In this article, we will examine what could be a potential private healthcare data breach. Without using personal data, it would be difficult for a private healthcare company to function safely. However, that information must be protected in accordance with data protection laws. Specifically, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) must be adhered to.
If you are a client of a private healthcare provider, the company are likely to need a lot of information about you. This may include your name, contact number, payment details and medical records. To meet the requirements of the DPA and the UK GDPR, your healthcare provider must try to protect this information. If they don’t, and you suffer as a result, you could be entitled to begin a data breach claim. We’ll look at the process involved and provide some examples of how data breaches have the potential to occur in healthcare.
We can help with data breach claims, in the same way, we can support public liability claims, accident at work claims and car accident claims. We’ll offer you a free consultation if you’re thinking of seeking damages following a data breach. If your case appears to be strong enough, we could refer it to a data breach solicitor from our panel. They’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis if they take your case on. Therefore, you’ll only pay their fees if you are paid compensation.
To learn more about data breach claims in the healthcare sector, please read on. Alternatively, why not call us on 0800 408 7825 today if you’d like to take action right away?
Select A Section
- Private Healthcare Data Breach Claims Explained
- What Is A Private Healthcare Data Breach?
- How Could A Private Healthcare Company Breach Data Protection Laws?
- What Damages Could Data Breach Victims Claim?
- Calculating Data Breach Settlements
- No Win No Fee Claims For Private Healthcare Data Breaches
- Start Your Claim For A Private Healthcare Data Breach Today
- Where Can I Learn More
Private Healthcare Data Breach Claims Explained
If a healthcare company were to break data protection laws, it might be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Part of their remit is to advise companies on how to prevent data security incidents. Where necessary, the ICO can issue massive financial penalties for breaches of the UK GDPR. However, they can’t issue compensation to those affected by the incident.
That’s why we’ve written this guide on claiming for financial or psychological suffering caused by a private healthcare data breach. We’ll provide information on how breaches can occur and what compensation you could be entitled to claim. Please remember that not everyone who is a victim of a data breach can be eligible to claim compensation though. We explain more about this as we go through the guide.
Data breaches have many faces, we could help with wrong email address claims, data breaches caused by human error and breaches caused by a failure to use the BCC field in an email (amongst other things). Please get in touch if you would like free legal advice on your options.
Private Healthcare Data Breach Statistics
The rules of the UK GDPR mean that organisations must tell the ICO about some data security incidents but only if they affect the rights and freedoms of a data subject. An organisation will be referred to as a data controller if they collect personal data from a data subject. A data subject refers to a living human who has personal data processed about themselves.
The chart below shows the number of reported non-cyber security incidents in the healthcare sector for the period 1st July to 30th September 2021. The data covers all healthcare establishments, not just private firms.
What Is A Private Healthcare Data Breach?
In terms of the UK GDPR, a personal data breach is where a security problem causes:
- The accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, access, disclosure or alteration of personal data
Personal data means any information that could identify you. This might include your contact details, medical records or credit card details amongst other things. It could also include information about your gender, age, marital status and other characteristics.
Claims may be possible whether the incident was caused by an illegal, deliberate or accidental action.
However, for any data subject to hold a valid claim against a data controller they must have evidence that the organisation failed to correctly secure their personal information. If they can show that your personal data was protected in line with the rules of the DPA, then there would be no claim.
We can provide free legal advice if you believe you’ve been the victim of a private healthcare data breach. Why not call today if you believe you’ve got the grounds to take action?
How Could A Private Healthcare Company Breach Data Protection Laws?
Data breaches can be caused accidentally as explained above. For example, they could result from:
- A laptop being left on a train.
- Failing to shred personal documents before disposal.
- Staff sharing confidential information with those who have no authority to know it.
What Damages Could Data Breach Victims Claim?
When data breach claims are successful the claimant can claim up to two types of damages:
- Material damages. This is where any costs, expenses or financial losses caused by the breach could be claimed back.
- Non-material damages. This part of your claim will focus on any psychological harm you’ve suffered because of the breach. Distress, depression and anxiety are all examples of what could be considered here.
We should point out that there are time limits for starting data breach claims. While many claims have a 6-year limitation period, others have just 1-year to be made. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start your claim quickly so that your case isn’t statute-barred. If that happens, you could miss out on any compensation you may be entitled to.
Calculating Data Breach Settlements
Let’s now take a look at what compensation could be paid for the non-material damages head of a data breach claim. Before we provide potential figures, it’s important to look at some recent court cases.
During the hearing of Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc , the court set out that:
- It’s possible to claim compensation for mental harm regardless of whether the data breach caused any monetary loss.
This was a move away from previous rulings on data breach claims.
In a separate court case, Gulati & Others v MGN Limited , the court stated that moneys owed for non-material damages should be paid in line with personal injury claims.
Therefore, in our compensation table, we’ve used amounts from the Judicial College guidelines.
What Could My Payout Be Worth?
Please use the compensation table below for guidance on what amounts could be awarded. These figures relate to non-material damages.
|Type Of Injury||Severity||Compensation Range||Further Details|
|Psychiatric Injuries||(a) Severe||£51,460 to £108,620||The prognosis for a claimant in this category will be very poor. They probably won't benefit from treatment which will leave them vulnerable and relationships, work and daily life will also suffer.|
|(c) Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900||The claimant will receive a good prognosis in this category. Although they will suffer initially, there will already have been a good deal of recovery.|
|(d) Less Severe||£1,440 to £5,500||This category looks at the length of time the claimant suffered. For example, it will consider how long their sleep was affected.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(b) Moderately Severe||£21,730 to £56,180||The claimant will suffer with symptoms like mood disorders, nightmares, avoidance and flashbacks. While symptoms will have a significant effect initially, professional support should mean improvements will be seen.|
|(c) Moderate||£3,710 to £7,680||In this category, the claimant will have recovered from most symptoms. Any that continue will not cause too many adverse effects.|
No Win No Fee Claims For Private Healthcare Data Breaches
Deciding whether you want to hire a solicitor can be a challenging decision especially if you are worried about upfront costs. Therefore, our panel of data breach solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that if your claim is taken on, you won’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work upfront. Furthermore, you’ll not pay them if the claim fails and you’re not compensated.
After reviewing your case, you’ll receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) if the solicitor agrees to work for you. This is your contract and it allows your solicitor to begin working on your case. The CFA will set out the conditions that need to be met before you’ll pay any solicitor’s fees.
Where your claim is won, you’ll pay a success fee to cover your solicitor’s work. This fee is detailed in the CFA. It’s a percentage of any settlement you receive. To prevent overcharging, success fees are capped to 25% when using a CFA.
To see if you are eligible for a No Win No Fee service, please speak to us today.
Start Your Claim For A Private Healthcare Data Breach Today
To see if you could claim for a private healthcare data breach, you can:
- Call us free on 0800 408 7825.
- Contact us online to request a call back when it’s convenient.
- Use our live chat service to discuss your options online.
Where Can I Learn More
Dental Data Breach Claims – Information on claiming if your data has been leaked during a data security breach at a dental surgery.
Lost Or Stolen Device Claims – Explains when you could claim if your data is exposed after a laptop is lost or stolen.
Credit Card Data Breach – Advice on how to claim following a data breach by your credit card company.
When Is Consent Needed? – The ICO explains when your permission is needed before your data is processed.
Your Data Protection Rights – Government guidance on your rights when it comes to data security.
Complain To The ICO – Information on when and how you can raise concerns about data security with the ICO.
You’ve reached the end of this article about claiming for a private healthcare data breach. Please let us know if you require any further information.