How To Claim If A Data Breach Made Existing Mental Health Problems Worse

Has a data breach made your existing mental health problems worse? A data breach can be a distressing experience, and while it could cause mental health issues, it can also exacerbate existing conditions.

Data breach existing mental health problems worse

A data breach made my existing mental health problems worse, can I claim?

Legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) are in place to help protect the personal data of UK residents.

These legislations are enforced by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The ICO is a UK-based watchdog, operating independently to uphold data protection rights for the public.

In this article, we will outline what a personal data breach is, as well as what personal data could be affected. We will also discuss who could be entitled to claim, and what makes a claim valid.

To learn more or to start your claim, get in touch with our advisors by:

Select A Section

  1. What Are The Mental Health Impacts Of A Data Breach?
  2. Could A Data Breach Make Existing Mental Health Problems Worse?
  3. How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim?
  4. How Do You Claim If Impacted By A Data Breach?
  5. How Much Could You Claim If A Data Breach Made Existing Mental Health Problems Worse?
  6. Contact Us If A Data Breach Made Your Existing Mental Health Problems Worse

What Are The Mental Health Impacts Of A Data Breach?

Personal data can be any piece of information that, when used in isolation or alongside other details, can positively identify you as a person. With this in mind, personal data can be anything from your phone number, your postal address, or your email address, all the way up to information stored in your medical records or your sexual orientation.

We will explain what a personal data breach is in the following section. But the impacts of a personal data breach can be serious and far-reaching. A personal data breach could cause significant damage to your mental health.

Not only could a breach cause mental health problems, but it could exacerbate any existing mental health problems you already live with. For example, the stress of a personal data breach could make an anxiety disorder you already live with worse or could worsen the symptoms of pre-existing depression.

If a data breach has made your existing mental health problems worse, get in touch with our advisors today.

Could A Data Breach Make Existing Mental Health Problems Worse?

If a security incident occurs within an organisation, and this leads to your personal data’s confidentiality, availability, or integrity being compromised, this is a personal data breach. But, not every breach of data protection legislation can become a claim.

The UK GDPR outlines the criteria that personal data breaches must meet in order to make you entitled to claim:

  • Your personal data has to be included in the breach
  • It must be caused by the wrongful conduct of the data controller or processor
  • You must experience harm because of the breach, either mentally or financially

A data controller decides how to use personal data and why they need to. A data processor, on the other hand, processes this data by following the controller’s instructions.

As you can see, one of the main criteria for claiming is that the breach should cause you mental or financial harm. This includes the exacerbation of any existing mental health issues.

If a data breach has made your existing mental health problems worse, our team can help. Get in touch to find out if you can claim today.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim?

The circumstances outlined above are not the only criteria your claim must meet in order to be eligible to claim. Your claim must also fall within the relevant time limits. These can change depending on your circumstances, but generally, you will have:

  • Six years to start a general personal data breach claim
  • One year to start a claim against a public body

As we have already mentioned, there are some exceptions to these rules. Our advisors can provide more information when you get in touch.

How Do You Claim If Impacted By A Data Breach?

You may be wondering how to claim if a data breach made your existing mental health problems worse. If an organisation suffers a personal data breach that could affect your freedoms or your rights, then the data controller or processor must report it to the ICO. And they must inform you without undue delay.

You can make a complaint directly to the organisation responsible if a personal data breach causes you harm. They could confirm the breach or provide you with more information. For example, they may tell you how the breach occurred or what information was involved.

If the organisation does not reply, or if the response they present is not satisfactory, then you can make a complaint to the ICO. However, you must ensure that this is done within three months of your last contact with the organisation.

Our advisors can tell you if you could be eligible to claim when you get in touch. Or, read on to learn more about compensation in personal data breach claims.

How Much Could You Claim If A Data Breach Made Existing Mental Health Problems Worse?

Personal data breach claims can be split into two heads: material damage and non-material damage. If you suffer financial losses because of the breach, then this is covered by material damage. For example, a credit card data breach or a breach of your banking details could lead to criminals stealing money from your bank accounts or damaging your credit score. These losses could be covered under material damage.

Non-material damage covers the impact a data breach has on your mental health. This includes both injuries that are caused by the breach and any exacerbation of pre-existing injuries. For example, if you suffer anxiety due to a breach, or if the breach made your depression worse, then these would be addressed by non-material damage.

Type of Mental Health /Psychiatric Damage JC Guideline Bracket Award Further Notes:
General Types of Psychiatric Damage £54,830 to £115,730 – (a) Severe

Severe impact on the ability to cope with all areas of life, leading to a very poor future prognosis
General Types of Psychiatric Damage £19,070 to £54,830 – (b) Moderately Severe Significant issues with work, relationships and education but a more optimistic long-term prognosis than the bracket above.
General Types of Psychiatric Damage £5,860 to £19,070 – (c) Moderate Marked issues that see an improvement by the time the case may go to trial.
General Types of Psychiatric Damage £1,540 to £5,860 – (d) Less Severe

This bracket acknowledges the length of disability caused and how symptoms affect daily life.
PTSD £59,860 to £100,670 – (a) Severe

Cases that involve permanent effects which hugely debilitate the person’s ability to function at the pre-trauma level.
PTSD £23,150 to £59,860 – Moderately Severe Significant disability for the foreseeable future but some improvement was seen with professional treatment.
PTSD £8,180 to £23,150 – (c) Moderate A large recovery takes place, and symptoms that remain are not grossly disabling.
PTSD £3,950 to £8,180 – (d) Less Severe

A virtually full recovery takes place within two years, and any symptoms that persist past this point are minor.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that is often used by legal professionals when they value compensation claims. The JCG offers guideline compensation amounts, as showcased in the table above. please note that these guidelines refer to non-material damage and are not guarantees of what you could receive.

To learn more about settlements if a data breach made your existing mental health problems worse, contact our advisors today.

Contact Us If A Data Breach Made Your Existing Mental Health Problems Worse

Starting a personal data breach claim can seem daunting. But, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help you. With a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you can access legal advice and representation, typically without paying any fees to your solicitor.

The only fee you will typically be asked to pay is a success fee. This is a small, legally-capped percentage of your compensation. However,

Related Claims For Mental And Psychological Harm

To read more informative guides surrounding personal data breach claims:

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Get in touch with our advisors today if a data breach made your existing mental health problems worse.

Article by EA

Publisher AA