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

By Stephen Taylor. Last updated 26th August 2021. 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 breach cases are valid, you must show you suffered harm because of the data breach, whether distress, financial loss, or both.

GDPR data breach claims

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

We’ll offer advice on making a data breach complaint to the ICO and how much a successful claim may be worth. We provide information on what could be included in a data breach claim. This guide also offers information on how you could benefit from the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor, which means you would not have 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:

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A Guide To Claims For Stress Due To A Data Breach

Welcome to our GDPR data breach claims guide.

If a data breach negatively impacted you, whether it caused you distress or financial loss, you could have the right to seek compensation for the harm you were caused. Our guide explains what evidence you need to prove that you were harmed in some way due to the breach, whether you suffered stress, financial losses, or both.

We explain what a data breach is and how you could be negatively impacted emotionally and financially when this happens. The guide offers advice on how emotional distress caused by a data breach would be assessed. We provide information on the different sorts of data protection or privacy breaches that might occur and could have a detrimental effect on you.

We offer advice on the time limit associated with this type of claim, which is 6 years for a data breach or 1 year for a breach of human rights. The guide also covers what would happen if a failure to comply with the GDPR and how you could make a data breach complaint to the ICO. We offer advice on the sort of compensation you could be awarded, and we provide an idea of how much a successful data breach distress claim may be worth.

The guide provides information on what a Conditional Fee Agreement is and how you could benefit from the legal services of a No Win No Fee solicitor when making stress due to a data breach claims.

If you would like to discuss your case with a member of the Legal Expert team, please call an adviser today.

What Is A Data Breach?

Before we look at GDPR data breach claims, let’s determine what a data breach actually is.

If you were the victim of a data breach which resulted in your personal information being accessed by hackers or other unauthorised persons, under GDPR, you might have the right to seek compensation for harm suffered.

People have always been able to seek compensation for financial losses due to a data breach, but you also have the right to sue for the distress you were caused when your personal data is misused.

You could seek compensation for stress due to a data breach without having to show the breach caused your financial losses. Should you suffer distress because your personal data was breached, you can seek compensation for that alone.

If a private company holds your personal data and breaches its security, you could seek compensation. A data breach could be any of the following:

  • Your personal data is lost;
  • Personal data is destroyed;
  • Or personal data is disclosed or accessed by an unauthorised person/people/company/organisation.

This applies to a deliberate data breach from somebody within an organisation or someone working outside the company. The breach could have occurred by accident by someone in a company or a person/people who do not work for the company.

If you would like to discuss your case with a Legal Expert adviser, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

And What Could Be The Impact Of A Data Breach?

Unfortunately, data breaches are all too common, and if you fall victim to having your personal data accessed by an unauthorised person, the consequences can be devastating. It could lead to you incurring financial losses and/or having your identity stolen. Cybercriminals can steal identities to then set up fraudulent bank accounts while at the same time accessing your bank account.

The consequences of this happening to you may result in distress, anxiety, and emotional anguish. As such, you can seek compensation for the harm the data breach caused you. To find out more about making GDPR data breach claims, please call a member of the Legal Expert team today.

What Is Emotional Distress Caused By A Data Breach?

You might have the right to seek compensation under GDPR if you were the victim of a data breach that caused you distress. When you make a data breach-related claim, a court will assess specific circumstances relating to your case while at the same time factoring in other considerations. This would include the following:

  • The nature of the data breach/disclosure
  • The sensitivity of the data that was disclosed

The amount of GDPR data breach compensation awarded by a court would be based on the level of psychological and psychiatric distress the data breach caused you. The court would also highlight a breach of the Data Protection Act or a more serious invasion of privacy that is deemed deliberate was involved in the breach.

For a data breach claim to be valid, you must prove the breach caused you to harm either financially and/or emotionally. To find out whether you could have valid GDPR data breach claims, please speak to a Legal Expert adviser 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 GDPR data 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.

Failures To Comply With GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law that the European Union (EU) passed, a set of rules that govern how peoples’ personal data should be managed. This regulation came into effect in 2016, and anyone that violates its privacy and security standards may receive harsh fines or sanctions.

If you believe your personal information was breached and you could like to know if you have a valid claim, please contact a Legal Expert adviser today. To learn more about how to make GDPR data breach claims, please read on.

How To Make A Data Breach Complaint To The ICO

If you fell victim to a data breach, you have the right to complain with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) before making GDPR data breach claims. However, there is a procedure to follow, which is detailed below:

  • Contact the organisation responsible for the data breach
  • If you do not get a response, or the response you receive is inadequate, as a last resort, you have the right to file a complaint with the ICO

It is worth noting that you are not required to file a complaint with the ICO, and if you have not had meaningful contact with the organisation responsible for the data breach, you have the right to seek legal advice.

