When you’re covered by ACC, and when you’re not

The vast majority of ACC claims are for physical injuries caused by accidents – like broken, fractured or dislocated bones, muscle tears and strains, lacerations (deep cuts or tears), and sprains.

Most claims involve an “accident” in the everyday sense of the term, like a car crash, or falling off a ladder at work or at home. But sometimes there are less straightforward cases, and whether you’re covered or not will depend on the detailed definition of “accident” in the ACC laws: for a summary of the legal definition, see below under “Injuries caused by accidents”.

Usually ACC only covers injuries caused by a specific event, rather than by a long-term, gradual process. But sometimes ACC will cover conditions caused by long-term exposure to something harmful at work or by an action repeated over a long time as part of your work: see below, “Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related”.

In a few situations, non-physical injuries like panic disorders or depression will also be covered, depending on how they were caused: see below, “Nervous shock and other mental conditions: Sometimes covered”.

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