This guide will explain what to do if your medical records were lost by a solicitor. When you use the services of a solicitors firm, your solicitors have access to your personal data. This can include your medical records. Medical records can be used as evidence for a variety of different claims and cases, such as personal injury claims and medical negligence claims.
If your solicitor loses your medical records, this could be a personal data breach, and you could be eligible for compensation. In this article, we explain the legislation that protects the personal data of UK residents and how this legislation defines the criteria for eligible claims.
We will also discuss compensation, and how solicitors value personal data breach claims. Following this, we will touch on No Win No Fee solicitors and how the services of a solicitor from our panel could help you through the claims process.
If you have more questions, our advisors can help. They can answer any questions you could have, and can also offer free legal advice. To learn more, get in touch:
Select A Section
- A Guide On What To Do If Your Medical Records Were Lost By A Solicitor
- How Could A Solicitor Lose Your Medical Records?
- How Could A Data Breach Impact You?
- Check What Compensation You Could Be Owed If Your Medical Records Were Lost By A Solicitor
- How To Claim If Your Medical Records Were Lost By A Solicitor
Any organisation that processes the personal data of UK residents must abide by the rules and regulations set out by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). This legislation covers both data controllers, who decide why and how to use your data, and data processors, who process this data on the controller’s instruction.
Personal data is any information that could identify you. For example, this could be your name, postal address, or phone number. When a security incident occurs that affects this data’s confidentiality, integrity, or availability, this is a personal data breach.
Your medical records fall under a subtype of personal data called special category data. Special category data is personal data that needs extra protection due to its sensitive nature. Besides your health data, special category data can also include your trade union membership, your sexuality, and your religious beliefs.
Read on to find out how the UK GDPR defines the criteria for making a personal data breach claim. Or, contact our advisors to find out if you can claim if your medical records have been lost by a solicitor.
There are many ways that a solicitor could lose your medical records. However, not every instance of this will result in a personal data breach claim because the UK GDPR has criteria that claimable cases must meet. These criteria are:
- The breach has to include your personal data
- The breach must occur as a result of the data controller or processor’s failings
- You must experience harm because of the breach
With this in mind, here are some examples of how wrongful conduct could lead to a solicitor losing your medical records:
- A lack of adequate physical or cybersecurity could allow criminals to steal your medical records.
- A solicitor could leave your medical records on public transport, such as a train or a bus. this allows unauthorised parties to find and read this information.
- Similarly, a solicitor could misplace your medical records by sending them to the wrong address, by post or by email.
Statistics On Related Data Breaches
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the public body in the UK which enforces data protection law. If an organisation uncovers a data breach which jeopardises the rights and freedoms of those involved, they have to report the data breach to the ICO within 72 hours.
The ICO compiles these reports into quarterly data security incident trends. According to these statistics, there have been 295 reported data security incidents in the legal sector so far in 2022. This is compared to 774 incidents reported in 2021.
For more information on claiming after your medical records are lost by a solicitor, contact our team of advisors.
If your medical records are lost by a solicitor, this can hurt your mental and your financial well-being. As we have already mentioned, your medical records fall under special category data. This means the information they contain is sensitive. So, you may experience stress after a breach of your health data.
Moreover, if you have existing mental health problems such as generalised anxiety disorder, the data breach may make them worse than before. Or, you can develop new mental health problems as a result of the breach, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One way that a personal data breach could affect you financially is through your earnings. If you need to take time away from work to recover from the psychological effects of a breach, this could lead to a loss of earnings. Criminals could also use lost personal data to target you for identity theft or fraud. Similarly, if someone uses your data to take out loans in your name, this can harm your credit score.
For more information on making a claim after your medical records were lost by a solicitor, get in touch with our team.
Under the UK GDPR, data breach victims can receive the following types of compensation if they make a successful compensation claim:
- Material damage: These compensate you for the financial losses you suffer as a result of the breach.
- Non-material damage: This is compensation for emotional distress or psychiatric injuries. For example, anxiety caused by the data breach.
You can use the table below to get a broad estimate of how much data breach compensation you could potentially claim. These figures are illustrated in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document that helps legal professionals determine settlement amounts for compensation claims.
|Mental Health Impact||Damages||Severity||Notes|
|Psychiatric Harm||£54,830 to £115,730||Severe||The injury has left the person with severe problems impacting their social life, relationships, their ability to work or to study.|
|Psychiatric Harm||£19,070 to £54,830||Moderately Severe||The person still faces difficulties as outlined above, but their prognosis is more positive.|
|Psychiatric Harm||£5,860 to £19,070||Moderate||Despite suffering similar symptoms, a significant improvement has led to a positive prognosis.|
|Psychiatric Harm||£1,540 to £5,860||Less Severe||The settlement will reflect how severe the impact was on the person's everyday life and the duration of these effects.|
|Anxiety Disorder Following Trauma||£59,860 to £100,670||Severe||There is no remaining ability to work or function at the pre-trauma level.|
|Anxiety Disorder Following Trauma||£23,150 to £59,860||Moderately Severe||The symptoms are still very severe but there is a chance for some improvement with professional help.|
|Anxiety Disorder Following Trauma||£8,180 to £23,150||Moderate||This person could largely make a recovery, though there are non-disabling symptoms that remain.|
|Anxiety Disorder Following Trauma||£3,950 to £8,180||Less Severe||A virtually full recovery takes place, with only minor symptoms lasting over 1-2 years.|
However, these figures are simply guidelines that refer to non-material damage awards. To learn more about compensation in personal data breach claims, contact our team of advisors. They can offer you a free consultation.
As we have already mentioned, your case must meet the criteria set out by the UK GDPR in order to form a valid claim. If your case meets these criteria, then you may be interested in starting a personal data breach claim.
A solicitor from our panel could help you start your claim with the help of a No Win No Fee arrangement. Our panel offer a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically allows you to access legal representation without paying upfront fees or ongoing costs to your solicitor.
The only fee you pay to your solicitor under a CFA is a success fee, and this is only in the event that your claim succeeds. If it doesn’t, you don’t pay this fee.
Contact Our Team To Find Out If You Could Make A No Win No Fee Claim
If you are interested in making a No Win No Fee claim, contact our team of advisors. Alongside offering free legal advice, they can tell you if you are eligible to claim after your medical records were lost by a solicitor. To get in touch:
Helpful Data Breach Information
If a solicitor breaches your data, you might find these guides helpful.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Compensation Claims Guide
- How To Claim For A Breach Of Criminal Offence Data
- I Suffered A Text Message Data Breach. How Do I Claim?
Or, for more helpful resources:
We hope this guide is helpful if your medical records were lost by a solicitor.
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