If someone has breached your data, you may want to hire a data protection solicitor to help you claim compensation. This article explains what a data breach could involve and how a solicitor could help you make a claim. This article focuses on data breaches caused by human error rather than cybercrime.
You don’t need to hire a solicitor to help you with a claim, but it could give your case the best chance of success. The solicitors on our panel have years of experience helping people with data breach claims and can help make the process easier for you.
To make a data breach claim, you must begin your case within 1 year against a public body, such as the local government. Alternatively, you have 6 years to start a claim against any non-public bodies.
Read on to find out more about what a data protection solicitor could offer to your claim. Alternatively, get in touch with us directly to get free legal guidance from an expert advisor. If our advisors think you have a good chance of a successful claim, they could connect you to a solicitor from our panel.
Select A Section
- Examples Of Cases Handled By Data Protection Solicitors
- Who Could Data Protection Solicitors Help?
- Why Choose Our Panel Of Data Protection Solicitors?
- What Can I Do If My Data Has Been Breached?
- How Much Compensation Could A Data Protection Solicitor Help You Claim?
- Talk To Our No Win No Fee Experts
To consider how a data protection solicitor could help you, it’s important to define what a data breach is. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body in the UK that upholds information rights. They provide a helpful definition of what a data breach could be:
A data breach is a security breach that leads to the loss, change, accidental or unlawful destruction, unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, personal data.
To make a valid data breach claim, it is important to show that positive wrongful conduct caused the data breach. This means that the breach may have been avoided if the organisation in charge of the data had taken all the appropriate steps to keep it safe. For example, providing all data handlers with up to date data protection training.
Also, the breach must have caused you some form of material or non-material damage. Material damage could be some form of financial loss, and non-material could be any psychological issues that have arisen because of the breach of your data.
The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR sit alongside each other to protect your data. These legislative documents outline how your personal data should be handled and kept safe. If someone has not adhered to these documents and your data has been breached as a result, a data breach solicitor could help you start a claim. Get in touch to find out more today.
Anyone could have their data breached if data handlers do not take the right care. This could be an individual or an organisation. It’s also possible that multiple people could claim for the same data breach.
For example, in a 2017 case, the University of East Anglia had to pay £142,512 to students after the university accidentally emailed out a spreadsheet detailing their personal issues.
A data breach could also occur in many different environments. For example, a bank may accidentally share its clients’ details with other clients or companies. Or, on a smaller scale, one person could receive your personal details if someone typed the wrong email address.
The ICO also provides helpful examples of when a data breach could happen. A data protection solicitor could help you when your data is:
- Accessed by an unauthorised third party
- On a computing device that is lost or stolen
- Altered without your permission
- No longer available
- Sent to the wrong recipient
The solicitors on our panel have years of experience in all types of claims, including data breaches. You don’t need to hire a lawyer to help you with a case, but we always recommend that you do. Hiring the right solicitor could be the difference between success and failure.
All of the solicitors on our panel are highly trained and have years of experience to bring to your case. They can make the claims process easier for you and support you through a difficult time.
However, you may want to check if a solicitor has a good track record for successful cases. You can do this using the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Their website features a search tool for checking a solicitor’s record in previous cases. If a solicitor has more successful cases on their record, you may feel more confident hiring them. You may also want to check reviews.
To find out more about why you should hire a data protection solicitor from our panel, get in touch with our advisors.
If you’ve become aware that someone breached your personal data, there are a few steps you can take.
- Contact the company or organisation where the breach occurred, if possible
- Retain evidence, such as correspondences between you and the at-fault party
- Report the breach to the ICO
- Get in touch with a data protection solicitor to start a claim
If you’ve suffered some kind of trauma because of the data breach, you may also want to think about rehabilitation. You could potentially seek the advice of your GP for any mental health issues you may be having. They could refer you for therapy, or you could find a private therapist for yourself.
This section includes a table of potential data breach compensation payouts you could receive for non-material damage. You should be aware that every case is assessed according to the individual circumstances. This means that the figures shown are not a guarantee for your specific claim.
These figures are from the Judicial College Guidelines; legal professionals use this document to help value claims.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Psychiatric Less Severe £1,440 to £5,500 This bracket will be judged on the length of time the claimant was affected, and the level of negative impact on daily activities and sleep.
Psychiatric Moderate £5,500 to £17,900 Any associated problems will have seen a marked improvement by trial date. There will be a good chance of a recovery.
Psychiatric Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460 The claimant will suffer difficulties with daily activities, relationships and general life. However, there may be a positive prognosis for recovery.
Psychiatric Severe £51,460 to £108,620 There will be severe issues with work, relationships, education and life in general. There may be little chance to fully recover.
PTSD Less Severe £3,710 to £7,680 Claimant will have made an almost full recovery within 1-2 years. After this, only minor symptoms will be persist.
PTSD Moderate £7,680 to £21,730 Claimant will have made a great amount of recovery. They will not be entirely disabled by any lasting effects.
PTSD Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180 There could be a more positive prognosis for recovery. However, some serious issues will still persist.
PTSD Severe £56,180 to £94,470 Any consequences will be of a permanent nature. All aspects of life will be negatively affected.
You could also claim for material damage, such as a financial loss. For example, if someone exposed your bank details, you could claim back any money lost or stolen.
If your data was breached because of the positive wrongful conduct on the part of a data controller or processor, you could be entitled to compensation for any financial or mental damage caused.
After reading this article, you hopefully understand some of the benefits of working with a data protection solicitor. However, you may be concerned about how much it may cost you to hire one.
It is important to note that the solicitors on our panel offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis.
There will be no upfront payments to your solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement. You also won’t have to pay out of pocket during the claims process. You only need to pay your solicitor if your case is successful and you receive compensation. However, even this is not directly out of pocket.
If your data breach solicitor helps you make a successful claim, they will deduct a success fee from your compensation amount as payment. Your compensation will first go to your lawyer so they can deduct this fee, meaning you still don’t have to directly pay them yourself. Also, this success fee is subject to a legal cap, so you don’t have to worry about a solicitor overcharging you.
If your lawyer is unsuccessful in helping you make a data breach claim, they will not require payment for their services at all.
If this type of agreement sounds beneficial to you, why not get in touch with us today? Talk to our team of expert advisors about your claim for free legal advice. They could pass you on to a data protection solicitor from our panel if they think your claim has a good chance of success.
Related Resources On Working With A Data Protection Solicitor
Thank you for reading our guide about what a data breach lawyer could do for you. We hope it answered any questions you may have had. For further related resources, please see below.
Wrong Postal Address Data Breach – If someone breached your data due to the wrong postal address being used, find out how you could claim from our guide.
How To Make a Data Breach Claim Against a Solicitor – Even a solicitor could potentially not protect your data properly. If this has happened to you, learn how you could claim.
Optician Data Breach – Have you experienced damage in an optician data breach? Our article explains how you could claim.
Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 – The Government’s findings on 2021 cyber security breaches.
Head here to learn about a possible data breach compensation amount.
Data Security Incident Trends – The ICO’s collation of data security incident trends.
Guidance for Individuals and Families – The National Cyber Security Centre’s guidance on protecting yourself from the impact of a data breach.
Thank you for reading our guide about the benefits of a data protection solicitor.