Andwhile it’s easy for American citizens to file personal injury lawsuits, it may not be the case for immigrants. If you’re an immigrant in the U.S., here are some of the things that you need to remember before filing a personal injury claim:
- Your Immigrant Status Shouldn’t Stop You FromFiling APersonal Injury Case
A personal injury lawsuit stems from allegations that a person was harmed or injured because of another party’s negligence, and making the latter legally responsible for the said harm. American residents can file this case against companies or individuals, to seek both economic and non-economic damages.
Immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, are allowed by US laws to pursue a case against erring parties.This is assured by the United States Supreme Court when it said that all people in the U.S. have a right to due process ‘whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent.’
A reputable law firm in New York also published an article discussing immigrants’ rights to sue erring companies and other negligent parties.
- Undocumented ImmigrantsWorking Perilous Jobs With No Insurance Are More At Risk Of Troublesome Personal Injuries
Both documented and undocumented immigrants are often hired by companies to perform the most dangerous jobs. Apart from the fact that most American nationals don’t find these types of jobs appealing, some companies are inclined to hire undocumented immigrants for cheap labor. Meanwhile, immigrants accept these high-risk and labor-intensive job opportunities out of desperation and because they lack qualifications for better jobs. They’re either employed as roofers, construction workers, miners, or heavy equipment operators.
Despite being exposed to risks on a daily basis, undocumented workers, apart from receiving rock-bottom pay, also don’t have medical and health insurance, mainlydue to lack or absence of documents. When something happens to them, whether they get into minor mishaps or life-altering injuries, it can be very devastating. If they don’t have work insurance, they won’t have any form of protection.
- There Are Important Elements When Proving Personal Injury Claims
Ignorance of the law excuses no one. And while immigrants can always ask a legal counsel for some advice, it may be helpful for them to also know the four elements of negligence. These elements are key to the validity of all personal injury claims:
- The existence of the defendant’s legal duty owed to the accuser
- The respondent’s breach of the said duty
- The plaintiff’s sufferance of harm or injury
- Proximate cause, or proof that the respondent’s breach of duty caused the harm
These elements may be difficult or easy to prove, depending on the circumstances of each case. To ensure thatimmigrants have better chances of winning the case or getting the compensation they deserve, seeking the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer is paramount.
- You Have The Right To Ask For Damages And Compensation
Whether a legal citizen or documented and undocumented immigrant, personal injury victims are legally allowed to request compensation to cover all types of damages incurred by the victim in relation to the unfortunate incident. Damages that may be asked from the respondent may be economic and non-economic-related, such as:
- Missed wages due to the incident
- Projected lost wages
- Medical or hospital bills
- Rehabilitation and medication costs
- Mental pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of use of the affected body part
This list isn’t exhaustive and there may be other damages not mentioned, which, in any case, you can still discuss with a personal injury lawyer.
- You Can Always Consult A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer
As mentioned earlier, having a skilled defense lawyer is critical in achieving success for an illegal immigrantwho’s filing a personal injury claim. After all, their undocumented status may be exposed and used against them.
If any, it may make the demand null, andthe respondent will likely predict that the plaintiff won’t pursue the case for fear of being deported out of the country. In this instance, it pays to have an attorney who can negotiate with the other party to come up with a win-win situation.
This also means that a non-resident may not necessarily have to go through a full-blown case in order to get compensatory damages. Sometimes, your legal counsel can work out an out-of-court settlement for you.
American citizens and immigrants, whether legally or illegally staying in the US are all allowed to file claims for damages that arise from the negligence of other parties. However, undocumented immigrants will understandably have more concerns because of their status. This makes them even more vulnerable to suffering from injuries where the responsible parties often go unpunished.
As such, they could use the help of a seasoned counsel who’s willing to provide appropriate legal services on their behalf. With a skilled attorney, they’ll be able to navigate through the complicated legal systems with fewer snags.