Stress From Data Breach Compensation Claims

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I Suffered Stress Due To A Data Breach Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 26th January 2024. Welcome to our GDPR data breach claims guide. This covers everything that you should know about making a data breach compensation claim. And this is generally the result of your stress due to a data breach. This guide offers guidance on the amount of GDPR data breach compensation you may receive, depending on the circumstances of your case.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is legislation introduced by the European Union (EU) in 2016. If you suffered from a GDPR breach, you could have grounds to make a compensation claim. To prove that data protection breach claims are valid, you must show you suffered harm because of a data breach. That applies whether the harm is in the form of distress, financial loss, or both.

Stressed man examining a data breach report at his desk

UK GDPR data breach claims

Our guide to claiming compensation for stress due to a data breach provides essential reading on how to go about proving you were harmed in some way. We explain what a data breach entails and how this could negatively impact you emotionally and financially.

Further details

This data protection breach claims guide also covers the various types of privacy breaches. And it outlines what could occur when a failure to comply with UK data protection laws happens.

We’ll provide advice on making a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about a data breach and how much a successful claim may be worth. We also provide info on what could be included in a data breach claim. This guide includes details on how you could benefit from the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor. This includes not needing to worry about upfront legal fees or ongoing fees either.

Please continue reading our guide to find out more about claiming compensation if you suffered stress due to a data breach. If you would like to discuss a compensation claim that is data breach-related with one of the Legal Expert advisers, please get in touch today.

You can contact an advisor in the following ways:

Select A Section

  1. When Could You Claim For Emotional Distress Caused By A Data Breach?
  2. Types Of Data Protection Or Privacy Breaches
  3. What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Data Breach Claim?
  4. Data Breach Distress Compensation – What Damages Can Be Claimed?
  5. Breach Of UK GDPR – How Compensation For Distress Is Calculated
  6. No Win No Fee Claims For Stress Due To A Data Breach
  7. Quick Links

When Could You Claim For Emotional Distress Caused By A Data Breach?

You may be entitled to start a claim for stress due to a data breach if you can prove the following:

  • Your personal information has been affected due to a data breach.
  • The data breach has caused you to suffer psychological harm or financial losses.
  • The breach occurred as a result of wrongful conduct.

A data controller determines why and how your personal information will be processed. They may also carry out the task of processing your personal information, or they hand this job to a data processor. A data processor takes care of processing personal data on behalf of a data controller.

While they are handling personal data, both data controllers and data processors must comply with certain procedures. These rules are set out within the  UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

If you would like to learn more about your eligibility to claim for a personal data breach that has caused you stress, you can contact our advisors for free today.

Types Of Data Protection Or Privacy Breaches

Data breaches can happen in any organisation, industry, business, school, or government department and bank. However, service-based industries are most targeted due to the direct contact with the general public.

All of the following may have experienced data security breaches over recent years:

  • Mobile phone networks
  • Retailers
  • Banks
  • Tech companies

A data breach could be if:

  • Personal data/information was mishandled or misused.
  • Hackers found private information.
  • Personal information was inadvertently leaked or lost
  • An organisation used your private data without your express permission
  • Corporate data was breached, and their banking information or other vital private data were leaked
  • Personal information was sent to a third party, and you did not authorise this to be done
  • An organisation did not keep up-to-date and accurate data about you, which as a consequence caused you harm

To speak to a Legal Expert about data protection breach claims, please contact one of our advisers today. You would be offered a free, initial, no-obligation consultation, which allows an advisor to assess your case before offering advice on how best to proceed.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Data Breach Claim?

To claim data breach distress compensation, you will need to provide evidence that confirms that your personal information has been involved in a data breach, and due to this, you suffered psychologically and financially. You also need to establish that the data breach was caused by a data controller or data processor’s positive wrongful conduct.

Examples of evidence that may support your claim include:

  • A notice letter from the organisation responsible for the data breach stating that your personal data has been compromised and what information was involved in this breach.
  • Any correspondence with the organisation responsible regarding the breach.
  •  A copy of your medical records that confirm the psychological injuries you have suffered and when you were diagnosed with them.
  •  If you report the breach to the ICO, and they decide to investigate it, their findings could be used as evidence.

For more information on whether you can claim compensation for a breach of data protection that saw your personal data compromised, you can contact our advisors today. After discussing your case with our advisors, they may connect you with one of our solicitors if they believe you have a valid claim.

Data Breach Distress Compensation – What Damages Can Be Claimed?

Compensation for distress and for financial losses are calculated differently.

Non-material damage compensation can be calculated with help from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG offers guideline compensation brackets for psychological injuries of differing severities. You can find some examples of the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below. Please note that these are guideline amounts only, and are not guaranteed. Please also note that the first entry


Injury type Severity of suffering Notes Compensation Awarded based on Judicial College Guidelines
Very Severe Psychological Damage And Financial Losses Very Severe The total compensation payout for the claimant will depend on the impact the breach has had in areas such as their work, relationships and general life. Up to £250,000+
Psychiatric Damage Severe The person will have problems with future vulnerability and their daily life. Prognosis will be very poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe Serious issues with coping with life but there is a more optimistic prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Marked improvements will have been made despite suffering with various issues. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Damage Less Severe Various factors such as how sleep was affected, will impact the amount awarded. £1,540 to £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Severe There will be permanent effects which will stop the person functioning as they did pre-trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Moderately Severe There is some room for recovery with professional help. But, they will still suffer with a significant disability for the foreseeable future. £23,150 to £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Moderate A large recovery has been made with any persisting effects not being majorly disabling. £8,180 to £23,150
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Less Severe A virtually complete recovery will have been made within 1-2 years. £3,950 to £8,180


Material damage compensation is unique to every claimant. This is because, as mentioned above, this head of claim tackles the financial losses of the breach. Because of this, we can’t offer any average or guideline figures for material damage compensation.

For more help with compensation in data breach claims, contact our team. One of our advisors can evaluate your claim for free.

No Win No Fee Claims For Stress Due To A Data Breach

If you contact our advisors about your potential claim for stress due to a data breach, they could review your case for free. If they determine you have a valid claim, they could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. Our solicitors can support data breach claims under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Claiming with a solicitor under this type of agreement brings several benefits. One is that you generally won’t need to pay your solicitor for their services at the start of your claim or while it’s being processed. You also won’t need to pay for their services if your claim goes ahead but proves unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, then your solicitor will take a small, legally capped percentage from your compensation. This is known as a success fee.

To learn more about claiming for a data breach with a No Win No Fee solicitor, contact our advisors for free today. To reach our team, you can:

Data Breach Solicitors

Regardless of where you’re based, we can help you claim data breach compensation. Please see below for some of our dedicated guides:

Police Data Breaches

In terms of real-life examples, a significant breach occurred in March 2023 when Capita, which administers the pension funds for dozens of organisations, suffered a cyber attack, including some of the biggest funds in the country. For more advice on the Capita data breach and compensation claims, head here

Quick Links

If you would like more information on the Data Protection Act, please click on the link provided below:

For more information on filing a complaint with the ICO, please follow the link below:

To learn more about how No Win No Fee claims work, please click on the link below:

For more information on how to make a successful personal injury claim, please follow the link provided below:

You can also check out these guides related to data breaches and claiming compensation for such breaches:

Thank you for reading our guide about GDPR data breach claims and GDPR data breach compensation.

If you still have any questions regarding data protection breach claims, you can contact us online or phone us on 0800 073 8804

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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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