I am looking for somebody in NZ who can offer me pro bono assistance who can help me apply for an ACC claim for my son.

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Customer: Hi there, I am looking for somebody in NZ who can offer me pro bono assistance who can help me apply for an ACC claim for my son. He was hit in the head with a lawn edger by the next door neighbours child when he was three years old and it caused him to have epilepsy from the strike, which has has impacted his life terribly. We are looking for a one lump sum payout to try and make his life a bit easier as this has affected his learning capabilites, employment, driving and accidents, socialising/friends etc. The accident occurred in 1987. Can anybody help? Doesn't seem fair that he has had to struggle with this all of his life and it has caused a lot of stress for all of the family with a lot of epileptic seizures, waiting for a response,thank you in advance, ***** *****
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Before I connect you, is there anything else you'd like the Lawyer to know?
Customer: We are both now currently living in Australia
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, 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

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Did your son make a claim for ACC, or did you make a claim on his behalf when the accident happened? Under the ACC scheme he would have been entitled to medical treatment and ongoing treatment resulting from the injuries. There is some provision for lump-sum claims but it may be difficult to make a claim if you don't have any previous claim history

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I suggest you also have a look at the ACC site on these issues

https://www.acc.co.nz/im-injured/financial-support/financial-support-permanent-injury/

Customer
No we didn't as we were never advised to and didnt even think about it at that stage, my ex husband tried a few years ago and they fobbed it off trying to compare it to a small fit that his sister had due to a high temperature, there is absolutely no epilepsy history in our family on either side
Customer
I thought this was suppossed to be free, can you give me a contact for a pro bono lawyer please
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

There is a time limit for making claims, so making a claim after 43 years would be extremely difficult. There would need to be some very clear evidence on his medical file that the injury is the cause of his epilepsy.

This isn't a free service however although it is much cheaper than seeing a lawyer in person. But not even a lawyer acting pro bono would be able to make a claim after all these years

Customer
Its 36 years, but thank you anyway
Customer
Why didnt the doctors tell us to make a claim?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

In my experience doctors are generally quick to get ACC involved. However going back to 1987 it is hard to know why they didn't. Did the epilepsy start right away? How bad was the injury? It might be that no one made the connection and therefore didn't make a claim

Customer
It is in his medical records, first seizure happened three weeks after head injury
Customer
A metal spike punctured his head
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

They should have made an ACC claim at the time. Do you have the original records? Hospitals don't tend to throw these away, but they can be difficult to find. That may throw some light on whether ACC was involved. If ACC was involved, then you might have better luck with making a lump sum claim.

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Lawyers don't usually get too involved with ACC except on reviews for decisions. It's meant to be a system where you don't need lawyers

Customer
The problem is my ex husband didn't think we needed to take him to hospital, so it is only heresay on the medical records although the patents of the boy could make a statement that it happened
Customer
I mentioned he was struck in the head after the first seizure happened
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The test for any claim like this is on the balance of probabilities. But the most difficult issue, which I am fairly sure you cannot overcome, is the delay in making a claim.

Customer
I have all his records, his father emailed them to me
Customer
Okay, well thank you for your advice today
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful

Customer
That's ok, thanks anyway
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

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