In today’s digital world, we entrust a lot of personal information to various companies, from our credit card details to our health records. However, as we share more and more data, we also expose ourselves to the risk of a data breach, which occurs when a company’s security is compromised, and sensitive information is accessed or stolen by unauthorised parties. If you’ve suffered stress due to a data breach, you’ll know only too well how badly such a breach can affect you.
After all, a data breach can have a significant impact on individuals, and not just in financial terms. In fact, a company’s wrongful exposure of your data can cause you genuine psychological harm, such as anxiety, stress, and even depression. The mere knowledge that your personal information is in the wrong hands can lead to a loss of trust, embarrassment, and a sense of violation.
If you have suffered psychological harm due to a data breach, you may be entitled to claim data breach compensation for the damages you have suffered, such as loss of earnings and medical expenses. This guide aims to provide you with information on what a data breach is, how it can cause stress, what other damages you could claim for, and how to start a No Win No Fee data breach claim with the help of our panel of solicitors.
We understand that dealing with the aftermath of a data breach can be overwhelming and stressful. Therefore, our aim is to help you understand your rights and provide you with the necessary guidance and support to make a successful claim for the compensation you deserve.
If you have any questions, or want to begin a claim contact our team today:
How Can Stress Due To A Data Breach Happen?
A data breach refers to an incident in which an unauthorised party gains access to confidential or sensitive information held by an organisation. This can occur due to various reasons, such as hacking, malware attacks, physical theft, or human error. The information that can be compromised in a data breach can include personal information, which could include wage data, medical records and financial information, to name a few examples.
A data breach can happen due to wrongful acts by an organisation, such as failing to implement proper security measures, neglecting to patch software vulnerabilities, or not adequately training employees to handle confidential information. Sometimes, organisations may intentionally leak sensitive data or sell it to third-party companies for profit, which can be even more damaging and unethical.
Data breaches can cause stress and other psychological damage to individuals and organisations affected by them. Victims of a data breach may experience anxiety, embarrassment, and loss of trust in the organisation responsible for the breach. They may also suffer financial losses, identity theft, and reputational damage.
Who Could Claim For Stress Due To A Data Breach?
Individuals who have suffered from stress or psychological damage due to a data breach may be eligible to claim compensation. This can include members of the public, employees, students and other people whose personal information has been compromised.
The timeframe for making a claim is dependent on the time limits imposed by the Limitation Act 1980 in most cases. It is important to note that in some cases, the time frame will be 6 years, while in other cases it could be longer or shorter than this. This is why it could be important to seek guidance on how long you could have to claim from our advisors.
To successfully make a claim for stress due to a data breach, you will need to provide evidence of the harm caused. This may include medical reports or statements from mental health professionals, as well as evidence of any financial or reputational damage caused by the breach. It may also be necessary to demonstrate that the organisation responsible for the breach acted negligently or in breach of data protection laws, such as the Data Protection Act 2018.
What Types Of Data Breach Could Happen?
Organisations of all types and sizes are vulnerable to data protection and privacy breaches, and they can happen in various ways. While all industries are at risk, those that provide services directly to the public are particularly susceptible.
Over the past years, there have been several types of data breaches that have affected:
- Healthcare providers
- Educational institutions
- Social media companies
- Government agencies
- Online retailers
Examples of data breaches include:
- Unauthorised access to personal information by hackers
- The mishandling or misuse of sensitive data
- Accidental loss or exposure of private information
- Corporate data breaches that compromise financial information or other confidential data
- Sharing personal information with a third party without consent
- Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date information that can result in harm to individuals
Not every type of breach could lead to a claim for stress due to a data breach. The organisation must be proven to have acted wrongfully, exposing your data and harming you as a consequence. If you’d like to find out whether you could be eligible to claim, please get in touch with one of our advisors.
What Damages Could I Claim If I’ve Suffered Stress Due To A Data Breach?
When a data breach occurs, individuals may experience non-material damages such as emotional distress, anxiety, and loss of privacy. If a data controller or processor has breached their data protection obligations, individuals may be entitled to compensation for these damages under the UK GDPR.
In a data breach distress claim, the damages that may be claimed include non-material damages. These can include compensation for psychological injuries resulting from the breach, such as anxiety, stress, and loss of trust. The amount of compensation that can be claimed will depend on the severity of the psychological injury and its impact on the individual.
For example, severe psychological injury resulting in long-term consequences such as post-traumatic stress disorder could attract a higher compensation award, typically ranging from £54,830 to £115,730. On the other hand, less severe psychological injury, such as temporary anxiety or loss of sleep, may result in a lower compensation award ranging from £1,540 to £5,860.
These figures are based on the Judicial College Guidelines, which legal professionals could use to determine the value of claims in England and Wales. However, the guidelines are not exhaustive and do not provide a definitive answer to the amount of compensation that may be awarded. The amount awarded may also vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
No Win No Fee Claims For Data Breach Stress
Data breaches can be extremely stressful, and can often lead to anxiety, financial loss and other damages. In some cases, a breach may even lead to long-term psychological effects such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues. However, victims of data breaches may be entitled to compensation for their suffering, and this is where data breach solicitors can help.
Data breach solicitors specialise in helping victims of data breaches to claim compensation for the stress and other damages they have suffered. They have the expertise and knowledge to navigate the complex legal system and ensure that their clients receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
By connecting with a data breach solicitor, you can receive expert advice and support throughout the claims process. They can help you to gather evidence, assess the value of your claim and negotiate a settlement with the responsible party.
One way to ensure that you can afford the services of a data breach solicitor is through a No Win No Fee agreement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that you only pay for the solicitor’s work if your claim is successful, and the payment is capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. This arrangement helps to reduce the financial risk of pursuing a claim and makes it more accessible to victims who may not have the financial means to pay upfront for legal representation.
We can connect you with a data breach solicitor who can help you to pursue your claim. We could also answer any questions about the compensation you could receive and how long you might have to claim. Why not call an advisor today?
Further Information About Stress Due To Data Breach Claims
Get Help With Stress – The NHS provides guidance on dealing with stress.
Taking A Case To Court – The ICO explains what to do when claiming compensation for data breaches.
Action By The ICO – Find out about the action the Information Commissioner’s Office has taken in regard to data security incidents.
Accidental Data Breach Examples – Find out whether you could claim for an accidental data breach.
Charity data breach – Could you claim if a charity has breached your data? Find out here.
A Company Misused My Personal Data – Learn about when you could claim data breach compensation.