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Any time that someone gets into an accident at work or while driving a personal vehicle, it’s guaranteed to be a bad experience.
There’s the possibility of injury, property damage, and even long-term psychological trauma. But for undocumented immigrants that get into accidents, those are often the least of their worries.
For them, the fear of unwanted attention leads many to avoid seeking the help they need and deserve. We here at GA Injury Advocates can help, however. We stand ready to protect you regardless of your immigration status. There’s no need to suffer in silence. You’re just as entitled to treatment for your pain and suffering as anyone else. And you do have inviolable rights here that we won’t hesitate to defend.
So, if you’re an undocumented immigrant wondering what to do if you get in an accident, read on and we’ll answer all of your questions.
How Undocumented Immigrants Should Handle Work Accidents
Many undocumented immigrants are under the mistaken impression that their legal status means they’re not entitled to protection under US laws. Nothing could be further from the truth. Undocumented immigrants have the same legal options in the case of an accident as any legal resident. They can sue and seek restitution in US courts, and get justice when they’re hurt in an accident.
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For the thousands of undocumented immigrants living and working throughout the United States, this is critical information. As it is, many of the undocumented work in dangerous conditions where they might be exposed to greater risk than the general population. They may work with heavy equipment, dangerous tools, and handle industrial chemicals that can cause them great harm in the event of an accident.
That’s why we here at GA Injury Advocates think it’s so important to inform undocumented immigrants that they have rights. They shouldn’t hesitate to seek help when they need it. They have the same right to legal compensation for work-related injuries, and their employers are just as liable for keeping them safe as they are for any other employee,” said Marietta accident lawyer Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.
It’s essential not to let the fear of deportation or arrest by immigration agents stand in the way of consulting a lawyer after an accident. Trying to handle such a situation in secret and without assistance is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to massive out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment and an extended loss of income – all due to the negligence of another.
How Undocumented Immigrants Should Handle Car Accidents
Unlike work-related injuries, car accidents often happen in unfamiliar environments and involve strangers. And that leads many undocumented immigrants that get into car accidents to do whatever they can to avoid any unwanted attention. They fear that police that respond to the scene might discover their immigration status and refer them to immigration authorities.
But it’s important to know that the police have no authority to request any documentation related to immigration status when responding to the scene of an accident. They also can’t do so during any court proceedings related to a car accident. So there’s no reason to fear contact with the authorities. And contacting a reputable car accident attorney is always advisable so they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
It’s especially important because auto insurers and other people involved in an accident might try to exploit your immigration status. They could attempt to pressure you into accepting an unfair settlement offer or even to not seek compensation at all. And we at GA Injury Advocates know how to get you the compensation you deserve, no matter who wants to keep you from it.
So remember – you should never fear making a claim for compensation if you’ve been in a car accident. Insurance companies have an obligation to live up to the terms of their policies even if you don’t have a social security number, a green card, or permanent legal residency.
Steps to Take When an Accident Happens
In many cases, undocumented immigrants who get into car or work accidents go out of their way to avoid reporting them. Many also try and flee the scene of an accident, for fear of an encounter with immigration authorities. They shouldn’t do either of those things. Instead, they should:
- Stay at the scene and try to document what happened, collecting as many pictures and other evidence to prove their injuries and that they’re not at fault.
- In the case of an accident at work, they should make sure to get an accident report from their employer, or a police report if available.
- Never make any references to or statements about their immigration status.
- Contact GA Injury Advocates for help right away.
- Seek medical treatment and request a detailed report about any injuries sustained.
Why Make a Compensation Claim?
Anyone who’s been in an accident through no fault of their own is entitled to fair compensation. One’s immigration status has nothing to do with that. And an undocumented immigrant who files a compensation claim might receive:
- Compensation for the costs of medical treatment.
- Compensation for rehabilitation and other post-accident recovery treatments.
- A sum to cover the costs of lost work and other opportunities.
- A sum to cover direct and indirect wage loss as a result of the accident.
In other words, making a compensation claim can help cover both the direct costs associated with the accident as well as your losses that stemmed from it. And while it can’t erase any injuries you may have suffered, it can make your recovery period less stressful by reducing the economic anxiety your accident caused.
So the bottom line is simple: if you are an undocumented immigrant that has been involved in a work or car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have rights. Contact an attorney and let them help you to get appropriate compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. The relevant laws apply no matter your immigration status, and you don’t have to suffer in silence.