Is a Deed of Release (Accident Compensation Act 1985) binding and if so, for how long?
And if I may be so bold as to ask a second question, if there are ongoing reasonable medical and like expenses, is there a time limit for liability?
Thanks for your question. I don't think I understand it fully if I've missed the premise then by all means drop me a line to clarify.
A Deed of Release is a document that is binding on the people who sign it. If you're dealing with the Accident Compensation Act then it usually would involve an injured worker, their employer and one or more insurance companies.
A Deed of Release is a document you sign that does just that, it releases a claim. That is that whatever claim you may have with an employer or their insurer or whatever is deemed to be settled not just now, but forever in the future too. A Deed will then indemnify the employer or their insurance from litigation in 5, 10, 20 years time. This is why you should ALWAYS obtain legal advice before you sign a Deed.
Now, from what I understand you're asking whether the Deed is binding on the people who sign it? Yes, it is. For how long? That depends on the Deed, but usually a Deed of Release means the case is closed forever.
Your Deed may say something else, but all of the deeds I have seen close a case shut for good. So, if you suffered an injury that heals OK now but for whatever reason, in 15 years is made worse and you signed a Deed of Release, well your claims against the employer were released 15 years ago and you can't claim again.
Now, from what I understand with your question, you want to know if medical and other related expenses can be claimed once a deed of release is signed? Well, that depends on the deed you sign so the document will tell you. However, there is a time limit that have for being able to claim expenses and that will vary depending on the expense and the reason.
Check with a lawyer that handles personal injury cases like Maurice Blackburn, Slater& Gordon or Norwicki Carbone.
Disclosure: I used to work for Maurice Blackburn two years ago.