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Is Data Breach a Legal Issue?

Legal issues of both the criminal and civil variety can accompany data breaches. Civil data breach lawsuits are particularly important for data breach and identity theft victims because these claims can provide victims with financial compensation.

Our data breach lawyers are ready to assist if you’ve recently learned that your personal and private information was compromised in a data breach, you must take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (866) 778-5500 or filling out our secure contact form.

What Are the Legal Consequences of a Data Breach?

The legal consequences of a data breach depend upon which role you have in the incident.


Hackers and cybercriminals can face criminal charges like computer fraud, identity theft, and wrongful disclosure, which may lead to jail sentences. Depending on the nature of the crime and the jurisdiction, the hacking itself may be classified as a misdemeanor (less serious) or a felony (more serious).

Breached Organizations

The company that stored your data may be held accountable through a civil lawsuit if it can be established that the company failed to use adequate security measures to protect that data stored in its network.

Data Breach Victims

Victims of data breaches may seek financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. If your identity (not just your data) is stolen, you may be able to press charges against the thief. Some identity theft victims have been mistakenly arrested after an identity thief committed crimes using their names and had to stay in jail while the mess was sorted out—overnight or potentially for a matter of weeks.

Who Is Responsible for a Data Breach?

The most obvious party to blame for a data security incident is the hacker or cybercriminal who committed the breach and captured data that they are not authorized to view. Just because the hacker was in the wrong doesn’t mean that everyone else involved in the incident is blameless. Civil data breach lawsuits seek to hold accountable the organization that was in possession of the breached data.

Data breach lawsuits, like many other types of civil legal matters, arise out of allegations of negligence. In a data breach lawsuit, your attorney would seek financial compensation from the organization on your behalf under a theory of negligence in which the organization’s failure to adequately protect your data from threats that could reasonably be anticipated makes them responsible for your losses.

Data breaches occur far too commonly and affect too many people—in serious, potentially life-changing ways—for companies to leave the consumers who trusted them with private personal information vulnerable to data theft. Yet that’s exactly what an organization is doing when it fails to implement or maintain adequate data security measures.

Outdated or just plain inadequate security measures make an organization a bigger target for hackers and cybercriminals looking to profit off of other people’s data. This doesn’t mean that a company is always to blame when it suffers a cyberattack, but it is worth taking an in-depth look at the security measures the organization had in place to see if the organization was negligent in some way. If so, you may have the grounds for financial compensation under a data breach lawsuit.

If you are the victim of a data breach,

we can assist.

Can You Sue for a Data Breach?

Whether you can sue for a data breach depends on the facts of the incident. Often, companies are negligent in some way when it comes to data security. They may fail to follow the current best practices in data security in favor of saving money or fail to keep their security measures up to date. As new hacking methods evolve, outdated data security measures make an organization vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The only way to know for sure if you have a case is to speak to a data breach lawsuit attorney who can investigate the incident and the company’s security measures (or lack thereof).

How Do You Investigate a Data Breach?

Although data breach litigation is an evolving area of civil law, attorneys with experience in this field have the skills to conduct a thorough investigation of a data security event. We use the same meticulous investigative skills to uncover the truth about data incidents as we do when handling car and truck accident claims. In our data breach lawsuit claims, we work with expert witnesses in fields like digital forensic investigation, cybersecurity, information security, encryption, computer science, identity theft, hacking, and fraud.

How Much Does It Cost to Sue for a Data Breach?

Attorneys often handle data breach lawsuits on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means you will pay nothing to speak to an attorney about a potential case and nothing upfront to move forward with your claim. You will only ever owe your attorney a percentage of the compensation they recover for you, and if your claim doesn’t result in a successful payout, you pay nothing for legal representation.

How Much Can Individuals Sue Companies for in the Event of a Data Breach?

How much money you can get from a data breach lawsuit depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you’re seeking compensation for actual damages or statutory damages (damages amounts as established by legal statutes).
  • The extent of your damages. The actual damages of different members of the same class of plaintiffs may be different depending on the extent of each individual identity theft victim’s losses.
  • Whether or not your identity was stolen. Payouts are generally higher for claims involving actual identity theft compared to those in which a person’s data was only exposed.
  • Laws in your jurisdiction. Some states, like California, have already passed laws establishing statutory damages amount ranges for data breach claims, as well as allowing for claims seeking compensation for actual damages.

No Fee PromiseSome data breach claimants receive payouts in the range of hundreds of dollars, Reuters reported, while others have been entitled to up to $25,000 or more for cases that involve much more extensive damages, according to CNET.

An attorney who is familiar with the facts of your data breach claim can offer you the best guidance as to how much compensation you might be able to get from your claim.

At Console & Associates, P.C., our data breach lawyers will help you to better understand what is at stake after a data breach and what your legal remedies are. We also offer all clients a No Fee Promise, which means that we do not accept payment from you unless we can successfully resolve your case, either through a data breach settlement or a favorable jury verdict.

To schedule your free consultation, just call (866) 778-5500 today or fill out our secure contact form.

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