If you live or work in the United States but are considered “undocumented”, you may wonder what your legal rights are if you are injured in an auto or workplace accident. Undocumented immigrants may find the process of filing a personal injury claim a bit more complicated.
What Rights do Undocumented Persons Have?
Regardless of your citizenship status, the U.S. Constitution offers some basic protections and rights for everyone living in the U.S.
-Constitutional Rights:With or without proper immigration documents, you have rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. That means you have the right to due process, equal protection under the law, and the right to defend yourself in civil matters.
-Defense against Removal:If you are facing possible deportation, you also have the right to defend yourself against removal from the U.S.
-Work-Related Rights:If you are working in the U.S., some states may allow you to claim workers’ compensation benefits or disability so long as you have paid into the appropriate funds. You also have the right to sue a negligent employer if you are injured on the job.
Undocumented Persons and Personal Injury Claims
Many undocumented individuals fear filing a personal injury claim because of deportation concerns. However, regardless of legal status, anyone living or working in the U.S. can file a personal injury claim in pursuit of:
-Pain and suffering
You do not need a Social Security number or driver’s license in order to file a personal injury claim. Because of the complexities of immigration law, and the potential for other parties to challenge your immigration status, it is best to speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable both about personal injury law and immigration law before attempting a personal injury case.