This guide will aim to provide you with all the information that you need to make a claim if a solicitor has lost your client files.
Data controllers or processors must comply with data protection laws when handling your personal data according to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), as well as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).
If they fail to do so and this results in a personal data breach that causes you mental or financial harm, you could be able to seek compensation.
We will explain what personal data is, and what kinds of data could be breached if your solicitor loses your files. Following this, we will touch on how the personal data breach claims process works.
Our advisors can offer free legal advice. They can also provide a free consultation to help you identify if you have a valid claim. If you do, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. Our panel of solicitors offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. To learn more, read on, or:
Select A Section
- A Guide On What To Do If A Solicitor Lost Your Client Files
- What Documents May Make Up A Client File?
- How Could A Solicitor Lose Your Client Files?
- How Could You Have Been Impacted If A Solicitor Lost Your Client Files?
- Data Breach Compensation Payouts
- How To Claim If A If A Solicitor Lost Your Client Files
A data breach can be defined as a security incident that compromises the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data. This is data that could be used to identify you, alone or with other details. For example, your email address could be classed as personal data.
Similarly, your client files could contain special category data. This includes information such as your sexual orientation, trade union membership status, or racial or ethnic origin. Because of the sensitive nature of this information, special category data needs extra security.
The parties responsible for your personal data are data controllers and processors. A data controller establishes the purposes of handling your data, and a processor processes this data on their behalf.
In order to form the basis of a valid claim, the breach must occur due to the failings of the data controller or processor. This must include your personal data, and must also lead to you suffering harm.
If your solicitor has lost your client files and you have suffered harm, please contact our advisors for free legal advice.
The services that solicitors provide often require them to handle a lot of information that could constitute personal data. If they fail to handle this data in line with legislation, which leads to your personal data being compromised, you may be able to claim.
Some examples of documents that may make up a client file or that could be handled by a solicitor can include:
- Medical records
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Credit report
- Mortgage agreements
- Bank statements
For more information on the documents a solicitor could breach that might lead to a data breach claim, please contact a member of our team.
There are many ways that a solicitor could lose your client files. However, as we have already stated, you can only make a claim if the breach is a result of the controller or processor’s failings. As such, some examples of how a solicitor could lose your client files could include:
- Lost or stolen paperwork: Records could be lost on public transport, such as a bus or a train. Similarly, they could be stolen from a bag left unattended. In these cases, you may be able to make a claim.
- Data misdelivery: Your solicitor may lose your client files if they send them to the wrong email address or the wrong postal address, thus allowing them to be accessed by an unauthorised party.
- Shredding or destroying data: Your client files could be lost if they are mistakenly destroyed or deleted. For example, if they are shredded or deleted from a harddrive, rendering them inaccessible.
Our team of advisors can provide a free consultation in which they could tell you if you are eligible to claim. Get in touch today to learn more.
You may wish to seek data breach compensation to reimburse you for the harm that is caused by the data breach.
For example, if your solicitor has lost your client files, you could suffer from stress due to the data breach or anxiety caused by the breach. If the data involves a traumatic event, such as a personal injury claim for a serious accident, you could also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Furthermore, you might suffer financial damages. For instance, you may have to take a prolonged period of time off work as a result of the psychological impact the breach has on you. This could lead to a loss of earnings, which can negatively impact your finances.
If your solicitor has lost your client files and you have suffered mental or financial harm, you could be entitled to make a claim. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our advisors to learn more.
If you were affected by a data breach, the compensation you may be entitled to could comprise two heads of claim.
Firstly, you might receive non-material damage compensation for any harm to your mental health sustained as a result of the breach. For example, the nature of the files lost could lead to you suffering from anxiety or depression. In this case, you could receive compensation for these injuries under non-material damage compensation.
We have drafted a table of compensation amounts using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Although it is important to note that these figures should only be used as a rough guideline. Each data breach claim is unique, and the payout you may receive could differ.
|Psychological damage (generally)||Severe||£54,830 to £115,730||There are problems coping with daily life and activities after an unsuccessful treatment, causing a considerably negative prognosis.|
|Psychological damage (generally)||Moderately Severe||£19,070 to £54,830||There are severe problems dealing with daily life tasks, such as employment or education. However, the prognosis is better than the case above.|
|Psychological damage (generally)||Moderate||£5,860 to £19,070||By the time the case is heard at trial, the symptoms present have shown a good improvement, leading to a good prognosis.|
|Psychological damage (generally)||Less Severe||£1,540 to £5,860||The settlement for this bracket is based on the effect on lifestyle and the recovery timeframe.|
|Reactive disorder (psychiatric)||Severe||£59,860 to £100,670||This bracket includes continuous symptoms that prevent the injured person from working or functioning close to pre-trauma level.|
|Reactive disorder (psychiatric)||Moderately Severe||£23,150 to £59,860||A more positive prognosis will be achieved with the assistance of medical help.|
|Reactive disorder (psychiatric)||Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||Despite the injured person having nearly fully recovered, there will still be some problems coping with life.|
|Reactive disorder (psychiatric)||Less Severe||£3,950 to £8,180||An almost full recovery has been made within 1-2 years.|
In addition, you could be paid material damage compensation for any financial losses that are incurred due to the data breach. For instance, somebody could use your credit or debit card to take out several loans in your name. Or you may experience damage to your credit score. These expenses could be recouped under material damage compensation.
If your solicitor has lost your client files and you suffered harm of a similar nature to the examples provided above, you could seek compensation. Please get in touch with our advisors to learn more.
Our team of advisors are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can offer you a free consultation with no obligation to continue with our services afterwards.
If you have a valid claim, they may put you in touch with a solicitor from our panel. Our panel of solicitors offer their services through the help of a No Win No Fee arrangement. For example, our panel offer legal representation through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Generally, you can access legal representation under a CFA without paying an upfront fee to your solicitor. Your solicitor also won’t expect any ongoing fees for their services. Nor will they expect payment for their work if your claim fails.
However, if your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a success fee. This is a percentage of your compensation with a legal cap to help ensure you get the most of your award.
If your solicitor lost your client files and you were harmed, you could be eligible to claim. Please contact an advisor from our team to find out if a solicitor from our panel could help you.
To get in touch:
- Call 0161 696 9685 to speak to an advisor
- Contact us in writing
- Or use the live chat widget to speak to the team
Other Personal Data Breach Claims
Here are some more of our guides that can help you when considering making a data breach claim:
Moreover, we have provided you with some additional reading that could be useful if your personal data has been lost by a solicitor:
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim if a solicitor has lost your client files.
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