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How Immigration Status Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

Rodman Law Office Dec. 21, 2023

It’s natural to feel frustrated when faced with any kind of personal injury. However, if you’re worried about how your immigration status will affect your personal injury claim, things can feel even more overwhelming. You may be afraid of the consequences of filing a personal injury claim, thinking that you might be deported. I get it—this is a tough situation. But let me assure you: you have legal rights during this time. In fact, regardless of your immigration status, you have the right to seek compensation for personal injuries suffered due to someone else's negligence or recklessness.

As an experienced personal injury attorney serving Austin and the rest of Texas, I understand the unique challenges that non-citizens face when dealing with personal injury claims. My firm is dedicated to helping individuals like you navigate the complexities of personal injury law. I take pride in my commitment to providing skilled, compassionate legal services. No matter where you live in Texas, including Travis County, Travis County, Williamson County, and Hays County, reach out to me today. 

The Right to Sue for Non-Citizens

Let's start with the basics. As a non-citizen, whether you're an undocumented immigrant, a temporary worker, or hold another type of visa, you have the right to sue if you've been injured due to someone else’s negligence. This right is protected by the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law to every person within its jurisdiction—that includes non-citizens. 

However, while the right to sue is established, navigating the legal process can be complex. Different rules apply, and any missteps could potentially affect your immigration status. That's why it's crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. 

Personal Injury Claims & Your Immigration Status

Your immigration status should not affect your right to file a personal injury claim. You're entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, just like any other resident.

Non-citizens often grapple with challenges when filing personal injury claims. One of the major roadblocks is fear; fear of drawing attention, fear of retaliation, or fear of deportation. Consequently, many immigrants choose to suffer in silence rather than assert their rights. 

However, it's crucial to understand that immigration status does not negate the right to legal recourse after an injury. The U.S. Constitution assures equal protection under law to all individuals within its jurisdiction, and this includes protection to non-citizens from any form of discrimination during a personal injury claim process. In fact, personal injury cases are handled by civil courts, which are separate from immigration courts. Filing a personal injury lawsuit does not automatically trigger an immigration investigation. 

Can Your Immigration Status Be Used Against You?

It’s important to note that the defense may try to use your immigration status against you. They might argue that your future earning capacity is lower because of your status. For example, they might try to claim that as a non-citizen, your potential future earnings—and thereby your claim for lost wages—should be calculated based on the rates in your country of origin, rather than the U.S. rates. In such scenarios, a skilled attorney can effectively counter these strategies, ensuring that your rights are not compromised. The defense may even try to intimidate you into accepting a lower settlement. An experienced lawyer can counter these tactics and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Will You Be Deported for Filing a Claim? 

The fear of deportation is real and understandable. However, let me assure you: filing a personal injury claim should not lead to deportation. It's illegal for employers or insurance companies to report you to immigration authorities in retaliation for filing a claim. 

It's essential to be truthful about your status, however, if asked about it in legal proceedings. Lying under oath could have serious consequences, including criminal charges and potential deportation. Do remember, though, that Texas law upholds the principle that any person who suffers an injury due to the negligence of another party has the right to seek compensation, irrespective of their immigration status. 

The Importance of Skilled Legal Representation

Your immigration status should not stop you from seeking justice and compensation for your injuries. As soon as you know you need help, contact a personal injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can help you fully understand your case and navigate the personal injury process on your behalf. Don't let fear or uncertainty hold you back. If you've been injured, you’ll need an attorney to handle the legal side of things so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

The pursuit of justice and fair compensation can be a daunting journey, especially when you feel isolated or vulnerable due to your immigration status. But with experienced legal support, you can confidently navigate the complexities of personal injury law in Texas. Contact me at Rodman Law Office to discuss your situation as soon as possible.