Lost Medical Records Compensation Claims

What To Do If Medical Records Are Lost?

Lost medical records compensation claims

Lost medical records compensation claims

When you visit a GP surgery, dentist, optician or hospital, details about your health are recorded in your medical records. It is an important process as it means any treatment you receive should be targeted and safe. However, there could be a lot of sensitive information stored in your medical records that you wouldn’t want to be accessed by anyone other than medical professionals. Luckily, the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has tightened data safety in the UK. Even so, this article is about claiming lost medical records compensation because mistakes do still happen.

While you may need to claim compensation for suffering caused by medical negligence following the loss of your medical records, this article will concentrate mainly on data breach claims. As well as discussing the psychological and financial damage that can result from data breaches, we’ll explain why you could be compensated for that harm.

Our panel of solicitors have years of experience helping claimants seek damages for suffering caused by negligence. If you are considering beginning a claim, our advisors can help. They will provide a case review without obligation and give you free legal advice.

If it appears that you have strong grounds to claim, they could connect you with a specialist data breach lawyer from our panel. To reduce your financial risk when claiming, the lawyers on our panel provide a No Win No Fee service if your case is accepted.

If you would like to discuss your claim right away, why not contact us on 0800 652 3087 today? During your free telephone consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your claim.

If you would like more advice on what to do if your medical records are lost before speaking with us, please read on.

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What Is A Lost Medical Records Compensation Claim?

Since the GDPR was introduced (enacted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018), there has been a much greater emphasis placed on the security of personal data. That’s why, when you register for medical services or book an appointment, you may see information about how your information will be used. That’s because there now needs to be a lawful basis for using it. In many cases, this can be established by asking for your permission to do so.

Where data security protocols are not adhered to, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could step in. They are legally empowered to make changes in data security processes in organisations. Furthermore, they have the ability to issue fines where necessary.

However, it does not have the power to issue compensation to those affected by data breaches. Therefore, we have written this guide about how to take legal action yourself.

A lost medical records compensation claim might be possible if a medical service provider has lost your medical records. To be eligible to claim compensation, you would need to demonstrate how the incident has caused you to suffer.

This could include claiming for psychological problems resulting from the data loss like anxiety, distress and depression. If a loss of your medical information was in combination with a loss of financial information (if you use private healthcare services, for example) you could also claim for financial loss. For instance, if your bank details fell into the wrong hands, it could lead to theft from your bank account.

Even though we live in a world full of technology, the GDPR doesn’t just cover digital information. While it does cover breaches caused by phishing emails, hacking, firewall attacks, viruses and ransomware, it is also concerned with pieces of paper containing personal information too.

When you have completed this article, please get in touch to discuss your case. We will try to answer as many of your questions as possible. Also, any advice we provide is free even if you don’t decide to proceed with a claim.

What Happens If Medical Records Are Lost?

Recording information about a patient’s illnesses and treatment is very important. That’s because, during the course of any medical treatment, you are likely to see multiple medical professionals. It is therefore vital that each of them knows everything about the case so far.

If your medical records are lost, unreadable or not up to date, you could suffer because you receive the wrong treatment. In these cases, you could have a medical negligence claim if you suffer an avoidable injury.

Aside from negligence claims, you may also be able to make a data breach claim. That’s because the loss of personal information is covered by the GDPR. It is important to point out, though, that data loss on its own will not warrant a compensation payout. Additionally, you will need to prove that you have also suffered financially or psychologically as a result of the breach.

If you would like us to review your options, why not call today for a free case review? Our advisors will walk you through the claims process but you don’t have to proceed with a claim unless you wish to do so and have a valid claim.

Types Of Medical Records Which May Be Lost

When we talk about medical records, we don’t just mean the type you used to see in buff envelopes at a GP surgery. In fact, there are many different types of medical records that could cause problems if lost. They include:

  • Electronic records and reports.
  • Handwritten medical notes.
  • Consent forms including your signature.
  • Lab results.
  • Letters containing sensitive medical information sent to a patient by a medical professional.

Each of the items listed could cause problems if lost. For example, you might suffer embarrassment if your medical records were to make it into the public domain. This would be a breach of the GDPR. Furthermore, your treatment could be affected if details of medical tests were not available to a medical professional.

If you have evidence of a valid lost medical records compensation claim, please let us know. We’ll go over your case with you and let you know the options available.

How Medical Records And Data Could Be Lost

‘Lost medical records’ can encompass a lot of different scenarios. Essentially, if your medical records are unusable because they are not available, you could suffer.

Medical records and data could be lost through any of the instances below.

