Last updated on November 13th, 2021
If you have been the victim of a medical data breach and your personal data has been exposed, you should seek the advice of a data breach solicitor as you may be eligible to file a medical data breach compensation claim.
What Is A Medical Data Breach?
A medical data breach is said to occur when personally identifiable information is accessed by unauthorised persons or when such information is disclosed to others or published on a public forum, for example.
A medical data breach happens when personal information is wrongfully accessed or used by any medical facility, whether it is an NHS data breach by a hospital, a doctors/GP surgery, private clinic, dental clinic, or pharmacy.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 are the two main laws that regulate how an individual’s personal information may be used by any organisation or business, including medical facilities or even the government.
Causes Of A Medical Data Breach
A medical data breach might be deliberate or unintentional, and can occur in various different ways.
Data breach examples:
- Documentation containing identifiable details is not stored or disposed of securely
- Data containing your personal information is used in a trial without your explicit permission
- The medical facility sends an email or a letter containing confidential information to the wrong address
- Inadequate network security results in a cyber-attack in which patients’ personal information is accessed
- A non-medical employee accesses your information without your consent or knowledge
- A staff member leaks your personal information to somebody else
- The pharmacy gives your medication to the wrong patient and they are able to identify you
These are just some of many scenarios that constitute a medical data breach.
Consequences Of A Medical Data Breach
Having your personal information fall into wrong hands is an invasion of privacy and can cause severe stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. There’s the huge worry about how somebody else may use your personal information that they’ve obtained.
You could be susceptible to being blackmailed if certain sensitive information gets out in the open. Or you may be a victim of identity theft, fraud, and loss of money if your financial information was stolen in the breach. What makes it worse is that you do not know when or how a stranger may use your information.
One way to mitigate the damage is by blocking your credit cards and changing the passwords to your bank accounts and other online accounts. However, there are some details that you cannot change and that can leave data breach victims feeling vulnerable all the time.
Filing a medical data breach compensation claim will not be able to reverse what happened but it can help to compensate victims for the inconvenience, trauma, and financial losses that you suffered due to the breach.
What To Do If You Think Your Medical Data Is Breached
Under the General Data Protection Regulation, medical facilities such as the NHS are obligated to inform you as soon as they are aware of any serious data breach that may compromise your personal information. If you’ve just been informed that your personal information was accessed without authorisation, there are some things you should do to protect yourself.
- Change all online logins and passwords, especially to your banks and credit cards
- Inform your bank and credit card company and ask them to temporarily freeze your accounts
- Monitor your bank and credit card activity
- Activate double authentication for essential accounts
Regardless of whether the breach is discovered immediately or after some time has lapsed, the damage is already done. What’s worse is there’s no way of knowing how or when a fraudster may use your information and for what purpose. A data breach solicitor will be able to give you the best advice about what to do next to protect your legal rights.
How Much Compensation For Medical Data Breach Claims?
The amount of compensation awarded to victims of a medical data breach varies considerably, depending on the circumstances surrounding the breach as well as the extent of damages you’ve suffered. These are some of the factors that are taken into consideration when calculating data breach compensation:
- Sensitivity of the data that was stolen
- How long did unauthorised persons have access to the data available
- Length of time elapsed between the breach occurring and being notified about it
- Any financial losses experienced because of the data theft
- Anxiety and emotional distress
If you would like to discuss a medical data breach compensation claim with a solicitor you can call us free on 0800 6524 881.
Do You Need A Data Breach Solicitor?
Many of the losses suffered by victims of a medical data breach are intangible, which can make a compensation claim challenging to prove. It’s just as challenging to calculate the right amount of compensation for these losses, particularly if you are not familiar with this area of the law. Data breach solicitors specialise in dealing with these claims. An experienced solicitor will be able to give you the best advice about what to do and what not to do after a data breach to strengthen your claim and also to maximise the amount of compensation you receive.
Another huge benefit of working with a specialist solicitor is the absence of any financial risk to yourself. If you have a strong medical data breach claim, most solicitors will waive any upfront fees and cover expenses going forward by using a No Win No Fee agreement.
No Win No Fee works essentially as it sounds. If your claim is not won, you pay no fee. If your claim is successful and compensation is paid, the solicitor retains a percentage of the compensation as their success fee.
Medical Data Breach Compensation Claims Time Limit
Medical data breach compensation claims must be submitted within 6 years of the data leak having occurred. Although six years may sound like there’s no rush for a claim to be filed, it is in fact the opposite so the sooner you start the claim the better.
If you would like to talk to a solicitor about a medical data breach compensation claim then please contact us today for a free consultation.