As technology continues to advance, the collection and storage of personal data become more common. One area where this has a significant impact is in the healthcare industry, where sensitive information about patients is routinely collected, processed and stored. Unfortunately, healthcare data breaches are becoming more frequent. This can lead to significant harm for the individuals whose data is compromised. If you have been affected by a healthcare data breach, you may be entitled to compensation. Fortunately, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about how to claim data breach compensation for healthcare records breaches.
We will explore what a data breach could look like and give examples of situations that could lead to a claim. Furthermore, we cover the types of damages that you can claim and how an expert advisor can help you find a data breach solicitor from our panel.
If you have been affected by a healthcare data breach, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our expert advisors are on hand to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right solicitor to represent you. Contact us today to start your claim.
Who Could Claim Data Breach Compensation For Healthcare Records Breaches?
A healthcare data breach is an incident that involves the unauthorised access, use, disclosure or destruction of personal data relating to an individual’s health. This type of breach can occur in both digital and non-digital formats, such as paper records, emails, and electronic health records. A healthcare data breach can expose sensitive personal information such as a patient’s name, address, date of birth, medical history, and treatment plans.
Digital data breaches could occur when hackers gain access to a healthcare organisation’s network and steal patient data. Non-digital breaches can occur when physical files or documents containing personal data are lost or stolen. For example, if a healthcare provider leaves patient files unattended, and they are stolen or misplaced, this could lead to a non-digital data breach.
The harm caused by a healthcare data breach can be significant. It can result in financial losses, emotional distress, and loss of privacy. For example, if a patient’s personal information is stolen, it could be used to commit identity theft or fraud. Therefore, this could result in financial losses for the patient. Emotional distress can include anxiety, stress, and loss of sleep, caused by the violation of their privacy. The loss of privacy can also be a significant factor, particularly if the data breached involves sensitive information such as medical records.
Am I Eligible To Claim Data Breach Compensation For Healthcare Records Breaches?
To make a claim for compensation for a healthcare data breach, it must have resulted from wrongdoing by a healthcare organisation or third-party data controller, and it must have caused harm. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, individuals have a right to compensation for damage suffered as a result of a data breach. The Act requires organisations to have appropriate security measures in place to protect personal data, and failure to do so can result in significant fines and legal action.
How Long Do I Have To Claim?
The time limit for claiming data breach compensation for healthcare record breaches will depend on several factors, including the type of breach and who is responsible for it.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, individuals typically have six years from the date of the breach to bring a claim for compensation. Therefore, if the breach occurred more than six years ago, it may no longer be possible to make a claim.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that different time limits may apply if the breach was caused by a public body, such as an NHS hospital or clinic. In such cases, the individual may need to follow a different process, and there may be stricter time limits for making a claim.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a healthcare data breach, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that you are within the relevant time limit. A data breach solicitor from our panel can help you understand the time limits that apply to your claim and assist you in pursuing compensation for the harm caused. Get in touch with our helpline today to find out more.
What Happens After A Breach Of Healthcare Records Data?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for enforcing data protection law. Their primary role is to ensure that organisations comply with data protection legislation, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Medical information is considered special category data under GDPR. Therefore, it is subject to additional protections due to its sensitive nature. This includes health-related information, such as medical records and test results.
Example Of A Healthcare Records Data Breach
An example of a healthcare data breach is the Doorstep Dispensaree data breach, where over half a million medical documents, including prescription forms and patients’ personal details, were found in an unsecured courtyard. The ICO fined Doorstep Dispensaree £275,000 for failing to keep the personal data secure, the first fine for a company that failed to protect special category data.
How To Claim For A Breach Of Medical Data
If you have been harmed by a data breach, the role of the ICO is not to get you compensation. However, you could find a data breach solicitor who can assist you in making a claim for compensation. They can advise you on your legal options and help you to navigate the claims process, including pursuing a claim through the courts if necessary. It is important to note that the compensation awarded for a data breach claim can vary depending on the severity of the breach and the harm caused. Therefroe, seeking the advice of data breach solicitors can be crucial to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Compensation Could I Claim?
Calculating compensation for a data breach claim involves assessing the damages suffered by the individual due to the breach. Several types of damages can be claimed for, including:
- Financial losses – This could include the costs incurred to rectify the breach, such as changing bank details or credit cards, or the costs of identity theft protection services.
- Non-financial losses – This could include emotional distress, anxiety, and loss of privacy resulting from the breach. You would need medical evidence to prove this in most cases.
To help in assessing the level of compensation to award, the Judicial College Guidelines provide a framework for assessing damages in personal injury cases, including emotional distress. These guidelines provide an indication of the appropriate level of compensation for different types of harm suffered, based on the severity of the injury and its impact on the individual’s life:
- Severe psychological harm- £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately Severe psychological harm – £19,070 to £54,830
- Moderate psychological harm – £5,860 to £19,070
- Less Severe psychological harm- £1,540 to £5,860
These are only very rough indications, however. Therefore, you would need to speak with a specialist to learn more about how much your claim could be worth.
Claiming Data Breach Compensation With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
No Win No Fee healthcare data breach claims are a popular way for individuals to seek compensation for the harm caused by a data breach.
No Win No Fee agreements work by transferring the financial risk of pursuing a claim from the claimant to the solicitor. This means that the solicitor only gets paid if the claim is successful, and their fee is usually a percentage of the compensation awarded. This type of arrangement is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), and they are regulated by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.
An advisor from our helpline can assess if you can make a claim under a No Win No Fee agreement and provide you with a solicitor from our panel to assist you in pursuing your claim. This can help to alleviate the financial burden of pursuing a claim and ensure that you have access to the legal representation you need. Therefore, if you believe you have been the victim of a healthcare data breach, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.
Further Insight Into How To Claim Data Breach Compensation For Healthcare Records Breaches
Finally, we have provided links to help you read more about healthcare breqches and how to claim compensation if you are eligible to do so.
Cyber Security Breaches Survey – Firstly, this survey gives insight into data security incident statistics.
ICO Enforcement Information – The Doorstep Dispensaree data breach enforcement action can be found here.
Special Category Data – The ICO explains special category data here.
Optician Data Breach Claims – You can find out whether you could claim for an optician data breach here.
Hospital Data Breach – Learn about this type of breach in our useful guide.
Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Finally, what damages could you be eligible to claim? Find out here.