ACC disputes and reviews

How to prepare for an ACC review

Once you have applied for a review, FairWay will contact you to arrange a hearing date. At the hearing both sides get to put forward their information, evidence and arguments to support their view.

The reviewer looks at all of the information that has been provided and makes a decision about what needs to be done to resolve the dispute. This can be anything from upholding the original ACC decision to overturning it, including decisions about money and payments.

The information on this page will help you to prepare for a review. You may also want to contact a qualified professional such as a lawyer or professional advocate for advice about your specific case.

How do I prepare for a review?

The applicant's job is to establish their claim and explain their case to the reviewer. Before the hearing, the applicant needs to be clear about why they lodged the review application. The applicant will also have to think about what documents and people they will need to help support their case.

Any party may have a representative (e.g. lawyer or advocate) help them prepare their case and represent them at the hearing. Let the representative know the date of the review hearing as soon as possible, so that they have time to prepare the case.

If you would like to have a witness or witnesses give evidence, please let the reviewer and other parties know at least 14 days before the hearing date. The names of the witnesses will need to be provided as well as details about what the witnesses' evidence will be.

All parties should prepare their submissions (arguments) well beforehand. The party or the party's representative can read out or give spoken submissions, or they can be written and then presented at the hearing. To allow the parties and the reviewer adequate time to prepare, please provide written submissions at least three working days before the hearing.

You don't have to attend the hearing, but it is a good idea. You can give evidence in writing instead, or have someone else present it for you.

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Who can attend the review hearing?

Anyone who is directly involved can attend the hearing, including:

  • your reviewer
  • you and/or your legal representative
  • a support person if you wish
  • a representative from ACC
  • your employer and/or their representative (for work injuries)
  • witnesses or experts (if applicable)
  • interpreters (if applicable)
  • an observer from FairWay Resolution, as long as all parties agree

Note: Review hearings are not open to the public.

For more, see our Who is involved in an ACC review page.

What if I can’t attend the review hearing?

If anyone cannot come to a hearing on the scheduled date, they need to let FairWay Resolution know in writing before that date to explain why and ask for the hearing to be delayed.

You should clearly explain:

  • why you cannot attend the hearing (for example, because of a family bereavement or illness); and
  • the earliest date you are available for a new hearing.

The reviewer will then consider the request and whether any of the other parties agree or disagree with the delay. The hearing can only be delayed - 'adjourned' - by the reviewer. If the hearing is adjourned, we will send a letter to all parties explaining why. In most cases, a new hearing date will be provided.

It's important to note that not all requests to adjourn a review hearing are granted, and everyone should be prepared to go ahead with the hearing on the scheduled date. If the parties cannot agree to a hearing date and time, the reviewer will choose a new date and time.

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