have been a victim of a data breach, you may be entitled to claim damages as part of a compensation claim. The damages that could be claimable in a data breach compensation claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, but may include:
- Financial losses – If your personal information has been used fraudulently, you may be able to claim for any financial losses you have suffered as a result.
- Distress – If the breach has caused you significant emotional distress, you may be able to claim compensation for this.
- Loss of privacy – If your personal information has been accessed or disclosed without your consent, you may be able to claim for any loss of privacy you have experienced.
It’s important to note that the specific damages that may be claimable in a data breach compensation claim will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. An experienced solicitor can help you understand your rights and determine what damages you may be entitled to claim.
How Much Could I Receive?
The Judicial College Guidelines are a set of guidelines that could help determine the appropriate level of compensation for non-material damages in personal injury claims. While these guidelines are not specifically tailored to data breach claims, they can still provide a rough insight into the level of compensation that may be awarded for non-material damages, such as emotional distress or loss of privacy, in a data breach compensation claim.
For example, the guidelines provide a range of compensation amounts for different types of injuries, from minor injuries with a short recovery time to more serious and long-lasting injuries. Some examples include:
- Psychiatric Damage (General) – Severe – £54,830 to £115,730
- Psychiatric Damage (General) – Moderately Severe – £19,070 to £54,830
- Psychiatric Damage (General) – Moderate – £5,860 to £19,070
- Psychiatric Damage (General) – Less Severe – £1,540 to £5,860
It’s important to note, however, that data breach claims are unique and may involve different types of non-material damages than those typically seen in personal injury claims. An experienced solicitor can help you understand your rights and determine what level of compensation you may be entitled to claim.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims
No Win No Fee is a type of funding arrangement that can be used to make a data breach compensation claim. Under this arrangement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), the solicitor will agree to take on the case on the understanding that they will only receive payment if the claim is successful. If the claim is unsuccessful, the claimant will not have to pay for the solicitor’s work.
This type of arrangement can be particularly helpful for individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay for legal representation up front. By removing the financial risk of making a claim, more individuals can access legal help for their cases.
If you believe you may be eligible to claim for a data breach and are interested in pursuing a claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement, an advisor from our helpline can connect you with a solicitor who works on this basis.
The solicitor can help you understand your rights and provide guidance on how to pursue a claim. Contact us today by phone on 0800 408 7827 , via the contact form, or use live chat to discuss your options.
Further Insight Into The Data Breach Compensation Time Limit
Data Protection Act – The Data Protection Act 2018 enshrines in UK law the UK’s application of GDPR.
Information Commissioner’s Office – The ICO enforces data protection in the UK.
Data Protection Statistics – You can find details of trends in data security incidents here.
Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Learn more about how much you could claim.
Credit Card Data Breach – Find out what you could do if your credit card company breaches your data.
Data Breach Compensation Claims Process– Find out how the claims process works.