Advice For Data Breach Claims Against A Solicitor

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Solicitors Lost My Case File – Can I Claim For A UK GDPR Breach?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 8th March 2024. Have solicitors lost your case file? Are you looking for further guidance regarding making a personal data breach claim? In this guide, we will look at instances where a solicitor has lost your personal records, paperwork, or documentation that has made up your case file and contains your personal data.

Solicitors lost case file

Solicitors lost your case file claims guide

Additionally, we shall discuss the criteria you must meet in order to make a valid personal data breach claim. Furthermore, we shall discuss how a personal data breach could impact you and the potential compensation you could receive for a successful claim.

You can contact our advisors if you still have any questions about making a personal data breach claim. Our friendly team can offer you free legal advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week concerning your potential claim.

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  1. What Documents And Files Do Solicitors Handle?
  2. Do Solicitors Need Original Documents?
  3. How Could Solicitors Have Lost Your Case File?
  4. How Could You Be Impacted If Solicitors Lost Your Case File?
  5. What Could You Claim If Solicitors Have Lost Your Case File?
  6. Can You Claim Against A Solicitor With A No Win No Fee Agreement

What Documents And Files Do Solicitors Handle?

Personal data is any information that could directly identify you or in combination with other information. Personal data can include your name, mobile number, home address and bank account details.

A personal data breach is when your personal information is either lost, destroyed, altered, accessed or disclosed either accidentally or without a lawful basis.

Additionally, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), alongside the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), set out the obligations expected of all companies and organisations that process the personal data of UK residents. This legislation is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is an independent UK authority.

Any solicitor that handles or processes the personal data of a UK resident must follow data protection law. Solicitors could handle many different cases and documents, such as personal injury claims, wills, and housing purchases. The legislation above protects both digital and physical forms of personal data.

If solicitors have lost your case file, you might be able to make a personal data breach claim. However, you will need to prove that the solicitor’s failings caused the personal data breach and that, as a direct result, you suffered psychological harm or financial loss.

Contact our advisors today on the steps you could take if your personal data has been lost.

Time Limit For Claiming For A Data Breach By A Solicitor

If you meet the eligibility criteria to make a claim for a data breach by a solicitor, it’s important to make sure that you begin your claim within the time limit. This time limit differs depending on who you are making a claim against.

Generally, you will have six years to start your personal data breach claim. However, if you are making a claim against a public body, such as a local council, then this time limit can differ. In this case, you will have one year to start your claim.

If you choose to work with a solicitor on your data breach claim, they can help ensure that you begin proceedings within the correct time limit. To find out how one of our solicitors could help you claim compensation for a solicitor data breach, contact our team today.

Do Solicitors Need Original Documents?

Depending on the situation and requirements of a case, your solicitor may require original documents to proceed, for example, the original document of a will. However, in certain circumstances, they may only need a copy, such as a scanned copy of your passport, for ID purposes.

If these documents were to be lost or stolen, an unauthorised person could access your personal information, and as a result, you could suffer financial or mental harm.

If solicitors have lost your case file and you are wondering how to report a data breach incident, contact our advisors today.

How Could Solicitors Have Lost Your Case File?

As we have previously stated, a solicitor could store your personal data either in a digital or a physical format. Such as a memory stick or paper files. Due to this, personal data breaches can be categorised into cyber and non-cyber incidents. Some examples of how your personal data could become compromised due to a solicitor’s failings include:

  • Misdelivery of data – A solicitor either emails or posts documents containing your personal data to the wrong person.
  • Cyberattacks – This could be due to the organisation not updating its cybersecurity measures.
  • Loss and/or theft of paperwork – E.g. a solicitor leaves a briefcase containing your personal information on a train by accident, leading to unauthorised parties accessing your data.
  • Lack of data protection training – This could lead to someone verbally disclosing personal information from your case file without a lawful basis.

Remember, for your personal data breach claim to be valid, you must prove that you suffered mental or financial harm due to the personal data breach. You must also be able to prove that the breach occurred due to the solicitor’s failings.

Contact our advisors today to see whether you could make a claim if solicitors have lost your case file.

How Could You Be Impacted If Solicitors Lost Your Case File?

There are a number of ways you could be impacted if solicitors lost your case file. These impacts can be mental and financial. 

For example, if your case file contained your banking details or credit card information, you could potentially suffer financial losses if someone were to access this data. For example, this could lead to a breach of your bank account, with money stolen from your account or charges made to your credit card. This could also have a negative impact on your credit score.

You may also suffer emotional distress due to your personal data being compromised. For example, you could suffer from various psychological injuries, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Contact our advisors today if you have evidence that your personal data has been breached to find out what steps to take next.

What Could You Claim If Solicitors Have Lost Your Case File?

If you make a successful personal data breach claim, you could receive material and non-material damage.

Non-material damage aims to compensate you for the psychological harm you suffer due to the personal data breach. Providing evidence, such as a copy of your medical records proving that you suffered emotional harm, could help support your claim.

With this in mind, we have created the following table to help you understand how much you could potentially receive in non-material damage. The figures we have provided have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), as many solicitors will use this document to help them value various claims. However, please only use this table as a guide. How much you could receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your claim.

Edit
Non-Material Damage
(Injury)
Notes Amount
Psychiatric Damage Generally (Mental suffering) (a) Severe – The initial prognosis will be very poor, and the person will severely struggle to cope with working life and maintain personal relationships. £54,830 to £115,730
Mental suffering (b) Moderately Severe – A more optimistic prognosis. However, there will still be serious problems with various aspects of daily life. £19,070 to £54,830
Mental suffering (c) Moderate – A good prognosis with noticeable improvements following issues with working and personal life. £5,860 to £19,070
Mental suffering (d) Less Severe – Various factors, such as how much sleep was impacted, will determine how much is awarded. £1,540 to £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD (Anxiety disorder) (a) Severe – All aspects of daily life will have been negatively impacted. There will also be permanent problems that affect the persons working and daily life. £59,860 to £100,670
Anxiety disorder (b) Moderately Severe – Significant problems for the foreseeable future. However, the initial prognosis will have been better, and there is a chance for some recovery with professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
Anxiety disorder (c) Moderate – A large recovery has occurred. Any continuing problems will not majorly affect the person’s daily life. £8,180 to £23,150
Anxiety disorder (d) Less Severe – Other than minor symptoms, an almost complete recovery will have been made within 2 years. £3,950 to £8,180

Additionally, material damage aims to compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to the personal data breach. Providing evidence of these financial losses, such as bank or credit card statements, could help support your claim.

Contact our advisors today to see whether you may be eligible for data breach compensation if solicitors have lost your case file.

Can You Claim Against A Solicitor With A No Win No Fee Agreement

If you would like to be legally represented in your personal data breach claim, one of our experienced solicitors could potentially take on your case with a type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Under a CFA, you usually do not have to pay any fees to your solicitor. However, for successful claims, you will pay your solicitor a small percentage of your compensation, known as a success fee. The amount is also legally capped. You also will not have to pay them anything upfront to start working on your claim.

Additionally, you can contact our advisors today for further guidance regarding making a personal data breach claim if solicitors have lost your case file. Our friendly team is available 24 hours a day to provide you with free legal advice. 

To speak with our advisors today:

When Can You Claim Against A Solicitor

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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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