I live in the UK. I was on holiday and had an accident due to a third party. I’m back in the Uk now and need treatment

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Customer: I live in the UK. I was on holiday and had an accident due to a third party. I’m back in the Uk now and need treatment and would like to be compensated for my injury. How can I proceed?
JA: Have you talked to a United Kingdom lawyer about this?
Customer: I have and he gave me a list of NZ lawyers
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing legally. I’m going through the medical steps to try and get on the path to recovery
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No that’s the basics
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 5 mins 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

Customer
Hello Chris
Customer
I’d rather not keep throwing money at this injury
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

When you had the accident did you make a claim under the Accident Compensation Act, which pays for medical treatment for accidents in New Zealand, including tourists?

Customer
I didn’t make a claim. The responsible party paid for a visit to a doctor.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You may still be able to make a claim, but if you are not covered then you could bring a personal injury claim in New Zealand.

Customer
Are there any companies in NZ that take on such claims on a no win no fee basis as in the UK?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You are likely to be covered by ACC and should look at that option first. You cannot make a personal injury claim if you are covered so you need to check this out first. The cover from ACC is just for the medical costs as a tourist-from their website-

What we cover

Our no-fault scheme covers everyone, including visitors, who are injured in an accident in New Zealand. It includes events that result in mass casualties. The scheme covers children, beneficiaries, students, if you’re working, unemployed, or retired.

If you're injured in an accident, make sure you go and see your doctor or health provider first. They can make a claim for you. Claims can be made up to 12 months after your injury. We may still consider claims made after this time if there’s a good reason for the claim not being made sooner.

What is no-fault cover?

No-fault cover means it doesn't matter what you were doing when you were injured or who was at fault. We'll cover you, as long as the injury falls within our legislation.

The cover we provide helps pay for costs to get you back on your feet. It includes payment towards medical bills, treatment, help at home and work and help with your income.

Physical injuries we cover

A physical injury is when there is actual damage to your body. This includes:

  • sprains or strains - such as ankle, back, knee or shoulder sprains
  • wounds - cut, broken or bruised skin
  • burns
  • fractures
  • dislocations
  • dental injuries
  • hearing loss
  • loss of consciousness.

We cover most physical injuries if they’re caused by:

  • an accident
  • sexual violence
  • a condition that comes on gradually because of work.

We can also cover injuries that are long-term, permanent or that happened at birth.

Customer
it’s looking as if the responsible party that has caused me to have an injury that I will carry for the rest of my life gets away with it? Why do they carry liability insurance?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The purpose of the scheme is to have a no fault system for personal injury by accident. Because the scheme covers everyone there are some compromises, and so there is no allowance for general damages the way that you would be able to claim in the UK. If they have insurance this would be for payment of damage to your personal effects rather than cover for the injury. The treatment for the injury is covered, but you need to make a claim. You have 12 months to do so, with provision for an extension. If you didn't know about the ACC scheme, then that might be helpful in applying out of time

Customer
That system is bizarre. The person responsible for my injury gets away with causing the accident and I have to live with the consequences !
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is a different approach to personal injuries

Customer
That’s for sure. Not sure I can live with that.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

In some cases where you are not covered by ACC you can claim but you need to check with ACC

Customer
I just called acc and they say that as I’m in the UK I can’t claim.
Customer
Sorry can’t claim from ACC.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

In that case you could pursue a personal injury claim. Your losses would include your medical expenses, any lost time at work and general damages. You should be aware that the levels of general damages in New Zealand are much lower than common law countries. If you need a lawyer, it is probably best to choose one in the city where this happened. If it went to trial you would probably need to come to New Zealand to give evidence

Customer
Thanks for that. Have you any recommendations. The accident happened in Milford Sound.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You should get a lawyer in Invercargill-my suggestion would be Preston Russell Law https://www.prlaw.co.nz/

Customer
Thanks for the help
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Thank you for the reply and for using this site. You may ask further questions or rate this answer when you are ready.

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