It is also noteworthy that the ICO would not investigate a case if there were an undue time delay in contacting them about a data breach. As such, you must raise your complaint to the ICO within 3 months of the data breach.

Please be aware that the ICO does not award compensation.

To discuss your case with a Legal Expert adviser, please contact a member of our team today, so your case can be assessed and free legal advice provided on how best to pursue your data breach compensation claim.

What Types Of Compensation Could You Be Awarded For Data Breach Distress?

You could be able to make GDPR data breach claims for any of the following reasons:

  • If you suffered damage/harm due to the data protection law having been broken,  you have the right to claim for material and non-material damage.
  • Or if you suffered emotional distress or financial losses, such as medical bills, loss of earnings or the like
  • And if you experience financial loss, anguish, anxiety, or medical harm

When it comes to emotional distress due to a data breach, this could see you experiencing any of the following:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Feeling unsettled
  • Illness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety

If you were the victim of a data breach, your close family, your friends and even work colleagues may be negatively impacted too. In short, they may also have been put under undue stress because you have been the victim of a data breach.

To speak to a Legal Expert adviser about a data breach claim for compensation, please contact a team member today who would be happy to assess your case before offering essential legal advice on how best to proceed with a data breach-related claim.

What damages could I include in GDPR data breach claims?

As is the case for most personal injury claims, there are two different types of damage that you could be compensated for as part of GDPR data breach claims. These are referred to as general damages and special damages.

General Damages

If you suffered stress due to your data breach, you could claim compensation for this as part of general damages. This head of damage covers pain and suffering that you suffered through no fault of your own, which could be psychological or physical.

Special Damages

If your data breach caused you to suffer any financial losses, you could recover these by claiming special damages. For example, have you paid out of pocket for expenses relating to your data breach or lost vital earnings because your data breach forced you to take time off work? Whatever your situation, if you can evidence these losses through bank statements and the like, you could claim compensation for them.

To learn more about how to calculate compensation from a claim for a data breach, please read on. Or get in touch for a free consultation about your potential GDPR data breach claims.

Calculating Compensation For Stress Due To A Data Breach

Our guide to seeking compensation for stress due to a data breach features the table below. This indicates how much you may receive for the harm. The amounts are a guideline only and use the Judicial College Guidelines, considering that every claim is unique.

Injury typeSeverity of suffering
Compensation Awarded based on Judicial College Guidelines
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Severe£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Moderate£7,680 to £21,730
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Less SevereUp to £7,680
Psychiatric Damage
Severe£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage
Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage
Moderately£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage
Less Severe£1,440 to £5,500
Mental AnguishFear of impending death£4,380

To speak to a Legal Expert adviser about your case, please call a member of our team today.

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

When you contact a member of the Legal Expert team, you would be offered an initial consultation for free. This first consultation allows one of our experts the chance to assess your data breach claim. Then, if your case is valid with a strong chance of success, you receive No Win No Fee terms. You’re under no obligation to pursue a claim if you decide not to after this initial consultation.

However, when proceeding with your data breach claim, you must sign a Conditional Fee Agreement. This legal contract between you and the solicitor sets out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement.

It also sets out the percentage you pay the No Win No Fee solicitor, the ‘success fee’. You only pay this fee when you receive data breach compensation. Should your case of compensation for breaches be unsuccessful, you would not have to pay the success fee to the solicitor. That’s because they sign the CFA with you.

Start A Claim

If you are ready to begin GDPR data breach claims for yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Legal Expert team today.

You can contact an advisor in the following ways:

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:

If you suffered PTSD about a data breach, the following link provides essential reading on claiming compensation:

GDPR Data Breach Claims FAQs

Can you claim for a data breach?

This is doable as long as you have sufficient evidence to support this.

How much can I claim for a GDPR breach?

You could potentially claim £2,000 or more for a GDPR data breach.

What should I do if my personal information suffers a compromise?

These include changing passwords, agreeing to two-factor authentication, checking company updates, monitoring your accounts and freezing your credit.

Is revealing my email address a breach of GDPR?

Not necessarily, though it could be the case for a company email address.

What is personal data?

This includes telephone numbers, credit card information, account data and customer postal and email addresses. And this information could potentially lead to identity theft in the wrong hands.

What is not personal information?

This includes accuracy, lawfulness, data minimisation, transparency, storage limitation, fairness, purpose limitation, accountability, security and integrity.

What is a breach of GDPR?

This is any security breach causing data to suffer loss, destruction, alteration, undesirable access or disclosure.

Could someone suffer a fine due to a GDPR breach?

This is a possibility, though it depends on the severity and type of data breach.

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

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