£16,000 Medical Records Data Breach Compensation Case Study

Our medical records data breach compensation case study sets out to explain the personal data breach claims process in more detail. Through our illustrative case study we examine how your medical records could be compromised in a data breach, what harm you could suffer from this and what data breach compensation could be awarded for a successful claim.

Throughout this guide, you will also see sections on the different forms of harm you could be compensated for following a personal data breach in more detail, as well as examples of evidence that could be used to help you when making a medical data breach claim.

We end this guide by looking at how the solicitors on our panel could help with claims for medical data breaches on a No Win No Fee basis and how this arrangement can benefit claimants.

If you have any questions regarding the medical data breach claims process while reading this guide, you can contact our advisors for help. They can also assess the eligibility of your case and provide you with free advice. Connect with them today by:

Computer keyboard buttons that read 'Medical Data Breach'.

Jump To A Section

  1. What Is A Medical Records Data Breach?
  2. Medical Records Data Breach Compensation Case Study: £16,000 Payout
  3. How Much Medical Data Breach Compensation Could You Receive?
  4. What Should You Do After A Medical Records Data Breach?
  5. Claim For A Medical Data Breach Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  6. More Resources About How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach

What Is A Medical Records Data Breach?

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify you, such as you name, national insurance number or home address. Certain personal data is classed as special category data. This is data that needs extra protection due to it being sensitive, such as data regarding your health, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.

All data controllers and processors must adhere to the regulations set out within the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) when processing personal data, as together these form data protection laws.

A data controller is an organisation that decides when, how and why your data is being processed. A data processor is an organisation or agency that is external to the data controller that processes personal data on their behalf. Should either of them fail to follow data protection law, this could result in a personal data breach.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority that enforces and upholds data protection law, and they define a personal data breach as a security incident that results in the unlawful or accidental loss, destruction, alteration, or unauthorised access to or disclosure of personal data.

To be eligible to claim medical data breach compensation for the breach of your personal medical data, you must be able to prove the following:

  • A data controller or processor did not abide by data protection laws, resulting in a data breach.
  • Your personal data was compromised in the breach.
  • You suffered financially or psychologically because of this.

Examples Of How Your Medical Records Could Be Breached

Some examples of how your medical records could be breached include:

  • Your GP surgery posted your test results to the wrong address, despite holding the correct address on file.
  • A hospital sent an email regarding your future appointment to the wrong email address. This email contained personal information regarding your medical history.
  • A nurse verbally disclosed your medical condition on the phone with someone without a lawful basis for doing so,

In our medical records data breach compensation case study below, we explain in more detail how your medical information could be breached, the impacts this could cause and how much compensation could potentially be awarded.

Medical Records Data Breach Compensation Case Study: £16,000 Payout

In this section, we provide an illustrative medical records data breach compensation case study to provide a clearer idea of the compensation that could be awarded for a successful claim.

Case Study

Miss M visited a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases and underwent a series of tests. Staff at the clinic accidentally posted the test results of her medical conditions to the wrong address, despite having the correct address for Miss M on file.

As a consequence of this human error, personal and sensitive details about her health was shared with an unauthorised party whom Miss M did not know. She suffered a significant level of distress and anxiety about this, resulting in her also needing to take time off work due to this stress. Due to this, Miss M decided to seek legal help.

A solicitor was able to help Miss M receive an award of £16,000 in compensation for the distress she expereinced and the earnings she lost due to taking time off work.

A solicitor from our panel could potentially help you in the same way. To discuss your specific circumstances and learn whether you could make a personal data breach claim, you can contact a member of our advisory team.

A Red button on a computer keyboard that says 'Medical Data Breach'.

How Much Medical Data Breach Compensation Could You Receive?

In our medical records data breach compensation case study, we touched on how you could claim compensation for your psychological injuries and financial losses.

In personal data breach claims, the psychological harm you suffered is often referred to as non-material damage. This could include anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Those responsible for calculating your compensation for your non-material damage may consult the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication provides guideline compensation brackets for various types of physical and psychological harm.

