Check Your Data Breach Claim Value

By Cat Gengar. Last Updated 9th June 2022. In this guide, we look at how to check your potential data breach claim value. If your data has been breached due to positive wrongful conduct, this article will explain how your claim could be valued. We focus on personal data breaches caused by human error rather than cybercrime.

data breach claim value

A guide to checking your data breach claim value

Positive wrongful conduct is action or inaction on the part of an organisation that puts your personal data at risk. If an organisation did everything in their power to keep your information safe and a breach still occurred, you may struggle to make a data breach claim.

You should also know that you must start your claim within a certain time, or it may be time-barred. If you are claiming against a non-public body, you generally have to start your claim within 6 years. Alternatively, if you want to claim against a public body, you only have 1 year to start your claim.

Keep reading to find out more about how to check your data breach claim value. You could also get in touch with us about your claim directly. Our team of advisors are available to help you 24/7, and even if you seek legal guidance, there is no obligation to start a claim with us. However, if you do want to start a claim with us, our advisors could pass you on to a data protection solicitor from our panel if they think you have a good chance of success. 

Select A Section

  1. How Are Data Breach Claims Valued?
  2. What Is The Average Payout For A Data Protection Breach?
  3. Material And Non-Material Damages
  4. Examples Of Damages Awarded For Data Breaches
  5. Data Breach Compensation Calculator
  6. Find Out Your Data Breach Claim Value By Contacting Us

How Are Data Breach Claims Valued? 

To figure out how to check your data breach claim value, it is important first to understand what a data breach is. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority that enforces data protection law. It also provides a helpful definition of a personal data breach.

A data breach is broadly considered as a security incident that has affected the availability, integrity or confidentiality of personal data. This could include if personal data is destroyed, accessed, lost, altered or disclosed accidentally or unlawfully. 

Your personal data is protected by the Data Protection Act 2018. The UK GDPR sits alongside the Data Protection Act as legislation that protects your personal data.

To make a valid claim for a breach of personal data, you must have suffered some form of material or non-material harm as a consequence of the breach. Material damage means financial loss. Non-material damage includes psychological damage suffered due to it.

The level of damage the data breach has caused will be the key to evaluating your claim. This article looks at what this might mean in further sections. 

To find out more about how to check your data breach claim value, get in touch with our advisors today. 

What Is The Average Payout For A Data Protection Breach? 

Each case is assessed individually in data breach claims, depending on the circumstances. This means that no two payout amounts are likely to be the exact same. 

Compensation payouts can vary widely, depending on the material or non-material damage caused. This means there is not really an average amount overall for data breach claims. 

To try and get a better understanding on the compensation amount that may be awarded, some people may consider using a data breach compensation calculator. However, in our compensation table later in this guide, you can see figures that have been awarded for non-material damages in past cases. 

If you have strong grounds to make a data breach claim and contact our advisors, then they could potentially estimate the value of your claim for free based on the specific details of your case. 

Material And Non-Material Damages

This section addresses what material and non-material damages might mean. This is key to how your data breach claim will be valued. 

Non-material damages aims to compensate you for any psychological harm the data breach has caused. For example, you may have suffered anxiety or worsened symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the data breach. 

Material damages allow you to claim back any financial losses you may have experienced due to someone breaching your personal data. For example, if your credit card details are lost, and someone else subsequently ruins your credit score, you could claim back the costs you’ve incurred to get your credit score back to an acceptable level. 

In a data breach claim, you don’t have to claim for both material and non-material damages. If you have only suffered financial harm, you don’t need to have associated psychological damages to claim compensation (and vice versa). However, you can claim both as part of one claim. 

To find out more about the value of your data breach claim, get in touch with our advisors today. 

Examples Of Damages Awarded For Data Breaches

This section looks at a specific data breach case study and the damages that the successful party received from this claim. 

In 2017, the University of East Anglia accidentally emailed a spreadsheet detailing students’ personal, health and bereavement issues to 298 people at the university. Due to the sensitivity and scale of the breach of personal information, insurers had to pay out £142,512 altogether to affected students. The university also stated that they reviewed their data practices. 

