after a lifetime of advertisements from the personal injury lawyers i was well into making my list of people & organizations that had done me wrong related to my injury – and who *owed* me.
– the companies that made the skis & the bindings. i saw no warning that i could break my leg anywhere on those products.
– the ski rental shop. no explanation possible except flawed equipment and setup. nice try trying to hide this with the “friendly” staff (aka merchants of doom).
– the ski resort. fat cats making fortunes whist their customers lie strewn across their injury park.
– motel we stayed near the resort. the photos in the brochure were all smiling people enjoying their day skiing. no photos of folks on backboards being taking away in a toboggan by ski patrol. clearly bait and switch.
– ski pants manufacturer. they seemed nice and soft and i assumed would protect me from harm.
– china. i expect all that weather engineering they were doing for the olympics had an impact on us here in nz making the ice particularly hard.

but then i remembered that in new zealand coverage for my accident would be covered by the accident compensation corporation (acc) which provides personal injury cover for anyone legally in new zealand in return for losing the right to sue for damages. doh!

i guess that’s a fair trade off. but i still think i’ll miss my day in court with the obligatory crutches and neck brace.

the acc experience shows what can be done when the lawyers and insurance companies are out of the picture. funded by payroll deductions (1.16% of salary) and auto registration fees ($204.78 / vehicle) acc covers all medical & rehab expenses and any lost salary.

as soon as we submitted the hospital provided acc forms they called right away to set up a time to drop off equipment to make life at home easier (for me a shower seat and a grabby thing to pickup items out of my reach). my acc case officer called the next day to discuss when i would be able to return to work and what support i would need as i recovered. she said their experience with my injury was that it would 84 days before i would be fully recovered. since by tuesday i was totally bored and was ready to start working from home we agreed that i didn’t need any lost salary coverage. my case officer then reviewed the other items they could help me with – taxi rides to & from work and medical appointments, any prescription medication costs, follow-up gp & ortho visits, and support for any home chores that are normally my responsibility.

my acc coverage list
– rescue helicopter
– emergency room
– surgery
– 3 days recovery in the hospital
– prescription medications
– home aids
– subsidized gp follow-up visits
– orthopedic follow-up visits
– physio
– taxi rides as needed
– home support (not required)
– lost salary coverage (not required)

total cost to me so far: $85 for the private clinic at mountain, my gp visit and some panadol (tylenol).

Leave a Reply