We have used the entries relating to psychological injuries within the table below, aside from the first entry. Please note that this table should only be used as a guide. How much compensation could be awarded in medical data breach claims will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Compensation Guidelines

Type of Psychological HarmSeverityAward GuidelinesNotes
Severe Psychological Harm With Associated Material DamageSevereUp to £500,000+This level of award includes amounts for suffering severe psychological harm and material damage payments for lost earnings, counselling costs and money lost through fraud/theft.
General Psychological Harm(a) Severe £66,920 to £141,240This bracket indicates a very negative prognosis and significant permanent problems coping across all areas of life.
(b) Moderately Severe £23,270 to £66,920A more positive prognosis than above but still representative of a long-standing disability that prevents a return to work.
(c) Moderate £7,150 to £23,270A distinct improvements will have been made and a good prognosis indicated.
(d) Less Severe £1,880 to £7,150Awards here reflect the duration of disability and how much sleep and other activities were affected.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(a) Severe £73,050 to £122,850Permanent issues that prevent any kind of employment or ability to function as they did prior to trauma.
(b) Moderately Severe £28,250 to £73,050Some recovery is possible after professional help but effects still represent a significant level of disability for the foreseeable future.
(c) Moderate £9,980 to £28,250A large recovery with continuing effects not considered grossly disabling.
(d) Less Severe £4,820 to £9,980Within the space of 1 - 2 years a full recovery is seen with only minor issues persisting beyond this.

Claiming For Material Damage

The financial losses you expereinced due to the personal data breach are often referred to as material damage. In our medical records data breach compensation case study, we touch upon how you could claim for any lost earnings due to taking time off work for your psychological harm.

Some examples of other material damage you may be able to claim compensation for include:

  • The costs for any therapy to help you cope or recover from your psychological harm.
  • The costs of any home security measure or relocation fees if the data breach made you fear for your safety.
  • Reimbursement for any money taken or spent from your credit and debit cards if this information was breached.

To see whether you could claim for the consequences of a data breach in healthcare, you can contact one of our advisors. They could also provide you with a free valuation of your case.

A stack of medical files with a pen lying on top.

What Should You Do After A Medical Records Data Breach?

After discovering that your data has been breached, you should gather as much evidence as possible that supports your case. Some examples of evidence you could gather include:

  • Proof that your personal data was breached. Following a breach of your personal data, you may have received an email or letter confirming what personal data of yours has been breached. This correspondence could be used as evidence within your claim. Alternatively, if you discover the breach yourself, you should reach out to the organisation and get them to confirm what personal data of yours has been compromised.
  • The findings of an ICO investigation. You can make a complaint to the ICO about a data breach within 3 months of your last meaningful communication with the organisation responsible for the breach. If the ICO then decide to investigate this breach, their findings could be used as evidence.
  • Evidence of your psychological harm. This could be your medical records or a diagnosis letter from a psychologist.
  • Evidence of your financial losses. This could include your payslips and bank statements.

Our advisors can offer further guidance for your claim. Contact them to receive free advice and potentially be connected with a data breach solicitor on our panel.

Claim For A Medical Data Breach Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have an eligible personal data breach claim, one of our advisors could connect you with a solicitor on our panel. The solicitors on our panel have lots of experience working on various data breach claims and could help you with:

  • Gathering evidence to support your case.
  • Ensuring your claim is filed within the correct time limit (this is generally 6 years).
  • Negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf.

Additionally, one of the solicitors on our panel may offer their services to you through a Conditional Fee Agreement. With this No Win No Fee arrangement in place, you will not need to pay any upfront or ongoing service fees to your solicitor. You also will not have to pay them for their completed work should the claim fail.

A success fee shall be paid to your solicitor if your claim is a success. This will be taken from your compensation as a legally capped percentage.

To discover whether a solicitor from our panel could handle your claim for data breach compensation, contact our team using the details below:

A solicitor working on a medical records data breach compensation claim.

More Resources About How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach

Other data breach claims guides by us:

Further external resources:

Thank you for taking the time to read this medical records data breach compensation case study guide. If you have any questions regarding the data breach claims process you can contact our advisors.