If solicitors lost your medical file or your medical information, this could have serious a long-lasting consequences.
This article will explain how you could seek compensation following a solicitor data breach. Personal data is protected for UK residents by two central pieces of legislation called the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). All organisations must comply with this legislation. If they fail to do so, and you suffer harm as a result, you may be able to claim.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) can investigate and issue fines against any organisation that fails to comply with the legislation mentioned above.
Our advisors are ready to answer any questions you may have about making a claim if solicitors have lost your medical file. They can also identify whether you have a valid claim, and can put you in contact with a solicitor from our panel if you are eligible for compensation. To learn more:
Select A Section
- What Is Health Or Medical Data?
- How Could Solicitors Have Lost My Medical File?
- Types Of Health Data
- Processing Health Data
- My Solicitors Lost My Medical File – What Can I Claim?
- How To Claim With No Win No Fee Agreements If Solicitors Lost Your Medical File
Personal data is described as any detail that on its own or alongside other details could be used to positively identify you. This can include information such as your name, address, email address and contact numbers.
Any information that could reveal something about your health is known as health data or medical data. Health data is considered special category data given its sensitive nature, and as such is granted extra protection by data protection legislation.
Data protection leislation applies to data controllers and processors. A data controller decides how your personal data is used and why. A data processor follows the controller’s instructions to process this data.
If a security incident affects the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data, this is a personal data breach. However, you cannot claim for every personal data breach. In order to claim, the breach must:
- Involve your personal data
- Cause you harm
- Be the result of the data controller or data processors failings
If solicitors have lost your medical file, contact our team to find out if you could be eligible to claim.
The loss of personal data like medical files can happen in a number of ways, from human error to a cyberattack. For example, if the solicitor simply mislaid the documents or a device containing personal data was lost or stolen. Or if personal data was posted by the solicitor to the wrong postage address or faxed to the wrong fax machine.
Or, a solicitors firm may fail to employ adequate cybersecurity policies, resulting in cybercriminals stealing and encrypting your medical file. However, as we have already mentioned, in order to claim, the breach must be a result of the solicitor’s failings. If a solicitors firm does all they can to protect your data, but it is still compromised, you may not be able to claim.
Statistics On Breaches of Health Data
The ICO publishes reports of data security incident trends taken from reports they receive. According to these trends, in 2021, the health sector suffered 1,911 reported data security incidents. So far 2022, the ICO has received 851 reports of data security incident trends in the health sector.
To learn more about starting a claim if solicitors have lost your medical file, contact our advisors today.
Health data is a special category of data protected by the UK GDPR and the DPA. As such, it applies to past and present medical information as well as future prognosis. Some examples of health data that are protected by this legislation include:
- Medical, physical and psychological
- X-rays and CT scans
- Appointment details or reminders from your GP surgery
- Blood test results
- Data from medical devices, such as EKGs
- Genetic data or other clinical data
- Pharmacy data, such as prescriptions and medication data
If your solicitors have lost your medical file or other illness data, contact our advisors today to find out if you could make a claim.
You may be wondering when organisations are permitted to process your health data. There are six lawful bases for the processing of personal data. These are:
- Vital interests
- Legitimate interests
- Public task
- Legal obligation
All organisations must establish a lawful basis before they process your personal data. Since health data is special category data, organisations must also establish a seperate condition for processing under article 9 of the UK GDPR.
Special category requies extra protection when it has been processed. For example, if your solicitor is holding a physical copy of your medical files, it should be stored in a safe envionrment such as a lockable filing cabinet.
If your solicitors have lost your medical file, our advisors can help. Get in touch today to learn how to report a data breach.
It may be possible to claim compensation for two areas of harm after solicitors lost your medical file: these are material damage and non-material damage. Material damage acknowledges the impact on your finances caused by the data security incident, such as:
- Stolen money from your accounts
- Credit card debt or fraudulent purchases in your name
- Damage to your credit score
Non-material damage aims to compensate you for the harm the breach does to your mental health. For example, you may suffer anxiety due to a breach, or stress because of a breach. The table below features guideline non-material damage figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document helps solicitors value claims by providing guideline compensation amounts.
|Type of Injury||Description||Severity & Guideline Award|
|Psychological and Psychiatric Harm||In the areas of work, relationships and education, the person will have a poor prognosis and suffer acute issues.||(A) Severe - £54,830 to £115,730|
|Psychological and Psychiatric Harm||Still indicative of a serious, long-standing disability, the prognosis here is more optimistic than above.||(B) Moderately Severe - £19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychological and Psychiatric Harm||Despite suffering similar issues, a marked improvement will have been noted by the time the case may need to be heard at trial.||(C) Moderate - £5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychological and Psychiatric Harm||In this bracket the length of injury is taken into account, along with the effect on daily activities such as sleep.||(D) Less Severe -£1,540 to £5,860
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Profound and permanent effects preventing life from being lived at anything close to pre-trauma levels.||(A) Severe - £59,860 to £100,670
|PTSD||A better prognosis than the above bracket after professional psychiatric intervention.||(B) Moderately Severe - £23,150 to £59,860
|PTSD||On the whole a recovery with persisting symptoms being non-disabling.||(C) Moderate - £8,180 to £23,150
|PTSD||Virtually a full recovery within a 24 month period and persisting issues beyond this time frame being manageable.||(D) Less Severe - £3,950 to £8,180
If your data has been breached because solicitors have lost your medical file, get in touch with our advisors today.
If your solicitores have lost your medical file and this has caused you harm, you may be able to claim. A No Win No Fee agreement such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) can grant you access to expert legal representation. Usually, under a CFA, you get this representation without having to pay upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor.
The only fee you typically pay under a CFA is a success fee, and this is only if your claim succeeds. This is taken as a legally-capped percentage of your compensation. Otherwise, your solicitor will not require a fee.
Find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you with a No Win No Fee agreement when you get in touch today:
Other Claims Against Solicitors
The resources below may offer further help on this question:
- How to report a data protection breach
- How to claim for a breach of disciplinary information
- Victim of abuse data breach claims
Please find further resources below to help:
- Read more from the ICO about why your data matters
- How to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
- More details about raising a complaint with the ICO
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim if your solicitors lost your medical file.
Written by JW
Edited by CH