Sexual Abuse Data Breach – Could You Claim Compensation?

In this guide, we will explore when you could be eligible to seek compensation following a sexual abuse data breach. There are several criteria that must be met in order for you to begin a personal data breach claim. We will discuss these further throughout our guide, including the limitation period for beginning legal proceedings.

sexual abuse data breach

Sexual Abuse Data Breach – Could You Claim Compensation?

Additionally, this guide will explore the steps you can take following a breach of your personal data, including contacting the organisation responsible, gathering evidence and reporting the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent body for the UK that is responsible for upholding information rights. They can take enforcement action if they find an organisation has breached data protection laws.

There are two main pieces of legislation that govern the way certain parties need to process your personal data. As you move through this guide, you will find information on the responsibilities these parties have as well as examples of how they could breach your personal data and how this could affect you.

Furthermore, we will provide information on data breach settlements, including what they could consist of and how they are calculated.

Finally, this guide will discuss the benefits of working with a solicitor who offers their services under No Win No Fee terms.

If you have any other questions regarding your potential claim, please get in touch using the contact details provided below:

  • Phone number: 0800 408 7825
  • Online form: Contact us online
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor via the live chat function below.

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What Is A Sexual Abuse Data Breach Claim?

Data controllers, those who outline the purpose for processing, and data processors, those who act on the instruction of a controller, have a responsibility to protect your personal data. This is as per the UK General Data Protection Regulation ((UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

If they fail to adhere to data protection laws, it could lead to a personal data breach. This can be defined as a security incident that affects the following in relation to your personal data:

  • Availability
  • Integrity
  • Confidentiality

If you can demonstrate that a breach occurred as a result of the controller’s or processor’s failings; this affected your personal data; and caused you psychological harm, monetary damage or both, as a result, you may be eligible to seek compensation.

You also need to ensure you begin legal proceedings within the limitation period. This is generally 6 years. However, it can be reduced to 1 year if you’re claiming against a public body.

For more information on the eligibility criteria and the time limits for starting a personal data breach claim, contact an advisor via the number at the top of the page.

What Personal Data Could Be Affected In A Breach?

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify you. This can include your name, email address, phone number and date of birth.

There is also a type of personal data that needs extra protection because it is sensitive in nature. This is known as special category data and can include data concerning a person’s health as well as information revealing their ethnic or racial origin. In order to process this data lawfully, you must identify a lawful basis under Article 6 of the UK GDPR as well as a separate condition for processing under Article 9 of the UK GDPR.

Whilst it is not classed as special category date, the ICO states that information about victims or witnesses is likely to be sensitive or high risk. As such, organisations must take particular care and give extra protection when processing this type of personal data as doing so can create significant risks to the wellbeing of individuals concerned.

Also, if an organisation processes special category data about victims or witnesses, they must meet the requirements laid out above to do so. For example, they may be processing data concerning a victim’s health, including details about the physical or psychological harm they experienced. A breach of this data could have several effects on the person’s life.

If you have been affected by a sexual abuse data breach and would like to understand whether you could be eligible to seek compensation, please get in touch on the number above.

Examples Of A Sexual Abuse Data Breach

There are various scenarios in which a sexual abuse data breach could occur. For example:

  • Police data breach: An email containing sensitive information in relation to an incident involving sexual abuse is sent to the wrong email address.
  • Psychiatrist data breach: A physical file containing information relating to a person’s mental health may have been stored in an unlocked cabinet allowing an unauthorised party access.
  • Court data breach: There may have been a failure to redact your personal information before sharing a file in court. As a result, a victim of sexual abuse is identified in a breach.

To discuss your specific circumstances and find out whether you could have valid grounds to pursue a personal data breach claim, contact our team today.

How Could A Data Breach Impact You?

A sexual abuse data breach could impact a person in several ways. For example, if personal data of a sensitive nature is compromised in a breach, it could lead to the person experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional distress or post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, it could make existing mental health problems worse.

Additionally, there could be an impact on the person financially. For example, they may need to take time off work to recover from the effect of the breach. As such, this could lead to them experiencing a loss of earnings.

In instances where you meet the eligibility criteria laid out earlier in this guide, you could be awarded compensation to address the different types of damage you experienced because of the breach.

Potential Data Breach Compensation Payouts

After making a successful personal data breach claim, you could be awarded compensation for the following:

  • Material damage: This relates to the monetary losses you have incurred as a result of the personal data breach. As mentioned, this could include lost income resulting from time taken off work to recover from the breach. Evidence in the form of payslips could help prove these losses when claiming them back.
  • Non-material damage: This relates to the emotional distress suffered due to the personal data breach.

When valuing non-material damage, solicitors can use medical evidence as well as the Judicial College Guidelines to help them. This is a document containing a list of guideline award brackets. Some of these figures have been included in the following table.

However, as each case is unique, the settlement you receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. As such, you should only use the figures as a guide.

Type Of Harm Level Of Severity Notes Guideline Award Brackets
Psychological Harm Severe The person experiences marked problems in relation to their ability to cope with different aspects of their life, including work and their relationships. As such, there is a very poor prognosis. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychological Harm Moderately Severe The person experiences similar problems to the bracket above, these are of a significant nature. However, the prognosis is better. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychological Harm Moderate A significant improvement will have been made in relation to the problems experienced in the above brackets. There will also be a good prognosis. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychological Harm Less Severe Consideration is given to how long the person is affected and to what extent. £1,540 to £5,860
Anxiety Disorder Severe The person experiences permanent effects which prevent them from returning to employment or functioning at a pre-trauma level. As such, every aspect of their life will be badly affected. £59,860 to £100,670
Anxiety Disorder Moderately Severe Due to receiving professional help, the person will have shown some recovery and will have a better prognosis. However, for the foreseeable future, effects are likely to cause them to have a significant disability. £23,150 to £59,860
Anxiety Disorder Moderate There may be persisting issues that are not disabling in a major way and the person will have made a significant recovery. £8,180 to £23,150
Anxiety Disorder Less Severe A mostly full recovery will have taken place within a couple of years. If there are any minor symptoms, these won’t continue for a long period. £3,950 to £8,180

For more information on the data breach compensation payout that could be awarded to you if your claim succeeds, please contact an advisor.

Make A Sexual Abuse Data Breach Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

Once it has been determined that you have valid grounds to pursue compensation, you could choose to work with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel. They offer their services under the terms of a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement. Typically, this means the following:

  • Firstly, you won’t be required to pay for the work your solicitor has completed on your case at the start of your claim, while it proceeds or if it fails.
  • Secondly, upon the completion of a successful claim, you will be required to pay a success fee from your compensation. Your solicitor will deduct this as a percentage. However, the amount they are able to take is restricted by law.

To discuss the terms of this type of No Win No Fee contract in more detail, please get in touch with our team of advisors. They can also provide further guidance on your eligibility to claim following a sexual abuse data breach and answer any questions you might have pertaining to your potential claim.

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Related Claims Guides

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Thank you for reading this guide on when you could claim compensation following a sexual abuse data breach. If you have any other questions, please speak with an advisor by calling the number above.

Article by AH

Publisher EI