  • Human error: throwing away part of a file holding medical information without checking if it’s needed still.
  • Inability to retrieve medical records because of faulty computer systems.
  • Incorrect record keeping.
  • Failing to record (medication, allergies, family history etc).
  • Unreadable handwriting.
  • Loss of printed medical records.

Again, any form of lost medical records could result in you suffering. That could mean you need to make a medical negligence claim because you are injured or made ill as a result. Furthermore, you might need to make a data breach claim because you’ve suffered from anxiety, distress or depression. If your medical records

If you believe you have suffered because your medical records were lost, please get in touch. We’ll consider your claim and review it with you. If there is a chance you might be compensated, we could connect you with a specialist lawyer from our panel.

How Could You Be Affected By Lost Medical Records?

There are various ways in which you could be affected if your medical records are lost. Generally, it could lead to a data breach claim or a medical negligence claim. Data breach claims might be possible if the following cause you psychological suffering:

  • Your medical information is sent to the wrong person.
  • Lost medical records end up in the public domain.

Medical negligence claims may be possible if you:

  • Don’t receive treatment because your test results are lost.
  • Are given a drug you are allergic to because your records weren’t available.
  • You aren’t asked to attend screening because your records no longer categorise that you were previously acknowledged as ‘at risk’.

In either scenario, we could help you to start a claim. Our advisors provide free legal advice whether you make a claim or not. We will start by assessing your case with you first. Then we will help you by advising you of your options.

If that includes proceeding to a claim, we could connect you with a specialist lawyer from our panel. For more information on medical negligence or a lost medical records compensation claim, please get in touch today.

Lost Or Misread Medical Test Results

Testing for medical conditions is a great way to identify what you are suffering from. We are very lucky in the UK to have such good testing for conditions like cancer and blood conditions. They can help diagnose conditions when no physical symptoms present themselves. For that reason, many tests are conducted annually, at a certain age or if you are in a group that is particularly at risk.

Even though testing is standard in this country, mistakes do sometimes happen. If any of the following occur, they could cause you to suffer:

  • Your test results go missing and nobody follows up on the loss.
  • Where your test is mixed up in a laboratory meaning you get somebody else’s results.
  • Where handwritten results are not clear meaning you receive the wrong or no treatment.

If you believe that your test results have gone missing or been recorded incorrectly, please give us a call. If the mistake has caused you to suffer physically or psychologically, we could help you begin a compensation claim.

Further Harm Caused By Lost Medical Records

There are various ways that the loss of medical records or test results could cause you to suffer. While we’ve covered a number of them in this guide, we probably haven’t included all of the possible scenarios. Therefore, please don’t worry if you don’t see a case that matches yours in this guide. We could still help you claim.

Importantly, there are various bodies that you could make a claim against. They include:

  • GP surgeries.
  • Hospitals and A&Es.
  • Dental practices.
  • Care homes.
  • NHS trusts.
  • Cosmetic surgery providers.

Also, it is important to point out that claims are not limited to the NHS alone. If your medical records have been lost by a private healthcare provider, you could also be eligible to claim.

We are here to help if you do want to proceed. Our team can help with data breach claims as well as suffering caused by medical negligence. If you would like us to review your claim for free, please feel free to call when you’re ready to begin.

Time Limits To Claim For Harm Caused By The Loss Of Medical Records

In the UK, all compensation claims have a time limit. This is set by the Limitation Act 1980. To show you how long you have to claim for suffering resulting from the loss of your medical records, please refer to the following table.

Type of ClaimTime Limit
Data Breach Claim (General)6 years.
Data Breach Claim (Relating to human rights breaches)1 year.
Medical Negligence Claim3 years.

Importantly, when claiming for medical negligence, the time limit will begin from the date the negligence took place or the date you found out about your injuries.

Additionally, time limits for medical negligence are frozen for children under 18 and those who don’t have the mental capacity to claim. A litigation friend can claim on their behalf during this time.

From the date of the child’s 18th birthday, if nobody has already claimed on their behalf, they have 3 years to make a medical negligence claim.

If a person without the mental capacity to claim gains the capacity, they would have 3 years to claim from the date of their recovery. Again, this is providing that a litigation friend hasn’t already claimed on their behalf.

To find out more about these time limits, get in touch with our advisors.

Calculating Lost Medical Records Compensation Claims

When making data breach claims, you could be entitled to compensation for any expenses you’ve incurred as well as any suffering that results from the breach. In this section, we’ll show you some potential figures for conditions like distress, anxiety and depression.

When considering data breach compensation, it’s important to refer to a hearing at the Court of Appeal. While summing up the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], the Court held that:

  • Injury claims are allowed to be made whether a financial loss has resulted from the breach or not.
  • Where compensation is awarded for psychological harm, it should be set at levels paid in personal injury claims.

