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Can a Car Accident Claim Be Filed by Undocumented Immigrants?

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Madeleine Jones
November 5, 2021

If you have ever been involved in a car accident you know it can be pretty hectic. Normally you are aware that you have legal options, like seeking justice and compensation. However, whenever those victims are undocumented immigrants, this situation can become overwhelming. It can leave them torn between staying quiet out of fear of being deported or pursuing legal action to get the compensation they need. These viewpoints, however, are not valid. Yet, they are preventing innocent victims from getting the compensation they are entitled to.

Let’s clear up some of this confusion by going over some of these lawsuits’ history, how times have changed, and why, if you’re undocumented, should pursue legal action after a car accident.

Undocumented Immigrants Filing an Accident Claim: The History

Undocumented immigrants often have had a valid reason to worry about pursuing legal claims. According to the past case of Rodriguez v. Kline (1986), a person’s immigration status could often be admissible as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, this case stated that an undocumented person didn’t have the right to recover any future lost wages based on the wages they received in the US since they could only be compensated at their own country’s proper pay rate.

It is because of case rulings like this one, that undocumented immigrants had to deal with reduced compensation or may have even been barred from any compensation at all. Additionally, since their immigration status became public, they had to start worrying about the risk of being deported from the United States.

Immigration Status No Longer Pertinent Today

Thankfully, these types of cases that prevented undocumented immigrants from pursuing personal injury claims got nullified over time. New laws were set into place that assured an individual’s immigration status was excluded in a personal injury case. As a result, immigrants without proper documentation don’t have to worry about their status becoming exposed when they file a personal injury claim. Instead, they get the same rights as other litigants.

Filing an Injury Claim Does Not Increase The Chances Of Getting Deported

One of the biggest reasons why undocumented immigrants don’t want to file a personal injury claim is because they worry that doing so will put them in the eye of immigration officials of their immigration status and result in them getting deported. However, current regulations state that their immigration status won’t be discussed in a personal injury claim. It won’t be divulged publicly. Furthermore, it is actually illegal for the other attorneys to try and prevent an undocumented immigrant from filing a personal injury claim by threatening to report them to immigrant officials.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident As An Undocumented Immigrant

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you deserve to pursue justice for the harm you endured. No matter what your immigration status is.

Fortunately, undocumented immigrants have the same rights to compensation as any other U.S. citizen. However, before collecting any of this financial compensation, they still need to be able to prove that another person was responsible for their accident and injuries.

In these situations, it is in your best interest to have a compassionate and experienced attorney on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve. They can not only provide you legal help but they are can also give you:

Confidentiality

You may be worried about saying anything about your accident to your attorney, especially if you’re undocumented. When you have a lawyer on retainer, everything you talk to them about is a hundred percent confidential. This is what is known as client legal privilege, and it is a rule of law that protects your communication with the attorney. It is completely safe to discuss every issue with your attorney. You do not have to worry about any information getting out without your permission.

Affordable Legal Help

Personal injury attorneys offer their legal services on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t need to pay the attorney upfront. Instead, they only get paid when they win your case. This way it is easy to get an experienced attorney to evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have at no cost to you.

Fair Justice

Undocumented immigrants deserve to be able to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. Especially when these injuries can cause victims to suffer life-altering trauma and face extensive medical bills. Having said that, you deserve to seek fair justice and compensation to help you rebuild your life.

When you hire a car accident attorney, you can get all of this and much more. They can help you throughout the legal process, and get fair compensation. 

Reach Out To Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you or an undocumented loved one have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate. Seek the legal help you need and deserve. Rather, contact our team of expert lawyers at Cogburn Law today for a free initial consultation and let them get to work for you! Call us at (702) 748-7777.

I was hesitant about getting a lawyer for many reasons, however the entire staff at Cogburn reassured me that everything would be okay. They were always very attentive and provided detailed answers to any questions I had. I would like to thank the entire staff for all of your hard work, making sure that my daughters and I were compensated for the car accident, and making sure we received all the necessary treatment. You were awesome. If you need an attorney that won’t look at you as just another case, that’ll return your calls/emails I definitely recommend this team.

Jessica F.