Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection – How Do I Claim Compensation?

You might be wondering if you can make a data breach claim after your records were lost due to a breach of data protection. If an organisation failed to adhere to data protection laws and records containing your personal data were lost, which had an impact on your psychological health or financial situation, you could be eligible to claim. This guide will explore the process of seeking compensation following a breach of your personal data.

lost records breach of data protection

Lost records breach of data protection claims guide

Data protection law governs a data controller and data processors responsibility when processing your personal data. A data controller sets the purpose for why and how your personal data will be processed. A data processor will process the personal data on behalf of the controller. However, a controller can also process data themselves. We will explore the laws in our guide.

There are instances where data protection law isn’t adhered to, leading to breaches of personal data. One cause is human error. For example, an employee may have moved files from one cabinet to another, losing your records in the process.

This could result in a breach of your personal data. Consequently, you may suffer from mental health injuries. Personal data can also be used to steal someone’s identity, which could cause financial losses.  

In this guide, we will explore the compensation you could claim after sustaining harm and the evidence you may need to provide to do so.

Contact our team of advisors to learn more about beginning a claim today. They are available 24/7, and can answer any questions you may have. To get in touch, you can:      

  • Call on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online by filling out our form
  • Use our live support feature at the bottom of the page

Select A Section

  1. What Records Could Be Lost?
  2. Who Could Have Access To Your Records?
  3. How Could A Lost Records Data Breach Affect You?
  4. What Could I Do After A Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection?
  5. Calculating Compensation For A Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection
  6. No Win No Fee Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection Claims

What Records Could Be Lost?

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) sit alongside each other to monitor how your personal data is being used and set out how it needs to be protected. The DPA was updated when the UK left the European Union.

Data protection laws cover both physical and digital records containing personal data. These records could be, for example:  

  • Medical records
  • Criminal records
  • Employment records
  • Disciplinary records 

Each of these records could contain different types of personal information. The UK GDPR describes personal data as information that can be used to directly identify an individual. It also includes information that could be used to identify someone if processed alongside information that can directly identify someone. The personal information contained in records can depend on which organisation holds the information. However, examples could include: 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Place of work
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Bank account details
  • Debit card details
  • Credit card details

Additionally, certain records could contain special category data which is classed as more sensitive and in need of more protection when being processed. Examples of this could include:

  • Health data
  • Data relating to your philosophical or religious beliefs
  • Information about your racial or ethnic origin

When dealing with personal data, an organisation should take reasonable measures to prevent a breach and protect your personal data. If they fail to do so, causing your personal information to become compromised, you could seek compensation. However, you would need to prove that you suffered emotionally or financially. Call us for more information if your records were lost due to a breach of data protection. 

Who Could Have Access To Your Records?

There are various people who could have access to your records depending on the nature of the records. For example:

  • Medical professionals or healthcare providers could have access to your medical records
  • The police could have access to your criminal records
  • Your employer could have access to your employment record with their company
  • Your bank could have access to your account details in order to provide you with a service

There must be a lawful basis for processing personal data. This could include gaining your consent for your records to be accessed by certain individuals within an organisation. However, there are instances when an unauthorised person can gain access to your records. This could happen in various ways. For example:

  • Cyber attack: This could result from an organisation failing to keep their cyber security systems up to date. As such, they may be more susceptible to a cyber attack such as a phishing scam or a ransomware attack. Digital files could be lost as a result.
  • Lack of training: An organisation may have failed to train their employees on data protection or put policies in place to prevent personal data from being compromised. As a result, an employee may have taken a device home with them but left it on the bus while travelling. 
  • Human error: A doctor may have accidentally left a folder containing medical records of multiple patients in the reception waiting area of the hospital. Another patient may have found the file and disclosed information about others causing them distress.

As you can see, there are various ways your records could be lost due to a breach of data protection. Please get in touch with our advisors for more information on whether you’re eligible to claim.

How Could A Lost Records Data Breach Affect You?

A lost records data breach could have various negative effects on your life. Firstly, you could suffer psychological injuries, such as anxiety, stress, depression, and in extreme cases, post-traumatic stress disorder. This could impact your ability to carry out even the simplest tasks of daily life. Going to work may become a struggle, and you may be unable to sleep. In cases of more severe mental suffering, you may need to attend an appointment with a medical professional. This is often completed independently to gain an insight into the harm you have suffered.

Furthermore, you could suffer from monetary losses and a damaged credit score. If you suspect that your personal data has been breached, change your passwords and check your bank statements for fraudulent activity. If you have any financial losses, keep the records as evidence. This could include bank statements or credit card statements.

What Could I Do After A Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection?

When data protection laws are breached causing your personal data to become compromised, there are several steps you can take.

If an organisation discovers that there has been a breach that risks your rights and freedom, they must notify you without undue delay. However, if they don’t, you could contact the organisation if you suspect a breach of your data. Also, any communication you have with them could be used as evidence to support your claim.

Additionally, you could contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is responsible for upholding data protection rights. It is important to note that they cannot award compensation. However, they can issue monetary penalties and take other enforcement action against organisations that fail to comply with data protection laws. 

If the ICO investigate the organisation suspected to have breached your personal data, you can use their findings as evidence to strengthen your case when seeking compensation.

Contact our helpful team of advisors to enquire about claiming after your records were lost due to a breach of data protection.

Calculating Compensation For A Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection

There are two separate categories of compensation for a data breach claim: material damages and non-material damages. Material damages are the head of claim that aim to reimburse any financial losses caused by the breach. Whereas non-material damages cover psychological injuries.

You can now claim for non-material damages even if there are no material damages.

Solicitors and other legal professionals can value non-material damages by referring to different resources including the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). It contains a list of psychological injuries alongside bracket compensation amounts.

The table contains figures from the latest edition of the JCG, produced in April 2022. However, you should only use the figures as a guide.

InjuryDetailsCompensation Brackets
Severe Psychological DamageCoping with life, education and work and other aspects of life will be a marked problem. Very poor prognosis. £54,830 - £115,730
Moderately Severe Psychological DamageCoping with life, education and work and other issues will be a significant problem. More optimistic prognosis.£19,070 - £54,830
Moderate Psychological DamageMay have been problems coping with life, education and work but there will be a marked improvement. Good prognosis.£5,860 - £19,070
Less Severe Psychological DamageDaily activities and sleep were affected. Amount awarded considers the length of the period of disability. £1,540 - £5,860
Severe PTSDThe person will be prevented from working or functioning as they did pre-trauma. Effects are permanent. £59,860 - £100,670
Moderately Severe PTSDSimilar to more severe cases but there is a better prospect of some recovery with professional help.£23,150 - £59,860
Moderate PTSDThe person will have made a good recovery and any remaining effects are not grossly disabling. £8,180 - £23,150
Less Severe PTSDThe person has made a virtually full recovery in one to two years, leaving only minor symptoms. £3,950 - £8,180

For more information on data breach compensation, call our team.

No Win No Fee Lost Records Breach Of Data Protection Claims

There are different types of No Win No Fee agreements, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA means you do not pay for your solicitor’s services if your claim is unsuccessful. If your claim is successful, your solicitor takes a small legally capped fee from your compensation. 

Our solicitors can represent your claim on this basis. To learn more, you can contact our advisors today. They can provide further information and discuss your potential claim. To get in touch, you can:

  • Call on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online by filling out our form
  • Use our live support feature at the bottom of the page

Related Records And Files Data Breach Claims

Below, we have included some additional resources.

If your records were lost due to a breach of data protection, we hope this guide has helped you understand whether you’re eligible to claim.

Guide by JO

Edited by MMI