Can Undocumented Immigrants File Accident Claims?
If you have been injured in an accident, the situation can be quite hectic, but most victims know they have legal options they can pursue to seek the justice they deserve. However, for those victims who are undocumented immigrants, this ordeal can become extremely overwhelming, leaving them torn between pursuing legal action to get the money they need for the losses they suffered or staying quiet out of fear of being deported due to their status. However, these viewpoints are not valid. Yet, they are preventing innocent victims from collecting the money they are entitled to.
That is why in this blog post, we want to clear up some of the confusion surrounding undocumented immigrants and accident claims by going over the history of these lawsuits, explaining how times have changed, and why you should pursue legal action following an accident even if you are undocumented.
The History of Undocumented Immigrants Filing an Accident Claim
In the past, undocumented immigrants often had a valid reason to worry about participating in a lawsuit. According to former case law, an individual’s immigration status was often admissible as evidence in a personal injury claim. In fact, these cases held that an undocumented plaintiff did not have a right to recover future lost wages based on the wages they received in the United States since these individuals could only be compensated at the proper pay rate of their country of origin.
Consequently, because of these case rulings, undocumented plaintiffs had to deal with a reduced recovery or may have been barred from recovering any money. Plus, since their immigration status was divulged to the public, they now had to worry about the risk of being removed from the United States.
Immigration Status is Not Pertinent to Injury Claims Today
Thankfully, over time these types of cases that hindered undocumented immigrants from pursuing injury claims were nullified, and new laws were set into place that ensured a person’s immigration status was excluded in a civil case. As a result, immigrants who did not have the proper documentation no longer had to worry about their immigration status becoming exposed when they filed a lawsuit. Rather, they were granted the same rights as other litigants.
Does Filing an Injury Lawsuit Increase Your Chance of Becoming Deported?
One of the biggest reasons undocumented immigrants do not want to pursue an injury claim is the worry that filing a lawsuit will alert immigration officials of their undocumented status and result in them becoming deported. However, with the current regulations, this worry is without merit.
Since a person’s immigration status does not need to be discussed during a personal injury claim, it will not be divulged that an individual is undocumented. Further, it is illegal for the other side or other attorneys to try and stop an undocumented immigrant from filing an injury claim by threatening them that they will turn them over to immigration officials.
Pursuing Legal Action Following an Accident as an Undocumented Immigrant
If you have been in an accident due to another person’s wrongful actions, you deserve justice for the harm you endured, regardless if you are undocumented or a United States citizen. Fortunately, today, those who are undocumented often have the same rights to a monetary claim as any other U.S. resident. However, before they can collect any of this financial relief, they still need to show that another person was responsible for their harm and they suffered damages as a result.
That is why, in these situations, it is often in your best interest to have an experienced and compassionate lawyer on your side fighting for the compensation you need. These attorneys can not only provide you the legal help you require to take on these complicated cases, but they can also provide you with:
Although you may worry about saying anything to your attorney about your accident, especially when you are undocumented, do not worry. When you retain an attorney, everything you discuss with them is strictly confidential. This is because client legal privilege is a rule of law that protects the communications with your attorney. As a result, you can safely discuss all your issues with your lawyer, going over everything you want them to know about your situation without being afraid this information can get out to another individual without your permission.
Legal Help You Can Afford
Most personal injury lawyers offer legal services based on a contingency basis. Meaning that you will not need to pay these attorneys upfront, rather they will only get paid when your case is resolved and you receive money through a verdict or a settlement offer. Basically, with this setup, you can have an experienced legal team evaluate your situation and answer any questions or concerns you have at no cost to you.
The Justice You Deserve
Immigrants living in the United States, whether documented or not, deserve the same ability to hold those liable for their injuries accountable following an accident, especially since these injuries can cause victims to suffer life-changing trauma and endure extensive medical bills. Consequently, if you have been harmed in an accident, you have a right to seek justice and a sufficient amount of compensation to help rebuild your life and start living as normally as possible following your accident.
Fortunately, when you retain an experienced accident lawyer, you can get this help, plus so much more. These attorneys can assist you through the whole legal process, fight for a fair financial recovery, and ensure your rights remain protected. They will also explain how your lawsuit is possible, regardless of your citizenship status.
Get The Legal Help You Need, Reach Out to an Experienced Injury Attorney Today
If you or an undocumented family member have been injured in an accident, do not wait any longer to seek the legal help you need. Instead, contact an experienced injury attorney today for a free consultation and let these lawyers show you how they can fight for your rights.