Can You Claim Compensation For A Hospital Data Breach?

In this guide, we aim to explain the potential steps open to you if you suffer a hospital data breach.

We start by explaining the two main laws which protect personal data called the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). These laws apply certain obligations to the two key parties involved in data processing called data controllers and processors.

The first are decision makers who have control over the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. Processors do not have the same obligations as controllers however they do have direct obligations of their own under the UK GDPR when processing personal data on behalf of the controller.

Hospitals are usually considered data controllers, so we look at how failure to follow these legal obligations could lead to a data breach for which you, a data subject, could be eligible to make a claim.

As well as looking at how to calculate data breach compensation, we look at the evidence needed to support such as claim. In conclusion, we discuss the merits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Hospital Data Breach

Learn How To Claim For A Hospital Data Breach

As you read the sections below, please feel free to connect with an advisor at any point. The call is free and carries no obligation to proceed with a claim. But you can learn much more when you:

  • Call to discuss your hospital data breach with our advisors on 0800 408 7825
  • Try the live chat feature below.
  • Contact us online to see what your claim could be worth.

Jump To A Section 

  1. Can You Claim Compensation For A Hospital Data Breach?
  2. Hospital Data Breach – How Could One Happen?
  3. A Hospital Breached My Data, How Much Compensation Could I Receive?
  4. What Evidence Could Help You Claim For A Data Breach By A Hospital?
  5. Claim For A Hospital Data Breach Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  6. Learn More About Data Breach Claims

Can You Claim Compensation For A Hospital Data Breach?

A personal data breach is a security incident that results in the integrity, confidentiality and availability of personal data being impacted. Personal data is a detail that used on its own (or alongside other details) could positively identify you. This can include:

  • Name, address, email address and phone number.
  • Date of birth.
  • National insurance number.
  • Debit and credit card details.

In addition to this, certain personal data is classed as special category data. Medical records fall into this sensitive category, and they need to be processed according to even more stringent codes of data processing.

In order to have a valid claim for a hospital data breach, you therefore need to prove:

  • The data controller or processor failed to comply with data protection law, and
  • This allowed a data breach involving your health data to occur, for which
  • You suffered mental and/or financial harm

By speaking to our team today, you can have your hospital data breach case assessed for free. Should you be eligible to make a compensation claim, they could connect you to a data breach solicitor from our panel.

Hospital Data Breach – How Could One Happen?

Below we offer some general examples of how a security incident with personal data could give rise to a hospital data breach:

  • Your medical records and patient notes are faxed or emailed to the incorrect email address or recipient.
  • Your personal information is posted to the wrong postal address despite the correct details being held on file by the hospital.
  • Paperwork including your medical files is left in an unsecured location where unauthorised people can see it.
  • Verbal discussions about patients by hospital staff in front of other patients.
  • Human error might allow a laptop or other device containing personal data to be stolen or lost.
  • The hospital may fail to ensure its cyber-defences are robust enough to stop an external hack.

There can be other examples of data protection breaches by a hospital. Whilst not every data breach incident is automatically the fault of the hospital, check with our advisors to see how valid your claim might be.

A Hospital Breached My Data, How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

If your hospital data breach claim is successful, you could be awarded compensation for two types of damage. The first is non-material damage which is the psychological anguish caused for example: anxiety, depression and even PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Legal professionals can therefore refer to any medical evidence that proves injuries of this nature. They can compare them with award guideline brackets listed in the Judicial College Guidelines. A publication often used when valuing harm in compensation claims. An excerpt below shows:

Award Bracket Guidelines

Injury Type Severity Level Compensation Bracket Notes
Psychological Harm (a) Severe £54,830 up to £115,730 Significant mental health problems presenting themselves across all areas of the person’s life and a poor future prognosis is indicated.
(b) Moderately Severe £19,070 up to £54,830 A more favourable prognosis despite still suffering significant issues in all areas.
(c) Moderate £5,860 up to £19,070 A better prognosis and improvement indicated by time of any trial.
(d) Less Severe Up to £5,860 This award is dictated by the length of injury.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a) Severe £59,860 up to £100,670 Permanent and severe issues which stop the person resuming daily life as it was lived prior to their trauma.
(b) Moderately Severe £23,150 up to £59,860 A more positive prognosis is reached after the intervention of professional counselling.
(c) Moderate £8,180 up to £23,150 Largely a recovery with any ongoing symptoms being manageable.
(d) Less Severe Up to £8,180 An almost total level of recovery seen within a 24 month period and minor symptoms beyond this.

In addition to this, you could be awarded compensation for material damage. This is based on the financial losses you can prove were caused by the hospital data breach. You might have receipts and pay slips that reveal all the ways you have incurred expenses because of the breach such as:

  • Missed time from work with stress.
  • Credit score issues
  • Amounts stolen from your bank account.
  • The costs of trying to restore privacy and confidentiality.

If you want to learn more about material and non-material damage in your potential data breach claim against a hospital, get in touch. Advisors can offer free and impartial advice.

What Evidence Could Help You Claim For A Data Breach By A Hospital?

Supporting evidence can greatly improve the chances of your data breach claim. It can also increase the level of compensation you may receive if your claim is a success. The following are useful to bear in mind:

  • Hospitals and health trusts are obliged to inform patients of serious data breaches if they impact rights and freedoms. This can be in the form of a letter or email, and this communication can be used as evidence.
  • If you discover the breach yourself, you can raise a concern with the hospital and request an explanation.
  • If a satisfactory explanation is not forthcoming, wait no longer than 3 months to raise the complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office ICO, the independent governing body of data protection. Although they do not award compensation, any investigation the ICO carry out could support your case.
  • Obtain copies of medical evidence that reveals the extent of your psychological injury caused by the hospital data breach.
  • Keep evidence of any monetary harm incurred. This can be receipts, invoices, credit card or debit card statements and proof of a damaged credit score.

Importantly, you can seek independent legal representation at any point whilst awaiting the outcome of these matters. To get help on this, speak to our advisors at the free contact number above.

Claim For A Hospital Data Breach Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you are interested in seeking legal representation for your hospital data breach claim but have concerns about cost, at Public Interest Lawyers we could help. Our advisors start by offering a free case check when you get in touch.

Should your claim prove to be eligible, the team could put you in touch with a solicitor from our panel. They offer their services under a version of a No Win No Fee contract: a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This agreement extends the following advantages to clients such as:

  • Your solicitor will ask for no upfront payment for their services.
  • They won’t take payment for the work they perform on your case as it unfolds.
  • If the claim is a success, you need to pay a small success fee which is a percentage of the compensation.
  • This is subject to a legal cap as a way of making sure you benefit the most from your payout.
  • Should the claim be unsuccessful, no success fee needs to be paid.

If you would like to learn more about how an arrangement like this could help you with your hospital data breach claim, get in touch. Our advisors can run through a quick case check within minutes and connect eligible claimants with a solicitor to help.

  • Call the team on 0800 408 7825
  • Also, you can use our live chat feature located below.
  • Contact us via our website to get started.

Learn More About Data Breach Claims

In conclusion, we appreciate you reading this guide on making a hospital data breach claim. For further guides, please follow the links below:

We have also included external resources  to help:

Lastly, thank you for reading our guide on what you can do after a hospital data breach. Please connect with an advisor if you have any other questions.