Court Case Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide

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Court Case Data Breach Compensation Claims Case Study

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 9th March 2024. This guide will look at how a court case data breach can happen and when you can claim data breach compensation. Moreover, we will look at a figurative case study to show how a claimant could experience emotional distress after a court compromised their personal data.

Court case data breach

Court case data breach

This guide will also look at the responsibilities a data controller and data processor has to protect your personal data.

A data controller decides how and why they will process your personal information. A data processor acts on behalf of the controller. Also, a controller can process the personal data themselves.

We will explore the steps you can take if a data controller or processor fails to uphold the responsibility they have.

To see if you can claim compensation for data breaches that occur in court, you can speak to an advisor. To get in touch:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Court Case Data Breach?
  2. Types Of Data Handled By Courts
  3. Examples Of Court Case Data Breach Settlements
  4. Talk To Our Team About No Win No Fee Solicitors Today

What Is A Court Case Data Breach?

A personal data breach involves a security incident that affects the confidentiality, availability or integrity of your personal information.

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), data controllers and data processors have a responsibility to protect your personal data.

As part of their responsibilities, they could have strong administrative practices and train their employees in proper data management to prevent breaches. Moreover, organisations should have adequate and up to date security measures in place to prevent data breaches.

If an organisation fails to do so, it may have breached the UK GDPR. If this breach leads to your personal data becoming compromised and causes you harm or loss, you may be eligible to seek compensation by making a court case data breach claim.

For example, you could experience financial losses or emotional distress or an impact on your mental health. The compensation awarded can account for the ways in which the personal data breach has affected your life.

Types Of Data Handled By Courts

Personal data is information that identifies an individual—for example, first name and surname, postal address, email address and date of birth. In a court case, the court and other parties may handle case-specific information, such as information about a crime that was committed or injuries a victim suffered. As such, having information about a court case breached can be distressing.

Under the UK GDPR, extra protection is given to criminal offence data. This is information about offenders or suspected offenders relating to offences, criminal convictions or related security measures.

In addition, the UK GDPR gives extra protection to special category data, which can include information relating to a person’s:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Trade union membership
  • Biometric or genetic data
  • Philosophical or religious information
  • Health

If an organisation fails to protect the personal data that they process, causing it to become compromised, you may be able to claim compensation. However, you must prove that you suffered psychological harm or financial loss as a result.

How To Claim For A Court Case Data Breach

You may be wondering what your rights are if your personal data has been lost or compromised in any other way. Article 82 of the UK GDPR gives those affected by a personal data breach that was caused by an organisations failings the right to seek compensation.

To do so, you can take several steps, such as gathering evidence. This can include communication you have had with the organisation about the breach. They should let you know about the breach without undue delay if it’s affected your rights and freedoms.

Evidence can also include findings from an investigation conducted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO are responsible for upholding the rights and freedoms of data subjects. Organisations should report a breach to them within 72 hours if it has affected the rights and freedoms of a data subject. They may investigate the breach. However, they cannot award compensation.

Please contact us today to see if you are eligible to make a court case data breach claim.

Time Limit For Starting A Court Case Data Breach Claim

All personal data breach claims must be made within the relevant time limits. If you meet the eligibility criteria to make a personal data breach claim, you will generally have 6 years to start legal proceedings. However, if you are making your claim against a public body, this time limit is reduced to 1 year.

One of the benefits of making a personal data breach compensation claim with a solicitor is that they can ensure your claim is filed within the correct limitation period. Contact a member of our friendly advisory team today to see if one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you with your claim.

Examples Of Court Case Data Breach Settlements

If you make a successful court case data breach claim, you could receive material damage to compensate you for losing money or assets due to the personal data breach.

Moreover, you could also receive non-material damage to compensate for the psychological injury you experienced due to the personal data breach. This can include emotional distress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in more severe cases. You can make a claim for psychological harm independently of financial loss.

The table contents are based on the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. The guidelines are often used to help solicitors value the non-material damage head of claim. However, you should only use the figures as a guide because if you win your claim, your settlement may differ from what you see in the table.

Harm Notes Guideline Payout
(a) Severe – Mental Harm The person has serious problems with all parts of their life (such as work or education). They may be left vulnerable in the future. £54,830 to £115,730
(b) Moderately Severe – Mental Harm Though affected in a similar way to cases of severe mental harm, they have a more optimistic prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
(c) Moderate – Mental Harm The person could still struggle with parts of their life such as education or work. They will however markedly improve. £5,860 to £19,070
(d) Less Severe – Mental Harm Damages are dependent on how long the injury lasts and what impact there was on daily activities. £1,540 to £5,860
(a) Severe – Anxiety Disorder The disorder will have caused permanent effects. This prevents the person from being able to function at a pre-trauma level. £59,860 to £100,670
(b) Moderately Severe – Anxiety Disorder Overall the prognosis is more optimistic and there could be some degree of recovery if the person gets professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
(c) Moderate – Anxiety Disorder A large degree of recovery will have occurred. £8,180 to £23,150
(d) Less Severe – Anxiety Disorder A mostly full recovery has been made within a couple of years. £3,950 to £8,180

Please contact us for more information on how much data breach compensation you can claim.

Talk To Our Team About No Win No Fee Solicitors Today

Please contact our team today to find out whether you could be compensated following a court case data breach. An advisor may be able to assign a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to represent your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA states that you pay a success fee if your claim succeeds. If it fails, you will not have to pay a success fee. What’s more, you will pay your success fee out of your compensation payment, which means that you don’t have to find the funds to pay for the services of your solicitor upfront. The success fee is legally capped.

For more information, you can:

Learn More About Data Breaches In Court Cases

Please read our online resources to find out more information.

Thank you for reading our guide to making a claim following a court case data breach. We hope this guide has helped. If you need any other information, call us on the number above.

Written by Clarke/ Brown

Edited by Mitchell

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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