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What Are Lost Records Data Breach Claims?

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated March 2024. If your personal data has been compromised as a result of missing files, you may be eligible to make a lost records data breach claim. In this guide, we will explain what a personal data breach claim is and how a breach could affect your mental health and financial well-being.

Your records can include multiple pieces of personal information. We will explain what personal information is later on in this guide. We will also explain how the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) work to protect the personal data of UK residents.

What Are Lost Records Data Breach Claims?

Lost Records Data Breach Claims Guide

Not all data breaches can become valid claims. We will explain the criteria your claim must meet to be valid and how legal professionals calculate damage awards. Finally, we will explain how one of our solicitors could help you make your claim.

Our advisors can provide more information when you get in touch today by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Lost Records Data Breach Claim?
  2. What Records Could Be Lost In A Data Breach?
  3. How Long Do You Have To Claim For A Lost Records Data Breach?
  4. Lost Records Data Breach Compensation Calculator
  5. Contact Us To Make A No Win No Fee Claim

What Is A Lost Records Data Breach Claim?

The UK GDPR and DPA work together to protect the personal data of UK residents. Under this legislation, a personal data breach is defined as a security matter that has affected the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data. For example, if records contain your full name or email address and they are misplaced, or if files that contain your persoanl data are stolen, this could be a personal data breach.

However, as we have already mentioned, not all data breaches form valid claims. To form the basis of a claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • The breach was a result of failings on the part of the organisation responsible for your personal data
  • The breach affected your personal data
  • You suffered harm as a result of the breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a UK independent public body that oversees the use of data protection legislation. They cannot provide compensation. However, they can investigate and impose fines on organisations found to be in breach of legislation. The ICO may also choose to open an investigation into the breach should you report it to them.

If your personal data has been lost after a breach, contact our advisors today to find out if you could have a valid claim.

What Records Could Be Lost In A Data Breach?

Many different kinds of records could be lost in a personal data breach. Personal information is anything that could identify you. For example, your email address, phone number, or name. Your records may also contain special category data. This type of personal data needs extra protection under legislation.

Special category data includes:

  • Biometric data
  • Trade Union membership information
  • Data regarding your sexual orientation
  • Information regarding your ethnicity or nationality
  • Data regarding your immigration status

Some examples of records that could be lost in a data breach include:

  • Medical records: Information relating to your medical conditions and other health data falls under special category data. If your medical records are stolen or lost, this could lead to a personal data breach.
  • Employment records: Your employer may keep records containing data in the workplace. These records could contain disciplinary information, disability or health information, and information about your salary.
  • Criminal records: Criminal data requires extra protection under the UK GDPR. This includes records containing data that refers to your criminal offences, convictions, allegations or investigations. If these records are lost, causing you harm, you could be eligible to claim.

These records could be physical, or they may be kept on digital devices. If a device containing your personal data has been lost or stolen, contact our advisors today.

How Long Do You Have To Claim For A Lost Records Data Breach?

If a lost records data breach affects your personal data, you may wish to make a claim. However, there are time limits in place that could affect your eligibility. Generally, you have six years to start a personal data breach claim.

However, if you intend to claim against a public body, such as the NHS or a local council, then this becomes one year. Our advisors can provide more information on time limits in personal data breach claims, and can tell you if you could have a valid claim.

According to the ICO, organisations must report any data breach that could affect your rights or freedoms within 72 hours. They must also inform you without undue delay.

Lost Records Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Calculating the amount you could receive in a personal data breach claim involves two heads of claim, which are:

  • Material damage: This involves you suffering financial loss due to the breach. For example, fraudulent purchases on your credit card, or damage to your credit score.
  • Non-material damage: Non-material damage involves psychological or emotional trauma. This can include anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] Court of Appeal ruling allows claimants to now receive non-material damage without also receiving material damage. Previously, you could only receive non-material damage in conjunction with material damage.

Similar to this, following the ruling of Gulati & Others v MGN Limited [2015], non-material damage can be awarded in line with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG often helps legal professionals calculate settlements for personal injury claims, as it contains a list of physical and mental injuries with guideline compensation amounts.

The table below shows a selection of guideline compensation brackets taken from the JCG. These entries are guidelines only, illustrating potential non-material damage compensation amounts.

Psychological Health Issue Compensation Range Notes
General Psychiatric Injury – Severe £54,830 to £115,730 Serious impact on the ability to cope with daily life. Prognosis is poor and symptoms persist permanently.
General Psychiatric Injury – Moderately Severe £19,070 to £54,830 Serious issues relating to the above but with a more positive prognosis.
General Psychiatric Injury – Moderate £5,860 to £19,070 Symptoms show improvement by the time of a trial.
General Psychiatric Injury – Less Severe £1,540 to £5,860 Consideration given to length of symptoms and effect on sleep.
PTSD – Severe £59,860 to £100,670 No function at the pre-trauma level.
PTSD – Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860 Significant issues with day-to-day life, but some chance of recovery with professional intervention.
PTSD – Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 No grossly disabling symptoms remain after an almost full recovery.
PTSD – Less Severe £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery likely within 1-2 years.

Our advisors can provide an estimation of what your lost records data breach claim could be worth when you get in touch today.

Contact Us To Make A No Win No Fee Claim

If you are eligible to make a claim for a data breach of your records, you may find the support of a solicitor to be beneficial. One of our solicitors who has experience with personal data breach claims could help you with your case.

Our data breach solicitors typically offer their services under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Under this type of arrangement, you won’t be charged upfront or have to pay ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. You also won’t have to pay for their services if your claim fails.

If your claim has a positive outcome, they will take a success fee from your compensation award. The percentage that can be deducted as a success fee is capped by the law.

If you have any questions about making a personal data breach claim for your lost medical records, you can get in touch with one of the advisors from our team. Free advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, if you have valid grounds for a claim, you could be connected to one of our solicitors.

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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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