If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, or if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you may be entitled to compensation. That’s true regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen, a legal resident, in this country on a temporary visa, or in the United States without legal documentation. The same is true for other types of injuries caused by somebody else’s negligence.
Unfortunately, many undocumented immigrants don’t get the compensation they deserve because they don’t know they can file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. Others are afraid to pursue compensation because they’re concerned that interacting with the court system will lead to deportation. Confusion and anxiety can prevent an injured person from getting the help they need to recover and get back on their feet.
At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you or your loved one. We’re here to provide the information and guidance you need to make the best decision for you and your family.
If you’re undocumented and you’ve been hurt in a San Antonio car accident, here’s what you need to know about your rights and how to move forward. You can also schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and your situation.
What Type of Damages are Available to an Undocumented Immigrant?
The possible compensation for an undocumented immigrant injured in a Texas motor vehicle accident is largely the same as the compensation available to any injury victim. Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the type and seriousness of injuries sustained, these damages may include things like :
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for loss of income or earning capacity
This type of compensation may be critical to receiving the medical care, physical therapy, equipment and supplies, and other support you need to recover from a serious car accident.
Of course, documenting items like lost income may be more challenging for an undocumented immigrant, depending on your circumstances. It’s helpful to work with an attorney who is experienced in handling undocumented immigrant injury cases and knows how to assemble evidence to maximize possible compensation.
One Way Undocumented Immigrant Cases are Different
In Texas, most automobile insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage. That means the policyholder’s own insurance will pay some benefits if the at-fault driver was uninsured (meaning the injured policyholder can’t recover damages from the responsible party). But, you must have a valid driver’s license to obtain automobile insurance. And, in Texas, undocumented immigrants cannot be issued driver’s licenses. So, you likely won’t have your own insurance to fall back on, and will be dependent on the responsible driver’s coverage for compensation.
That won’t impact most car accident claims, since the responsible party’s insurance carrier is the main source of compensation for most motor vehicle accident claims.
Will a Car Accident Claim Create Immigration Problems?
First, you should know that filing a car accident lawsuit doesn’t in any way directly impact immigration status. The federal government is not automatically notified when you file an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. And, insurance companies aren’t allowed to threaten to report you or otherwise jeopardize your presence in the United States to intimidate you into giving up your rights.
As you know, there is always some degree of risk in day-to-day life that you may come to the attention of immigration officials. Talking to a San Antonio car accident attorney who is experienced in representing undocumented immigrants is the best way to get information about the benefits of moving forward with a car accident claim and any risks or challenges you may face. Your consultation with the attorney is confidential and will not put you at risk.
Next Steps for Injured Undocumented Immigrants in Texas
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or in some other way and it was somebody else’s fault, you are entitled to pursue fair compensation just like anybody else. At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we know that the legal system can be intimidating for anyone. We also know the stress of dealing with legal issues may be more severe for the undocumented.
We are here to make the process as easy, safe, and stress-free as possible. We also handle all car accident and other personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay any attorney fees unless and until we settle your case or win at trial. To learn more about your rights, the compensation you may be entitled to, and what you can expect when pursuing a car accident injury claim, schedule a free consultation right now.
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