Data breaches, although not a recent development, have become increasingly common. According to the AARD, there were approximately 42 million people affected by data breaches in 2021 alone, affecting about 40 billion people worldwide.
Here’s all you should know about data breach lawsuits.
The General Steps In A Class Action Lawsuit
Knowing how a class action lawsuit plays out can help you determine if it’s a good fit for your data breach issue. Here are some general steps involved in most class action lawsuits.
After filing, the complaint is served on all defendants and published in an online court database. The defendants will then file an answer with any defenses they have against each of your claims.
Who Can Join The Class Action
The law places two restrictions on who can be included in a class action. First, it limits participation to those individuals who have suffered similar injuries as a result of Defendant’s conduct.
Second, in addition to proving injury, you must also prove that numerosity is present. That is, there are so many similarly situated people with claims for relief against the defendant.
For example, if your data was breached by Company X and you live in California, then anyone else living in California whose data was breached by Company X would be able to join your lawsuit.
The Damages Available
Data breach lawsuits are not your average personal injury lawsuit. Depending on a number of factors, you can seek economic damages or actual damages. Actual damages include out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of identity theft or other harm caused by a data breach.
When data breaches occur, victims often seek compensation for illegal charges, credit harm, the cost of fraud protection, the cost of new credit cards, the time and resources spent investigating, and emotional distress.
The amount varies depending on circumstances. The most important thing is that you hire an experienced attorney who understands how to maximize your potential recovery in these types of cases.
Why Do I Need An Attorney?
If you’re a victim of identity theft or your personal information was leaked in a data breach, it’s normal to feel angry and helpless. The fear of what could happen and how you’ll protect yourself is likely overwhelming.
Hiring an attorney can help alleviate some of these feelings and help ensure that you are protected moving forward.
Data Breach Lawsuits
Most companies store client data as structured or unstructured online. Many companies are struggling to manage unstructured data and it often attacks the prying eyes of hackers. Stolen structured data that includes names, numbers, and other sortable data can be used to perpetrate fraud or transfer funds.
Most data breach incidents are motivated by monetary gain. And once hackers have obtained a large amount of personal information, they usually sell it for different prices depending on the type of data on multiple internet platforms, usually on the dark web.
Regardless of the reason or source of a security breach, victims have the right to sue a firm for failing to protect their information, which can result in a class-action lawsuit.
Companies must take reasonable precautions to protect their customers’ information. And if they do not, they may be held accountable for any resulting damages, including identity theft which may result in legal action.
In case you suffer a data breach and all goes wrong, remember you are not the only victim. Every year, millions of Americans are victimized by data privacy incidents and seek legal recourse to obtain compensation and hold firms accountable for poor security measures.
Contact a lawyer, and they will advise you on the best course of action for your case and if you are eligible for a data breach lawsuit.