It is important to note that this figure relates to all affected students that claimed, so you may not get this amount of compensation if you claim as an individual. 


Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Data breach compensation amounts in the UK can vary depending on a number of factors. For example, the amount you could receive will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, such as whether you suffered financial or psychological damages or both.

However, if you live in England and Wales, you can turn to the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document often used to help legal professionals assess the value of claims. Some example entries from this document are shown below. The amounts shown in the table refer to what you could receive in non-material damages, which covers any psychiatric damage you may have suffered.

PTSDSevere£59,860 to £100,670The consequences will be permanent. Claimant will be unable to function similar to a pre-trauma level, or work. All aspects of life will be negatively affected.
PTSDModerately Severe£23,150 to £59,860There will be a better prognosis for recovery than the above. There will still be serious issues for the forseeable future.
PTSDModerate£8,180 to £23,150Claimant will have made a great amount of recovery. Any lasting effects will not be entirely disabling.
PTSDLess Severe£3,950 to £8,180Within 1-2 years, an almost full recovery will have been made. After this, only minor symptoms will be present.
PsychiatricSevere£54,830 to £115,730Claimant will suffer severe issues with relationships, work, education and life in general. There may be little chance to fully recover.
PsychiatricModerately Severe£19,070 to £54,830The claimant will suffer similar difficulties to the above. However, there may be more of a chance for recovery.
PsychiatricModerate£5,860 to £19,070Issues such as the above will have seen a marked improvement by the trial. There will be a good chance of a recovery.
PsychiatricLess Severe£1,540 to £5,860Compensation will depend on how long the disability has lasted and how much daily activities and sleep have been affected.

You should also know that, following the ruling of Vidal-Hall v. Google Inc. [2015], you can now claim for non-material damages even if you have not suffered financial losses (also known as material damages).

In some cases, a personal data breach may lead to suffering material damages. For example, if your credit card details were leaked, this could lead to pecuniary losses such as fraudulent purchases, damage to your credit score or identity theft.

To learn more about data protection breach compensation amounts in the UK, and potentially get a free estimation of what your claim could be worth, contact our advisors today.

Find Out Your Data Breach Claim Value By Contacting Us 

If you want to find out about your potential data breach claim value, you could get in touch with us today. Our expert advisors can offer free legal advice about your case and could pass you on to a solicitor from our panel if they think your case has a good chance of success. But you may be concerned about how much hiring a solicitor could cost. 

The solicitors on our panel offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. But what does this mean?

  • Not having to pay your solicitor their fee if your claim does not succeed
  • No upfront or ongoing solicitor fees
  • Not paying your solicitor out of pocket if your claim is successful
  • Your solicitor deducting a legally capped success fee from your compensation amount (only if the claim is successful)

In a No Win No Fee agreement, a solicitor takes on the financial risk so that you can feel more financially secure in your claim. If you’ve suffered material damages as a result of a data breach, this could be beneficial for you. If you would like to know more, why not get in touch with us today?

The solicitors on our panel are experienced in all types of claims and can guide you through the data breach claims process to make it as easy as possible for you. If this sounds appealing, contact us at any time using the details below. 

Learn More About How Data Breach Claims Work

Thank you for reading our guide about how to check your data breach claim value. We hope it was useful for you. Please see the relevant links below to learn more about how data breach claims could work. 

Data Breach Claim for a Wrong Email Address – If your data was breached due to an email address mistake, you could claim compensation. Learn how from our article. 

Stolen or Lost Device Data Breach – Was your data breached due to a device being lost or stolen? Find out how to claim compensation here. 

Failure to Use BCC Data Breach – If a failure to use Bcc led to your data being breached, learn how to claim here. 

UK GDPR – The UK’s legislation covering general data protection. 

NHS Talking Therapies – An NHS page on available talking therapies.

Data Security Incident Trends – The ICO’s statistics on recent data breaches. 

If you are unsure of your data breach claim value, or you would like to ask any other related questions about data breach claims, then please get in touch with Public Interest Lawyers. Our advisors are available to talk to online or on the phone via the contact details included in this guide.