This guide will explain what steps you could take if the wrong medical records were sent by a solicitor. When you work with a solicitor, they may need to have access to your personal data. If this was involved in a breach caused by their wrongdoing, and you were harmed as a result, you could be entitled to make a claim.
Throughout this guide, we will look at the process of claiming after a data breach. We’ll address what is considered personal data and how a breach could occur. Furthermore, we will address how claims of this nature are assigned a value.
Please get in touch with Public Interest Lawyers to enquire about claiming data breach compensation. If you have a valid claim, they could connect you with a data breach solicitor from our panel to work on your case. To speak with a member of our team, you can:
- Call our claims helpline on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us to make a claims request online
- Use the web chat feature below to speak with an advisor
Select A Section
- What Are Solicitors’ Responsibilities Under The UK GDPR?
- What Medical Records Could Solicitors Handle?
- Potential Impact If A Solicitor Sent the Wrong Medical Records
- How Do You Claim Damages?
- Are There Average Payouts For Data Breach Claims?
- Talk To Solicitors For Expert Claims Advice
There are laws that are in place to protect personal data, and solicitors are expected to adhere to comply to these laws wholly even if exemptions apply in certain circumstances. Personal data is defined as any processed information that can be used to identify an individual; the person to whom personal data relates is known as a “data subject”. The definition of a data breach is an incident that compromises the integrity, availability or confidentiality of personal data.
There are two broad categories of entities that could be tasked with protecting personal data. A data controller is someone who decides how and why personal data is processed. In some cases, a data processor may be tasked with processing data on their behalf. Both groups are responsible for upholding data protection laws.
Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations are responsible for protecting the data they process. For example, they should adhere to the 7 key principles applicable to data processing.
If a UK GDPR data breach occurred involving your personal data, this does not automatically entitle you to claim. You must show that:
- The breach happened because of the failings of the data processor; and
- You were caused harm by the breach (either financial, mental or both)
If you have any questions about claiming compensation for the harm a data breach has caused you, speak with a member of our team today.
A solicitor might need to handle your medical records for a number of reasons. For example, if you’re making a personal injury claim, then you might need to provide medical evidence in support of this. These could be records you’ve obtained from your doctor, or the results of an independent medical assessment.
Personal data relating to health is considered special category data. This means that it requires additional protection because it’s sensitive.
A medical record data breach could happen if, for example, you provided your medical records to your lawyer for use in a claim and they mistakenly sent them to another client.
Medical records that your solicitor has could include:
- Details of your injury or condition
- Information about your prognosis
- Records of any treatment you have undergone or will undergo
- A record of any pre-existing condition that you suffer from
If you’d like to speak with an advisor and find out some examples of data breaches that could be the basis of a claim, speak with a member of our team today.
In order to make a claim following a data breach, you would need to show that you were harmed by the breach. This harm can be mental, financial or both.
If data concerning someone’s health was exposed in a breach, this could cause the individual to become stressed at the thought that someone without authorisation could access this information about them. This could cause them to suffer from anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, for example.
Data breaches can also cause financial harm. For example, if your personal data was exposed in a breach, someone could use this to steal your identity and take credit cards out in your name, affecting your credit score.
If you have been affected by a data breach, then speak with a member of our team today. They could offer free advice on whether you could be eligible to claim if the wrong medical records were sent by your solicitor
In the event that you have been affected by a solicitor data protection breach, and this breach affects your rights and freedoms, they should notify you without undue delay and report the incident to the ICO within 72 hours.
If you suspect that a breach has happened, you can check if your data has been breached with the party in question and ask them to confirm whether one has occurred. They can let you know if your personal data has been involved in a breach and, if so, what data was impacted.
You can take your circumstances to the ICO if you’re unhappy with the response from the party in question, but you should do this within 3 months of the last meaningful communication with them. The ICO cannot award compensation, but they can investigate the issue.
If you’re wondering how to deal with a data protection breach, speak with a member of our team today.
In a successful data breach claim, your settlement could be made up of compensation for material and non-material damage. Material damage refers to the financial losses the breach has caused, and non-material damage refers to the emotional impact.
The Judicial College Guidelines is a publication that is used to assign values to claims, including non-material damage in a data breach claim. We have included excerpts from them below. However, these should only be used as a guide as the actual amount you receive will depend on the circumstances surrounding your claim. It’s for this reason that we don’t provide the average data breach amount, as it may not be as useful as a consultation about the specifics of your case.
|Notes On This Injury
|Severe (a) £54,830 to £115,730
|Significant problems with various parts of life. The prognosis is very poor overall.
|Moderately Severe (b) £19,070 to £54,830
|Prognosis is better than in more serious cases, but the person does still have significant issues across different areas of their life.
|Moderate (C) £5,860 to £19,070
|The prognosis is much better than in more serious cases with a marked improvement made despite some problems.
|Less Severe (d) £1,540 to £5,860
|Factors such as the impact on this person’s sleeping cycle and the duration of these effects may be taken into account.
|Severe (a) £59,860 to £100,670
|Disorders give rise to permanent negative impacts. These extend across multiple parts of the person’s life such as employment.
|Moderately Severe (b) £23,150 to £59,860
|The prognosis anticipates recovery to some degree, though there is a risk of disability.
|Moderate (c) £8,180 to £23,150
|Lasting symptoms that are not very disabling and a largely full recovery made.
|Less Severe (d) £3,950 to £8,180
|The person should recover in a 1 – 2 year period with minor symptoms lasting beyond this.
Material damage in a data breach claim could include:
- Money taken from your account in a bank account data breach
- The cost of counselling for mental health issues it’s caused
- The cost of moving home if a data breach has put you in danger. This could occur if, for example, a social services data breach exposed your data to an abusive ex-partner.
If you’d like guidance on the process of claiming you can speak with a member of our team today.
If the wrong medical records were sent by your solicitor and you’re wondering if you could claim, speak with a member of our team today. If you have a valid case, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could be appointed to work on your claim.
There are many benefits to working with a No Win No Fee lawyer. For example, you don’t pay upfront or as the claim progresses. Furthermore, there’s no requirement for you to pay your data breach solicitor for the services they’ve provided if your claim isn’t a success. You will instead pay a success fee if you win your claim.
If your claim does not succeed, you will not have to pay a success fee. Under The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the percentage that can be taken as a success fee is capped.
Please get in touch with if you’re wondering “can I claim compensation if my data is breached?” using the following details:
- Call our advice line at 0800 408 7825
- Contact us to request a callback
- Talk to an advisor now using the live chat feature below
Further Action You Can Take After A Data Breach
These guides might be helpful if your personal medical data is breached.
Does an organisation need your consent to process your data? – a guide from the ICO
How to recognise and protect yourself from identity theft – an ICO guide
Data Protection: rights for data subjects – a UK Government guide
We hope this guide to claiming compensation if the wrong medical records were sent by a solicitor has been helpful, please get in touch if you have further queries.
Article by AH