Filing a Car Accident Claim if You’re Undocumented
November 13, 2020
Undocumented immigrants living in Florida may hear a lot of misinformation about their rights to sue or seek compensation if they have been injured in an accident. The simple fact is that no federal or state law restricts the right to sue or to seek access to the courts for redress based on a plaintiff’s citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, every person is entitled to equal protection of the laws of the U.S. and of the states. This means that an undocumented immigrant has the protection of the courts to demand compensation from another person or entity that causes an accident that resulted in an injury.
Undocumented Immigrants Injured at Work
Many undocumented immigrants work in jobs across Florida and the country that expose them to significant risks of injury, including in industries such as agriculture and construction, where workers must use heavy equipment, power tools, and dangerous chemicals. Many work-related injuries and occupational illnesses require prompt medical attention and thorough treatment to avoid complications or avoid those injuries or illnesses getting worse. Unfortunately, undocumented immigrants who are injured while working in the U.S. often do not access healthcare after suffering injury, out of fear of being identified as an undocumented worker and subsequently being deported from the U.S.
People who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Florida law. Florida’s workers’ compensation system does not exclude undocumented immigrants; in fact, the statute expressly covers any person injured while working for compensation.
Undocumented Immigrants’ Rights to Sue
If an undocumented immigrant is injured in another kind of accident, such as a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or by a defective product, he or she has the right to file a personal injury suit against the party or parties responsible for his or her accident and injuries. Of course, undocumented immigrants understandably might fear deportation if they present themselves in court to bring a personal injury claim. An experienced attorney can help protect an injured undocumented immigrant from immigration consequences of filing a lawsuit or pursuing a claim for compensation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
When an undocumented immigrant wishes to pursue a personal injury claim, it is critical that they have the assistance of an attorney, especially when the immigrant is not fluent or proficient in English and is unfamiliar with the laws in the U.S. and Florida or with how the legal system in Florida works.
In particular, a personal injury attorney can help ensure that the injured immigrant has a valid and fully developed personal injury claim, whether they are asserting a negligence claim arising from an accident, a claim of recklessness, or a claim of strict liability for the immigrant’s injuries (such as if he or she is injured by a defective or dangerous product). An attorney can also help address the client’s concerns about their undocumented status and protect them from consequences, especially if the other party attempts to make the immigrant’s undocumented status an issue in his or her claim.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Florida ? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured in West Palm Beach, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.