In this guide, we will explore the steps that could be taken if solicitors sent the wrong patient records to another party. As a data subject, you have rights to how your personal data is processed. We will explore these rights further throughout our guide.
Additionally, we will look at the responsibilities a data controller and data processor have to protect your personal data under data protection law. A data controller decides on the purpose for processing and can process the data themselves. However, they may outsource the processing to a data processor who acts on behalf of the controller.
Furthermore, this guide will explore the ways a solicitor could have shared the wrong records and the impact this could have on those involved.
In some cases, a claim could be made for the impact a personal data breach has had on an individual. We will explore the criteria that must be met in order for a claim to be made.
For more information, please continue reading. Alternatively, you can get in touch with an advisor from our team. To reach them, you can:
Select A Section
- A Guide On What To Do If Solicitors Sent The Wrong Patient Records
- What Medical Records Could Be Involved In A Breach?
- How Could Solicitors Send The Wrong Medical Records?
- What Impact Could A Data Breach Have?
- Check How Much You Could Claim
- How To Claim If Solicitors Sent The Wrong Patient Records
Personal data is classed as any information that can be used to identify you. This can include your name, email address, postal address, national insurance number or phone number. Additionally, some personal data is classed as more sensitive and therefore is given extra protection under data protection law. This type of data is known as special category data and can include data relating to your health.
Data controllers and data processors have a responsibility to protect your personal data under the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. If they fail to do so, it could result in your personal data becoming compromised due to a breach.
A personal data breach is a security incident involving the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your personal data being compromised.
For example, solicitors may require access to your patient records when processing personal injury claims. If they sent your records to the wrong party, such as the defendant in another case, this could constitute a personal data breach.
You may be able to claim compensation if a breach occurred as a result of the processor or controller’s failings causing your personal data to become compromised and you experienced financial loss or psychological harm.
If a breach has occurred, the data controller or processor must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours if it has put the rights and freedoms of a data subject at risk. They must also notify you without undue delay if the breach risks your rights and freedoms. The ICO can take enforcement action against organisations that have failed to adhere to data protection law, such as issuing fines.
Call our team to discuss the steps that can be taken if solicitors sent the wrong patient records to another party.
Health data can include personal data that relates to a person’s physical or mental health. It can also include the provision of health care services. As mentioned, this type of data is given extra protection due to its sensitive nature.
Examples of the medical information that could be compromised if solicitors sent the wrong patient records could include:
- Details about a current or past health condition
- Results from an independent medical assessment that may be required as a part of the claims process
- Information about medical treatments that the individual is currently undergoing
A personal data breach of this nature could impact the individual in several ways. If it can be proven that an organisation’s failings caused your personal data to be compromised and you experienced emotional harm or monetary loss as a result, you may be able to seek compensation.
To find out more about making a medical records data breach claim, get in touch on the number above.
There are several steps a data controller can take to protect your personal data. For example, they could:
- Adequately train employees to handle data safely.
- Update cyber security systems regularly to safeguard against cyber attacks.
- Locking physical data away at the end of a workday to protect against loss or theft.
However, there are instances where they might fail to do so. This could lead to different types of data breaches, such as those caused by human error or cyber security incidents. Examples of how solicitors could have sent the wrong patient records to another party include:
- A solicitor sent your documents to the wrong postal address.
- A solicitor sent an email with your patient records attached to the wrong email address.
- A solicitor could disclose your medical information in another client’s case.
- Your physical file may have been left in an unlocked filing cabinet allowing those without authorisation to access your records.
To discuss the steps you could take following a personal data breach, get in touch on the number above.
There are several ways you could be impacted if solicitors sent the wrong patient records to another party. For example, you could experience an impact on their mental well-being due to sensitive data relating to your health being shared with an unauthorised party. As such, this could lead to stress or other mental health problems.
Additionally, it could impact you financially. For example, they may require time off due to the stress and anxiety they have been caused by the data breach. This could lead to a loss of earnings.
If you are eligible, you could seek compensation which could account for the impact the breach has had on your life. Read on to find out how compensation may be calculated following a successful claim.
If your data breach compensation claim is a success, you could receive compensation for non-material damage which accounts for the psychological harm you have experienced due to the personal data breach. This can include anxiety, stress, and in more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, you could receive compensation for material damage which accounts for the financial loss you have experienced due to the personal data breach. You can make a claim for emotional harm even if you have not suffered financial loss.
Below, we have created a table using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that lists different mental injuries alongside guideline compensation brackets. Solicitors can use this document to help them when valuing the non-material damage head of claim.
You should only use the figures as a guide because your actual settlement could vary depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
|Type of Harm||Notes||Amount|
|Psychological Harm||Severe (a). There are severe issues relating to employment, relationships, education and other parts of day-to-day life. The prognosis is very poor.||£54,830 - £115,730|
|Psychological Harm||Moderately Severe (b). The same factors and impact as above are present, but the prognosis is more optimistic.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychological Harm||Moderate (c).The prognosis is better and the person will have made a significant improvement.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychological Harm||Less Severe (d). Damages paid out depend on what disability was suffered and how this affected the persons day to day life.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|PTSD||Severe (a). The injury severely impacts the person's ability to work or function in general as they did before the trauma.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|PTSD||Moderately Severe (b). With professional treatment, there is a degree of recovery and a better prognosis.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|PTSD||Moderate (c). The person makes a significant recovery. They should not be left with any majorly disabling symptoms.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|PTSD||Less Severe (d). This person will almost fully recover within a couple of years.||£3,950 to £8,180|
For more information on the compensation you could be awarded following a successful claim, please get in touch on the number above.
If you are eligible to claim compensation after solicitors sent the wrong patient records to another party, please get in touch with our team. An advisor can see if you’re eligible to have your claim handled on a No Win No Fee basis. You may be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement. This generally means you won’t pay for the services your solicitor provides if the claim fails. If the claim succeeds, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation at a legally capped rate.
To learn more about making a No Win No Fee claim or to discuss the steps you could take after a personal data breach, please get in touch with our team. To contact them, you can:
Below, we have included some of our other data breach guides as well as additional external resources that you may find beneficial:
- When Could You Claim For A Breach Of Data Protection In A Nursery?
- How To Make A Lost Records Data Breach Compensation Claim
- Can I Claim Compensation For A Breach Of Sickness Information At Work?
- ICO – Make A Complaint
- ICO – Individual Rights
- National Cyber Security Centre – Information For Individuals And Families
We hope this guide on what to do after solicitors sent the wrong patient records to another party has helped. For more information, call our team on the number above.
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