How Is Compensation For A Data Breach Calculated?

How Is Compensation For A Data Breach Calculated?

How Is Compensation For A Data Breach Calculated?

How is compensation for a data breach calculated? You may have seen or heard the increased media coverage of data controllers, organisations that require personal data, involved in personal data breaches. When data of a personal or sensitive nature is breached it could cause you, the data subject, financial and emotional harm. Did you know that with the right evidence, you can seek damages if a third party failed to handle your personal details according to the law?

All companies and organisations that require the collection of personal information must adhere to data protection law. Those who fail to adhere to data security laws can face stiff penalties from the Information Commissioner’s Office ICO.

At Accident Claims, our data breach specialist solicitors can help you today. After a friendly and informal assessment on the phone, our advisors could assist you in calculating and assessing your compensation claim for a data breach. If your claim looks likely to be awarded compensation they will appoint a solicitor to your case. Learn more by:

  • Speaking to our advisors by calling 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online to request a callback
  • Use the live support option below

Select A Section

    1. What Is Compensation For A Data Breach Claim?
    2. What Are Some Of The Largest Data Breaches?
    3. Will I Have To Go To Court?
    4. How Much Compensation For A Data Breach Does The Average Person Get?
    5. How Much Compensation For A Data Breach Do You Get?
    6. Get In Touch To Claim For A Data Protection Breach

What Is Compensation For A Data Breach Claim?

Personal data is more than just our name or address. It can include a wide swathe of information about our passwords, health, finances, and our ethnic background. Data protection laws look to secure our personal and sensitive information that is processed.  The sharing and processing of our information require a data controller to have a lawful basis. Consent is just one basis that means our personal identifiable data can be processed

Any personal data that is processed either digitally or in physical files are protected by the data security laws. If such data is breached this could result in distress after a data breach as well as financial losses if money is stolen from your account or phishing scams mean fraudsters may steal your identity.

A personal data breach is a security incident that ultimately means identifiable information has been stolen, lost, altered, disclosed, destroyed or accessed without authority.

Personal data breaches can happen in a number of different ways:

  • Human error
  • Verbal disclosures
  • Personal details sent to the wrong recipient
  • Cybercriminal hacks into IT systems
  • Ransomware, Malware, or phishing scams infiltrate weak data defences

The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) are the main UK legislation for data protection. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body that can investigate and issue fines against any company or organisation that fails to handle personal data in accordance with these laws.

A compensation claim can be eligible against the other party when you can show how this failure occurred and left you with damages.

What Are Some Of The Largest Data Breaches?

Companies and organisations have an obligation to report a serious data breach to the ICO within 72 hours. As the impacted party, they should inform you about it as soon as possible.

The Information Commissioner’s Office fine data controllers if they fail to adhere to data protection laws. Here are some recent fines issued:

  • Some recent notable fines issued by the ICO include £500,000 to the Cabinet Office for disclosing postal addresses.
  • In October 2020, British Airways faced a massive £20 million fine for failing to protect the details of 400,000 customers.
  • Marriott Hotels  – fined £18.4 million by the ICO for failing to keep customers’ personal details secure.

Everyone’s personal data matters and the impacts after a breach can be very distressing for anyone. Speak to our team now to see what steps you can take to recover lost money and address the mental suffering caused by the data breach incident.

Will I Have To Go To Court?

Data breach compensation claims are similar to personal injury cases in as much that there are certain pre-action protocols that should be fulfilled before going to court. The courts like to see that both parties did all they could to resolve the issue before needing to take it further and pre-action protocols offer both parties the chance to discuss a resolution in a constructive way.

Because of this, it may not be necessary for your claim to go all the way to court. Points to be aware of however are that if the other party offers to settle directly with you and you accept it, this would mark the end of the claim or any future claims for damages. So it’s worth checking with a data breach specialist that you are in fact settling for the right amount. Speak to our team for help with this.

How Much Compensation For A Data Breach Does The Average Person Get?

There is not really an average amount of compensation for data breach claims. Firstly, the amount you may be awarded will depend heavily on how detailed and thorough the evidence to support your claim of financial loss and emotional harm are.

In some cases, a data breach can cause identity theft, leaving the data subject with thousands of pounds of debt. Or the psychiatric harm can be acute and cause profound long-term issues such as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can impact the sufferer’s life in many different ways. All the consequent amounts could be reimbursable with the right proof.

How Much Compensation For A Data Breach Do You Get?

Having a successful personal data breach claim will mean fundamentally proving that the data controller is liable for the breach. After that, you will need to gather evidence of the suffering caused to you.

With this in mind, two types of damage called material and non-material can be considered. Material damages require proof of financial losses that you incurred as a direct result of the data breach. This could be:

  • Therapy and counselling costs to deal with the stress
  • Impact on your business reputation
  • The need to relocate your children or your entire home
  • Money that was stolen from your bank or money used fraudulently on your credit card
  • A loss of earnings because of being too ill to work

Non-material damages are similar to general damages in personal injury claims. Therefore the guidelines by the Judicial College can used when calculating mental illness. An excerpt of which we show below. This demonstrates the type of awards possibly applicable for stress and mental health issues:

Type of Psychiatric Injury Severity and Guideline Award From The Judicial College Notes
Psychiatric Damage – General Severe Level (a) – £54,830 to £115,730 A very poor prognosis with drastic issues in all areas of life
Psychiatric Damage – General Moderate – Severe Level – £19,070 to £54,830 Less severe than above but still resulting in a long-standing disability
Psychiatric Damage – General Moderate Level (c) – £5,860 to £19,070 This bracket includes issues similar to those above but with a better prognosis by the time of trial
Psychiatric Damage – General Less Severe Level (d) – £1,540 to £5,860 This bracket acknowledges the length of period of disability and how it may have created a specific anxiety response or phobia
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Severe Level (a) – £59,860 to £100,670 Radical trauma impacts that affect every area of the sufferer’s life
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Moderate – Severe Level (b) – £23,150 to £59,860 A better prognosis for the future particularly with professional intervention
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Moderate Level (c) – £8,180 to £23,150 No grossly disabling after effects and virtual full recovery
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Less Severe Level (d) – £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery within 12 – 24 months leaving only minor issues

A Court of Appeal Case, Vidal-Hall v Google made it possible for psychological injury to be acknowledged in data breach cases separate to, or still part of a claim for financial suffering.

Get In Touch To Claim For A Data Protection Breach

Professional help calculating compensation for a data breach claim could make a drastic difference to the amount you are awarded. With this in mind, legal representation in the form of a No Win No Fee agreement can help.

At Accident Claims, we could connect you with a data breach specialist solicitor offering a service like this. No Win No Fee has numerous advantages:

  • No upfront solicitor fees
  • If the case wins a maximum capped percentage of your settlement as the success fee for the solicitors
  • If the case fails no success fee.

If the case wins the solicitors deduct no more than 25% from the settlement as their fee. 

Why not get in touch to see how you can start your claim today? Simply:

  • Speak to our advisors by calling 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online and request a callback
  • Or use the live support option below

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