When undocumented immigrants get involved in accidents, they tend to not take legal action, thinking they don’t have the rights to do so. But little do they know that laws are still in place to protect a person who suffered harm from an accident, regardless if they are undocumented. It may sound a surprise but yes, everyone, including undocumented foreign nationals, still have rights and it is often possible to file a claim or sue another party when injured in an accident.
Right to Sue
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution states that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the laws of the country and that no one is to deny another person of such. Moreover, in some states, the right to sue another person or party is not exclusive to US citizens, which strengthens the rights of every person working or living in the United States to file a claim against someone, even if he’s living or working in the country without documentation.
Injury at Work
It is undeniable that there are a lot of undocumented immigrants that work for companies in the US. It’s also very unfortunate that these companies often expose these employees to severe dangers like working with heavy equipment, sharp or blunt tools, or harmful chemicals without appropriate protection, which increases the risk of these employees of getting serious injuries or worst, life-threatening harm.
In most cases, depending on the employers’ actions, these workers may also suffer more problems because they lack healthcare coverage. And obviously, without proper medical assistance, injuries incurred can cause permanent damage to the employee or individual, so it is important that proper action is done to prevent more serious issues from arising. However, most employed undocumented immigrants would rather stay away from any kind of law enforcement or legal support due to the fear of being deported.
Through the United States Constitution, the person involved has the right to sue and pursue a negligence claim against the other party, regardless of where the accident happened. Through a personal injury claim, the injured party is provided several possible damages that are owed to him.
It is important to note though that even if the lawsuit does not immediately affect the injured party’s immigration status, the lawyer should ensure that his client is protected from these consequences. A lawyer should be able to put his or her client’s mind at ease by explaining the law and through a confirmation that the lawsuit may still be allowed to proceed, even if the client’s US citizenship is lacking.
Damage Recovery from Injury
A person involved in an accident in any state can recover income, medical expenses, and other damages, even if they are undocumented as stated on the US Constitution. The earning capacity and legal authorization to work in the United States will not exclude these employees from getting what is due to them. This ability to recover damages even extends to subcontractors that are illegal immigrants or those that hire illegal immigrants.
Working as an Undocumented Immigrant
Some states in the US do not have a prerequisite in acquiring work permits or immigration papers in order for an individual to work for a company. In cases where a state shares a border with a country, hiring a foreign national while the worker remains in the other country is certainly possible. This setup could still extend the right of the worker to sue for injuries if he or she has been involved in an accident.
If the company has no worker’s compensation package or any existing insurance to cover the damages, a lawsuit is the only way to ensure that the worker is duly compensated and hiring a lawyer is a must.
While this post is only opinion and not to be considered legal advice, we hope your found it rich and informative. If you think you’re entitled to damages, reach out to a local attorney near you for help.