Therefore, we have supplied a compensation table, below, listing figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use the JCG to help set payment amounts in personal injury cases.

Importantly, our table refers to injuries sustained in data breaches. If you would like to know how much could be paid for medical negligence injuries, please get in touch.

Claim / InjurySeriousnessCompensation Range
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,470
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180
PTSDModerate£7,680 to £21,730
PTSDLess SevereUp to £7,680
Psychiatric Damage Severe£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage Moderate£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage Less SevereUp to £5,500

To help prove how you’ve been affected by the loss of your medical records and to evidence that the data breach caused or worsened your mental state, you will need to attend a medical assessment. Our panel of solicitors will usually be able to book you in for a local appointment.

The meeting will be used to assess how you have suffered and determine a prognosis as well. It will be conducted by an independent medical expert. During the meeting, you’ll be asked a series of questions and your medical records will be reviewed too. Once the meeting has concluded, the results will be written into a report and sent to your lawyer.

No Win No Fee Lost Medical Records Compensation Claims

If you are concerned about losing money to legal fees if you lose your claim, then you can relax. That’s because our panel of expert lawyers offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim that’s taken on. Essentially, it allows you to benefit from reduced financial risks while still getting access to an experienced legal professional.

Before your case is taken on, a lawyer will have to review the merits of your case. If they are happy to represent you, and you wish to proceed, you will be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (a formal term for No Win No Fee agreement) to review. This is the contract that to help you fund your claim. It will set out what needs to be achieved by your lawyer if they are to be paid. Importantly, it will also show that:

  • Your lawyer won’t ask you to pay for their work in advance.
  • They won’t ask you to pay their fees while your claim is being processed.
  • You don’t have to pay any lawyer’s fees if your claim does not succeed.

In cases where there is a successful outcome, your lawyer will be paid a success fee. This is a small percentage of your compensation payment that covers your lawyer’s work. So that you are aware of what percentage will apply in your case, it is listed within the No Win No Fee agreement. Importantly, success fees are legally capped.

If you would like to know more about how No Win No Fee claims work, please call our advisors today.

Speak To Medical Negligence Assist

Thank you for visiting our site today. We hope your options about claiming lost medical records compensation are clearer. We could help you to make medical negligence claims or data breach claims alike. To get in touch, you can:

  • Call our specialist help centre on 0800 652 3087
  • Chat live with an online advisor to discuss your claim.
  • Use our claim online form so that we can arrange to call you back at a convenient time.

We are happy to review any case on a no-obligation basis. We will also provide free legal advice too. What we won’t do is waste your time by overestimating your chances of success. However, if your claim does appear feasible, we could connect you with a lawyer from our panel. If they agree to work for you, then your case will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

Helpful Links

We have almost reached the end of our article on lost medical records compensation. Therefore, in this section, we have provided some links to other articles that might prove useful.

How To Access Your Health Records – This NHS article explains how to request copies of your medical records or to have them changed.

Complaint To The ICO – Information on the process to follow if you wish to complain about a data breach to the ICO.

Stress –  A guide from the NHS on the signs of stress and how to cope with it.

Hospital Negligence – Information on when you could be compensated if you’ve suffered due to hospital negligence.

GP Claim – Advice on how to claim for GP negligence that has caused you to suffer.

Compensation Calculator – This guide shows how much compensation could be awarded for different injuries.

FAQs People Also Ask About Lost Medical Records

In our final section of this guide, we have listed a few answers to some common questions. If you need to ask any further questions, please call our team today.

What happens if medical records are lost?

The loss of medical records can have an impact on any treatment you receive. For example, if you have an allergy but a doctor doesn’t know about it because your records are lost, you could be prescribed dangerous medication. As well as claiming for medical negligence, you could also claim for a data breach if the loss of your medical records has caused additional psychological suffering or (in certain circumstances) financial loss.

Can I ask for my medical records to be deleted?

Although data subjects have a right to erasure, this may not apply to medical records. Specifically, the GDPR explains that health professionals can refuse to delete information relating to medical diagnosis or the provision of healthcare.

How do I recover my medical records in the UK?

You have a legal right to ask for copies of your medical records in the UK. You can simply write to the medical facility that holds your records and ask for the information you need. Alternatively, you could ask a solicitor to do this on your behalf.

Are medical records destroyed after 7 years?

The minimum retention period for health records vary. The NHS will keep personal medical records for at least 8 years, mental health records for at least 20 and records about children until their 25th birthday.

Thank you for reading our guide to lost medical records compensation.

Guide by Brett

Edited by Ruth