In short, the answer is yes! It is possible to bring a personal injury claim in an Employment Tribunal claim. However, it is only in certain circumstances that this is the case. It is possible to claim compensation for personal injury suffered in an Employment Tribunal if the claim is based on discrimination. It is also important to note that in the majority of cases an Employment Tribunal claim must be brought within 3 months of the action (i.e. ACAS Early Conciliation (link) must be triggered by this point and the strict time limits adhered to).
It is against the law to be treated differently based on what are known as the ‘protected characteristics’. At work, this can come in the form of a dismissal, difference in pay and differences in training, recruitment, promotion and other opportunities. The ‘protected characteristics’ include:
- Sexual Orientation
- Being/becoming a Transsexual person
- Having a disability
- Religion and Belief
- Race, Colour, Nationality and Ethnic or National origin.
- Pregnancy and Maternity leave
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
Making a personal injury claim in the Employment Tribunal
Where an employee has been subject to discrimination (including harassment or victimisation) in the workplace by an employer, the effects on the individual can be most serious. For many employees, these situations can have negative consequences on mental health and wellbeing leading to depression and anxiety. If you can prove that the personal injury has stemmed from the discriminatory actions, you can bring a personal injury claim alongside the claim for discrimination.
Should you change solicitors?
If your solicitors are not experienced in bringing personal injury claims in an Employment Tribunal, then you may want to consider switching solicitors to us. We specialise in representing clients who want to change their lawyers.
And if your employment law solicitors have failed to properly advise you on your ability to pursue a personal injury claim in your Employment Tribunal claim and they should have done, and as a result you have suffered loss, then you may have professional negligence claim (link) against your solicitors. Often, we pursue professional negligence claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.
The Importance of bringing a Personal Injury Claim in an Employment Tribunal
If you have suffered a recognised psychiatric condition because of the discrimination that you have sustained at work, there are many advantages to brining the claim at the same time. They are:
1. You will not need to repeat the facts and the stress of litigation that goes with bringing a separate claim.
2. It is difficult to find a solicitor who is prepared to offer a No Win, No Fee agreement to allow you to pursue a separate personal injury claim based on workplace-related stress.
3. By adding a personal injury claim, you are increasing the value of your claim which may in turn make settlement more likely.
4. Often you do not need a very expensive medical report from an independent medico-legal expert, as you would in a straightforward personal injury claim, in order to receive compensation for a work-related personal injury claim.
5. Stand-alone personal injury claims are much slower to run that an Employment Tribunal claim, often taking many years to resolve.
6. By doing bringing both claims together there is less risk of “double recovery” i.e. you shouldn’t be compensated twice for the same injury.
7. If you don’t bring a personal injury claim with your Employment Tribunal claim, then if you settle your employment law claim, the other side will want to settle all disputes with you at the same time in order to stop you pursuing a separate personal injury claim. In order to settle your employment claim, then you might be giving up your personal injury claim.
The main disadvantage to bringing a personal injury claim and Employment Tribunal claim at the same time is that you are unlikely to be able to receive compensation for the full amount of your personal injury claim because, in all likelihood, the full extent of the personal injury losses may not have been properly quantified. Therefore, there is a risk in under-settling your personal injury element.
As explained above, specialist legal advice is needed when bringing personal injury and Employment Tribunal claims at the same time. Should you want more information, please contact us today.