Have you been subject to a data breach and would like the help of data breach solicitors? This article will help estimate the amount of compensation you may be eligible to claim and provide definitions of data breach terminology. We will also explain data breach time limits as well as how No Win No Fee arrangements can help in your case.
A data breach can be a complex part of the law that is difficult to navigate by yourself. It may be hard to understand what is lawfully allowed when handling your personal data and you may be wondering whether professional legal help could clarify your claim.
Our advisors are available around the clock to provide free and relevant advice, plus they can help to understand the validity of your claim. They may connect you to our No Win No Fee solicitors who are well-versed in data breach cases and can aid you in claiming. Get in touch with our advisors by:
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- Do I Need Data Breach Solicitors Near Me?
- How To Calculate Compensation For A Data Breach Claim
- What Is A Data Breach?
- Time Limits For Data Breach Claims
- Can I Use No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors?
- Where Can I Find Data Breach Solicitors?
Data breach claims can be significantly helped by solicitors. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) are two pieces of legislation for data protection in the UK that run parallel to each other, outlining the rules and regulations to ensure that your personal data is properly secured.
If an organisation’s wrongful conduct means they fail to properly protect your personal data, it could be grounds for a claim. The entities who usually process your data include:
- Data controllers – The party that decides the purpose of processing your data.
- Data processors – An entity that controllers can use to process data for their purpose and on their behalf.
If the controller or processor fails to protect your personal data, this could cause a data breach. The UK GDPR defines a data breach as a security incident that leads to the personal data being:
All entities processing your personal data must have a reason to do so as established in Article 6 of the UK GDPR. The legislation states that a lawful basis is required to process your data and each basis is equally as important as one another. For example, the authority processing your personal data must have consent, a contract or vital interest in order to process your data.
Our advisors can help to determine whether a lawful basis for processing was present in the processing of your data and may pass you to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors who are also well-versed data breach solicitors.
If your data breach claim succeeds, you could receive compensation for different heads of damages. These damages divide accordingly:
- Material damages – The financial fallout the data breach causes you.
- Non-material damages – The repercussions to mental health such as developing stress, anxiety, depression, paranoia and other potential psychological injuries.
The possible compensation brackets for non-material damages are established in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and are categorised according to the type of injury and how severe they are. Please see the below table of possible compensation brackets published in the 16th edition of the JCG in 2022.
|Generally severe psychological damage (a)||£54,830 to £115,730||Where the individual has major problems with coping with education, employment, work and general life. Their psychological damage has markedly impacted their ability to maintain relationships. The award depends on the extent of successful treatment, future vulnerability, prognosis and medical help needed.|
|Generally moderately severe psychological damage (b)||£19,070 to £54,830||The injured person still has considerable problems with the factors mentioned in the above bracket, with a minimal improvement in prognosis.|
|Generally moderate psychological damage (c)||£5,860 to £19,070||A marked improvement with prognosis, but problems may still arise with the above factors.|
|Generally less severe psychological damage (d)||£1,540 to £5,860||This level of the award takes into consideration the extent of the disability period and how much sleep and other daily activities were impacted.|
|Severe anxiety disorder (a)||£59,860 to £100,670||Where there are permanent effects preventing the person to work at all or at least to a pre-trauma level.|
|Moderately severe anxiety disorder (b)||£23,150 to £59,860||Better prognosis than the above bracket. The injured person may have recovered somewhat with professional help; however, effects still remain that will likely cause considerable disability for the foreseeable future.|
|Moderate anxiety disorder (c)||£8,180 to £23,150||Where a large recovery has taken place and there will be minimally disabling lasting effects.|
|Less severe anxiety disorder (d)||£3,950 to £8,180||The injured person has undergone a nearly full recovery within one to two years with little to minor symptoms persisting.|
The process for claiming compensation changed in recent years with the Court of Appeal declaring in the Vidal-Hall v Google case that financial damages do not need to be present in order to claim for non-material damages. Before this case, you would’ve had to have suffered financial loss in order to claim psychological harm. Now, you can claim for both material and non-material damages or either.
For more information on how much compensation your data breach claim could be worth, get in touch with our advisors today.
What Goes Into Data Breach Compensation?
Data breach solicitors will take into consideration what damages you have suffered when valuing your claim. For example, outside of your injuries, you may have material damage too.
These damages, as previously mentioned, relate to what you suffer financially. Having access to your banking details can result in unlawful money withdrawals or identity impersonations, including applying for loans by using your identity. This can negatively affect your credit score causing future problems down the line.
A data breach can be deliberate or unintentional. Unintentional data breaches may involve human error and can cause many security incidents. Some examples include:
- Data emailed to an unauthorised recipient
- Accessing personal data without a lawful basis
- An employee of a company holding personal data falling victim to a phishing attack
- Personal data posted or faxed to an unauthorised recipient
Figures From The ICO About Data Breaches
In Q4 of 2021/22, the ICO reported in their data security incident trends that there were 2,172 security incidents. Of those incidents, 1,696 were non-cyber and 476 were cyber.
If an organisation breaches your data, they have a responsibility to promptly inform you, to give you a chance to safeguard your own personal information.
Furthermore, if the breach risks the rights and freedoms of you, the data subject, then they have a 72-hour window to report it to the ICO. You can also report a breach to the ICO yourself if your data is breached and you have not received a notification from the organisation processing your data.
Data breach solicitors would encourage reporting your personal data breach to the ICO as they can investigate an organisation on your behalf; however, you can also take the necessary steps afterwards including changing passwords and informing other people of the breach if it affects them too.
You can hire a data breach solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement to help when pursuing your claim. No Win No Fee arrangements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), can be highly beneficial when pursuing a data breach claim as it allows a solicitor’s services to become affordable.
A CFA lawyer has no hiring cost and you pay them no success fee if your claim is unsuccessful. The only time payment will be taken by your lawyer is when the claim succeeds. They will take a small, legally-capped percentage of your compensation called a success fee.
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Publisher Ruth Vernon
Writer Jack Erickson