New Zealand removed the right to sue for personal injury many years ago after receiving the 1967 report of the Woodhouse Royal Commission of Inquiry on Accident Compensation and acting on its recommendations.
The full text of the report and its recommendations can be found by clicking here.
Acting on that report Parliament removed the right to sue (in all but the most serious contumelious cases) and replaced it with a comprehensive system for dealing with personal injury.
As with many areas of law, Parliament, having removed the right to sue, has then set about restricting the right to receive the benefit of the coverage under the Act and the extent of entitlements that are available.
The Accident Compensation Corporation has been established, ostensibly, to support and rehabilitate people who have accidents. This includes personal injuries caused by accidents, medical and treatment errors, workplace accidents and various other areas.
Coverage does not extend to cover pre-existing and/or degenerative conditions, infections or diseases, or accidents outside New Zealand, except in very specific and limited circumstances.
Regrettably this area of the law has become a hostage (as in many other areas) to Treasury and to an implicit underlying notion that most claimants are in some way attempting to defraud the system or to gain advantages to which they are not entitled.
Rather than repealing the system and restoring the right of individuals to again sue for personal injury, Parliament dominated by the Executive branch of government, re victimize many prone individuals by imposing a system and structure that many are helpless or ill equipped to battle.
It is our experience that most ACC claimants are honest people blighted by injury that wish only to be rehabilitated and return to work as quickly and expeditiously as possible.
Our commitment is to helping our clients correct errors in the administration of the Act so as to receive the entitlements to which they are due and to correct the huge imbalance in effective representation and the corporate inertia that often blocks that access to proper entitlements and treatment.
If you wish to review a decision declining coverage or treatment or an assessment has been made of your capabilities that you consider to be unreasonable, unfair or untrue then please contact us and we may be able to assist.