Has your employer lost documents that contained your personal information? If you are looking for advice on seeking data breach compensation, this article can help. Employers need to protect personal data (like all other organisations and businesses), so if you can show that they failed to do this and it left you financially or psychologically harmed, you may be eligible to claim damages.
Key Takeaways From Our Guide
- Two main laws in the UK protect your data rights.
- The employer is classed as a data controller and needs to protect the personal data they have about you.
- Wrongful conduct that causes a data breach is something you could be compensated for.
- An independent watchdog called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can issue penalties against any organisation that fails to adhere to data protection law and their findings can support a claim.
- A No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel could take up your data breach claim.
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- How Public Interest Lawyers Could Help You For A Lost Files Data Breach
- How Much Compensation Could You Claim For A Data Breach If Your Employer Has Lost Documents?
- When Could You Claim For An Employer Data Breach?
- How Could My Employer Have Lost My Documents Containing Personal Information?
- An Employer Lost My Contract – What Can I Do?
- Use Our Panel Of No Win No Fee Solicitors To Claim For A Lost Files Data Breach
- Read More About Claiming Employer Data Breach Compensation
The solicitors on our panel have extensive experience in helping people claim data breach compensation. They offer services that include:
- Helping you to collect strong and relevant evidence for your claim.
- Ensuring that important documents are sent and received on time.
- Providing you with a realistic calculation of what you may be owed in compensation.
- Professionally presenting your case.
- Helping to explain complicated legal jargon or legislation.
Data breach cases can become quite complicated. Why not speak to an advisor to see if your claim is eligible? Even though it is not a legal must-have to use the services of a solicitor to start one, their help could dramatically improve the amount of damages you might get. Find out more in a quick call with the team on the number above.
After personal data has been breached, it can cause the impacted person a significant level of distress to know their details are now in the public domain. Depending on how severe the breach is (and the sensitivity of the data involved), a person can suffer worry, stress, anxiety, depression and even trauma reactions like PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder).
Therefore, if your data breach claim is successful, you could claim for both the material damage and non-material damage that you have suffered. Non-material damage is the psychological effect caused by the data breach.
To apply a value, those responsible for calculating compensation can refer to medical records and publications like the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists award brackets for injuries in order of severity, as the excerpt below shows:
Award Bracket Guidelines
|Psychological Damage Injuries
|General Psychiatric Damage
|Serious, permanent mental health damage that impacts normal life and presents a poor prognosis.
|£54,830 to £115,730
|(b) Moderately Severe
|Still sufficient level of injury but a better predicted future prognosis than bracket above.
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Similar mental health challenges but a distinct improvement is noted by the time the case may need to be heard at trial.
|£5,860 to £19,070
|(d) Less Severe
|This award bracket takes into account the duration of illness and problems caused.
|Up to £5,860
|PTSD – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
|Permanent trauma effects that leave the quality of the person’s life greatly reduced to before.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|(b) Moderately Severe
|A better prognosis than above after professional counselling has taken place.
|£23,150 to £59,860
|By and large a recovery with remaining symptoms not posing a gross impediment.
|£8,180 to £23,150
|(d) Less Severe
|Nearly a total recovery within a 24 month period with persisting symptoms after this being minor.
|£3,950 to £8,180
It is important to note that these figures represent general guidelines. Each claim is different and is valued accordingly.
Examples Of Material Losses When Claiming Employer Data Breach Compensation
Material damage refers to financial losses and expenses caused after your employer lost documents in a data breach security incident. To prove these losses, it is necessary to present documentation such as bank statements, credit reports, and payslips. Some examples of what could form part of your claim include:
- Damage to your credit score or business reputation.
- Loss of earnings because of time away from work caused by stress.
Our advisors can explain material and non-material damage in greater detail with you if you get in touch. They may also be able to connect you to a data breach solicitor on our panel to get started right away.
An eligible data breach claim against an employer needs to show two points at the start:
- That the data breach was caused by wrongful conduct on the part of the employer (the data controller) or any party working with the data on their behalf (the data processor).
- This caused/allowed a breach in which your personal data was involved.
- The breach caused you to suffer material damage, non-material damage, or both.
The ICO describes personal data as any detail about you that could reveal your identity on its own or alongside other details. This covers your name, address, date of birth, contact numbers, email address, and more sensitive personal data such as health records.
More sensitive data (special category) requires even greater care. Medical records, ethnicity details, sexual orientation information, political beliefs, and trade union affiliations are all special category personal data. Employers may need to retain and process information such as this.
Employers must process personal data in accordance with two main pieces of data protection law:
These laws outline correct data processing obligations for both controllers and processors. The ICO goes on to define a personal data breach as the loss, alteration, unlawful destruction, unauthorised access or duplication of personal data, either digitally or in hard copy format.
Again, understanding how an employer’s wrongful conduct could have led to the data breach is a complex area, so for precise help on your case, get in touch. The team can check you meet the criteria and help you from there. The call is free, and there is no obligation.
Now we have established the criteria to start a data breach claim after an employer lost documents, we can look at some related examples of data protection breaches:
- Your employer could throw your documents in the bin by accident.
- They could leave a laptop containing HR disciplinary information on a bus.
- Human error could mean a keystroke mistake deletes files.
Data breaches can be both accidental and deliberate. However, security incidents that cause a data breach are not automatically the employer’s fault. If they can show they did everything possible to prevent the issue, a claim will not be eligible. To be sure, speak to our advisors first at the number above.
If you are thinking of making a data breach claim because your employer lost documents or you would like to know what steps you could take after a breach, we have provided some below:
- Collect correspondence between you and the employer about the breach. All organisations have to tell data subjects of a breach that has the potential to impact their rights and freedoms as soon as possible. This correspondence acts as useful evidence.
- If you suspect a data breach yourself, you can ask your employer for more information.
- If you are dissatisfied with your employer’s response, you can complain to the ICO.
- Collect evidence that supports your claim for psychological harm, such as GP notes.
- Gather evidence of material loss, even documentation that you are not sure qualifies. If your claim is valid and you decide to work with a solicitor, they may notice something else in your paperwork that can be included.
- As you wait for the outcome of these actions, you can seek independent legal help about starting a compensation claim.
- Firstly, no upfront or ongoing fees apply to start work with the solicitor.
- If the claim wins, a capped percentage or ‘success fee’ from the award is payable.
- This success fee does not apply to claims that fail.
In contracts like this, the claimant always benefits the most. So why not speak to an advisor now to see if you qualify to work with a skilled data breach solicitor? You can:
- Call the team on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us online to discuss your claim.
- Start a conversation with the chat pop-up below.
- Can you sue your employer for emotional distress after a data breach?
- Can an employer give out your personal information without consent? Read more here.
- Some useful terminology is explained here, including the definition of a data breach.