“Can I File a Car Accident Injury Claim if I Am Undocumented?”
In more than three decades handling auto accident cases in North Carolina, our car accident attorneys have served thousands of injured victims, including many immigrants. We’re often asked, “Can I file a car accident claim if I am undocumented?”
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question, “Can I file a car accident injury claim if I’m undocumented?” We’ll also share some tips on what you can do to protect your legal rights if you’ve been injured in an auto accident.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and are undocumented, the legal system can seem overwhelming and even threatening. But you DO have rights and you deserve justice like everyone else.
Can Undocumented Immigrants File a Car Accident Claim?
Regardless of your immigration status, both documented and undocumented immigrants have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. In cases where the immigrant is documented, the claim will have the same rights and recovery as a U.S. citizen.
That said, undocumented immigrants still have the same legal rights to pursue a personal injury claim. Undocumented immigrants not only have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, but they also have the right to compensation.
Essentially, when a non-citizen is injured in a car accident, they have the same right to file a claim as U.S. citizens.
Challenges for Noncitizens Filing an Injury Claim or Lawsuit
However, there are other valid concerns that noncitizens encounter when deciding whether to file a car accident claim or lawsuit. For instance, undocumented immigrants might fear that filing a claim will result in being investigated or deported by immigration officials. We have helped many undocumented immigrants with claims and have never had any of our clients deported.
Riddle and Brantley understands the complexities of obtaining immigration status. Although deportation is a valid concern, injured undocumented immigrants still deserve justice and representation by an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.
Additionally, deciding not to pursue a claim can result in various financial difficulties including:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Lost wages
- Inability to engage in the future work
- Expensive treatment
- Continuous or lifetime care
Often, insurance companies and defense attorneys will threaten exposure of immigration status to prevent claims. Having a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate through this complicated process.
Most personal injury cases end in a settlement before they even make it to trial. Therefore, the chances of litigating your case and risking further exposure of your immigration status is unlikely.
In the event that your claim needs to be litigated, our attorneys can discuss how we can protect your immigration status.
We believe Justice Counts and we would love to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured in a North Carolina car accident or other motor vehicle accident.
For a FREE consultation with a North Carolina injury lawyer experienced representing undocumented immigrants, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below.
There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your car accident claim. Even if you are undocumented, you still deserve equal justice and we are ready to help however we can.
“How does an undocumented immigrant’s case differ from other personal injury claims?”
What a noncitizen can recover for a personal injury claim is very similar to other personal injury cases.
When an injured undocumented immigrant files a claim or lawsuit, however, future wages may not be included in compensation for damages. Since the claimant is not legally allowed to work in the United States, the defense often argues that they cannot accurately calculate future income.
This strategy may limit the amount of compensation an undocumented immigrant can obtain for future lost wages. Regardless, we still fight for our client’s right to lost wages.
However, an undocumented client can still recover for medical bills, property damage and pain and suffering.
“If I am undocumented, is it safe to seek treatment from medical providers?”
Seeking treatment for injuries suffered in a car accident is important. Not only does this protect your health and safety, but medical records are often critical evidence in pursuing an injury claim or lawsuit.
According to the National Immigration Law center, both ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have policies against raiding certain medical facilities categorized as “sensitive locations.” These policies mean that absent of “exigent circumstances,” no raids can occur in areas including hospitals or health care facilities.
In other words, it is generally safe for an undocumented person to seek medical attention after an accident. In most cases, HIPAA legislation means that medical providers cannot disclose a patient’s immigration status to the authorities without the patient’s consent.
Why Choose Riddle & Brantley for Your Car Accident Claim in North Carolina?
At Riddle & Brantley, we believe ALL injured people deserve justice, including undocumented immigrants.
Our team has multiple Spanish-speaking employees and an attorney with former experience in immigration law. Attorney Alex Riddle worked with the UNC Law Immigration Clinic during her last year in law school.
“I have experience in immigration law and am proud to fight for justice for all those living in North Carolina, including undocumented immigrants.”
–Alex Riddle, attorney, Riddle & Brantley
If you or another undocumented immigrant has been injured in a car accident (or any other type of accident), please call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE consultation with an injury attorney handling these claims.
We would love to help you however we can.
Remember, we have Spanish-speaking interpreters on staff for the convenience of our Spanish-speaking clients, and free consultations are available by phone, email, text and even video conference. There is no in-person meeting required to get started on your case.
Please call 1-800-525-7111 today for a free consultation. You won’t pay any upfront costs or attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
Justice Counts for ALL — including undocumented immigrants and we would love to help you fight for justice and compensation if we can.
Alex Riddle is a personal injury attorney at Riddle & Brantley. Prior to joining the firm, Alex graduated from the University of North Carolina Law School, where she worked in the UNC Law Immigration Clinic helping documented and undocumented immigrants with legal matters.