Informal ACC hearings at Risk from Labour
The latest Report of the Regulations Review Select Committee* shines a light on the different agendas of the main parties. The majority Opposition report favours an increase in funding for lawyers to defend accident victims at the first level of informal hearings.
National Party MP and member of the Committee, Annabel Young, stands by the minority report which endorses the retention of an informal hearing as the first level of adjudication of disputes between the insurer and the accident victim.
“The pre-litigation informal initial hearing is a positive part of the ACC process. There is a sound body of non-lawyers who can help settle these disputes. It was not clear to me, as a member of the Committee, that the involvement of lawyers at an early stage would benefit the victims.”
“I’m not anti-lawyer. I am a lawyer by training. But there is no need to turn the pre-litigation hearing into a battlefield for lawyers.”
* Complaints relating to the Accident Insurance (Review of Costs and Appeals) Regulations 1999.