Someone Shared My Medical Information – Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

Has your personal data been breached through shared medical information? A breach of personal data can negatively affect you both financially and psychologically. This guide explains what steps you can take to start a personal data breach claim.

Shared medical information

Shared medical information claims guide

You may be able to seek compensation for the material and non-material damage you’ve sustained. In this article, you can see examples of guideline compensation brackets that may relate to your claim. We will also discuss what a personal data breach is and how your medical data is protected under legislation.

Keep reading to learn more about making a claim for a shared medical information data breach. Or if you have any questions, reach out to us today. Our advisors are available to help at any time that suits you.

Select A Section

  1. When Is Sharing Of Medical Information Lawful?
  2. How Commonly Is Medical Data Unlawfully Shared?
  3. Someone Shared My Medical Information, How Could I Be Impacted?
  4. Do I Have The Right To Claim Damages?
  5. What Can You Claim If Someone Shared Your Medical Information
  6. Could You Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Shared Medical Information?

When Is Sharing Of Medical Information Lawful?

Legislation is in place to protect your personal data. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) work together to protect the personal data of UK residents. According to this legislation, companies and organisations must have a lawful basis to share your personal data, with only one of these bases being consent.

Personal data can include any information that could identify you, such as your home address, full name, or postcode. Similarly, special category data is a subcategory of personal data that requires extra protection under data protection law. Special category data can include your racial or ethnic origin, your genetic data, and your health data.

Data controllers decide how and why your personal data is used, whereas data processors are responsible for processing the data on their behalf. In order to seek compensation for a data breach, you must have proof of wrongful misconduct on the data controller or data processor’s part. You must also suffer harm as a result of the breach.

To learn more about who can lawfully share your medical data, contact our advisors today.

How Commonly Is Medical Data Unlawfully Shared?

Multiple people and organisations may have access to your patient data. For example, your GP, dentist, pharmacist and any private healthcare providers you’ve received treatment from. A medical data breach can occur through a variety of means, from human error to criminal intent.

Some common instances of sharing patient data may include:

  • Sending personal data to the wrong postal address: For example, a letter containing information about a chemotherapy appointment. This allows unauthorised parties access to personal data.
  • Verbal disclosure: Verbally disclosing personal details to an unauthorised party.
  • Incorrect disposal: Inadequately disposing of documents that contain personal data

If you suffer financial or psychological harm following a breach of your medical data, contact our team. Our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer you free legal advice. 

Statistics On Unlawful Sharing Of Medical Data

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing data protection legislation  reported on data security trends in the 2021/22 financial year. We’ve added a graph below highlighting the non-cyber incidents that were reported for shared medical information in the health sector during Q4 of the 2021/22 financial year.

Someone Shared My Medical Information, How Could I Be Impacted?

A personal data breach can cause harm both financially and emotionally. For example, cybercriminals who gain access to your banking information may steal money from your account or take loans out in your name. This can cause negative impacts such as damage to your credit score.

You may also suffer from psychological injuries following a breach. For example, you may experience depression, stress, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can have a negative impact on your life, relationships, and employability.

Contact our advisors to find out if you could make a claim for financial or psychological damage following a shared medical information data breach.

Do I Have The Right To Claim Damages?

Under data protection legislation, data subjects have the right to claim compensation for a personal data breach if their case meets specific criteria laid out by the UK GDPR. This includes:

  • The breach must be a result of the organisation’s wrongful conduct
  • You must suffer harm because of the breach
  • The breach must include your personal data

A data breach solicitor can help you claim these damages. Read on to learn more about how much you can claim and how to work with a solicitor after a shared medical information data breach.

What Can You Claim If Someone Shared Your Medical Information

There are two heads of claim you may pursue should you make a personal data breach claim. Material damage relates to the financial losses suffered by the data subject, whereas non-material damage includes any psychological damage due to the data breach. This includes any diagnosed mental illness that develops after the data breach occurs, such as:

It is advised to have an idea of what your claim is worth as you start the claims process. In the past, you had to suffer from financial losses in order to also claim for psychological injuries. However, since the Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] case, you can claim material and non-material damage separately.

Below is a table that shows guideline compensation brackets for non-material damage, which are shown in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals often use the JCG to value personal injury, medical negligence and personal data breach claims.

Injury Compensation Notes
Severe Psychiatric Injury (a) £54,830 – £115,730 The prognosis is poor, with issues affecting the injured person’s ability to cope with any element of life.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Injury (b) £19,070 – £54,830 Long-standing disability prevents the injured person from working, though the prognosis is improved from above.
Moderate Psychiatric Injury (c) £5,860 – £19,070 Problems persist with retaining relationships with family, friends and strangers, though there is marked improvement by trial.
Less Severe Psychiatric Injury (d) £1,540 – £5,860 The level of the award depends on the level of disturbance in daily activities and sleep.
Severe PTSD (a) £59,860 – £100,670 These cases prevent the injured person from returning to work or daily life at the level they would pre-trauma.
Moderately Severe PTSD (b) £23,150 – £59,860 Significant disability continues creating issues with relationships and ability to manage daily life.
Moderate PTSD (c) £8,180 – £23,150 Relationships are still strained, but the injured person can mostly recover with professional help.
Less Severe PTSD (d) £3,950 – £8,180 Recovery can occur within one to two years with minor symptoms persisting.

For a free estimate of what your claim could be worth, contact our advisors today. 

Could You Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Shared Medical Information?

You may be able to access legal representation for your claim through a No Win No Fee agreement. For example, our solicitors offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

With a CFA, there are no upfront or ongoing fees to pay to your solicitor. If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee from your final award. This is a percentage with a legal cap. However, if your claim does not succeed, you do not pay this fee. 

Contact our advisors today to find out how one of our solicitors could help you with the shared medical information claims process. If they find your claim to be valid, they may connect you with a solicitor.

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Related Medical Records Breach Claims 

You can see more relevant information here:

Or to read more of our guides, use the links below:

Thank you for reading our shared medical information data breach guide. If you have any further questions, our advisors are available to help.

Guide by JA

Edited by CH