Charleston West Virginia Attorneys Serve Data Breach Victims
Aggressive advocacy for consumers suffering losses due to privacy violations
In today’s digital society, vigilance is mandatory. You’d like to think your vital data is secure, but hackers and data thieves are active in putting personal identifying information at risk of being used for unlawful purposes. Even billion-dollar corporations, such as Target, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have had their defenses breached, affecting millions of customers. If you find you are the victim of a data breach, you must protect yourself, and retaining a West Virginia data breach attorney can be an important part of your efforts. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, attorneys Troy Giatras and Matthew Stonestreet are committed to quick and decisive action to limit your losses and recovery damages whenever possible.
What is a data breach?
Businesses today often store customers’ personal identifying information on their computer networks. This includes credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, home addresses, email addresses, screen names, medical records, financial records and transactional records. A data breach occurs if information is accidentally or deliberately leaked or if company firewalls and other security programs are insufficient to prevent hacking. A data breach exposes you to losses through potential identity theft.
Legal protections against data breach
West Virginia and federal laws require businesses that store customer data electronically to take security precautions against unauthorized persons obtaining that information. These laws include:
- West Virginia Code — The Breach of Security of Consumer Information Law requires companies doing business in West Virginia to promptly notify customers whenever a data breach occurs.
- HIPAA — The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act sets privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information. It applies to all entities that have access to health records, such as hospitals, healthcare providers, insurers and employers.
- HITECH — The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was passed to tighten up HIPAA controls in the digital age.
- Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act — Also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, this federal law requires financial institutions to protect consumer data.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act — This federal law gives victims of identity theft special rights that protect their credit score.
Despite these legal protections, hackers are constantly trying to gain access to company files. There have also been notorious cases of company employees stealing records and selling them to outsiders.
Steps you can take to limit the damages of a data breach
Companies have a legal duty to immediately notify customers when it is discovered that a data breach has occurred so they can take the necessary steps to protect their endangered assets, such as:
- Canceling and replacing credit cards
- Contacting banks and changing account numbers
- Contacting the major credit reporting agencies to place a security hold on credit reports
- Contacting the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to replace drivers’ licenses
- Changing screen names and passwords
While revamping your personal data records can be a considerable ordeal, it is the best practice for containing damage and preventing further cyberattacks.
Lawsuits seeking compensation for data breaches
If a company was negligent in allowing a breach of data, victims can sue for compensation. Our attorneys thoroughly investigate the breach to determine whether the company’s security protocols were substandard. Then we apply our extensive litigation experience to getting the class certified and aggressively prosecuting the action.
Trust The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC to help manage your data breach claim
The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia provides aggressive representation for victims of data breaches. Call us at 888-819-1281 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Our Charleston office is conveniently located at 118 Capitol Street, two blocks from the riverfront.