Everyone knows that if you are injured because another person was careless or negligent, you can sue that person for your medical expenses and related damages. But who, exactly, has the right to sue for personal injury and can a work injury lawyer help?
Every person who is physically in the United States – whether that person is a citizen or not – has the right to be protected from personal injury. The courts in this nation presume that the right to be free of and protected from physical harm is a basic human right that belongs to everyone.
HOW IS AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT’S INJURY CLAIM HANDLED?
In Texas and in every other state, undocumented immigrants may take legal action if they have been injured by another person’s negligence. The U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment provides for due process and equal protection under the law for non-citizens as well as citizens.
The courts in this country have determined that the word “person” in the Fourteenth Amendment includes not only U.S. citizens but also lawful permanent residents, citizens of other nations who are in the United States with visas, and undocumented immigrants.
Additionally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures that all persons within the legal borders of the United States have a right to take legal action against anyone who has accidentally or intentionally injured them.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS AS A VICTIM OF NEGLIGENCE?
Your immigration status, in other words, has no bearing on your right to take legal action if you have been injured by another person’s carelessness in Texas or in any other state.
If you are an undocumented immigrant and you are injured by someone else’s negligence, after you have been treated by a medical professional, contact an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your rights and legal options as a victim of negligence.
All victims of negligence in this state are entitled to complete compensation for their medical expenses and for all related losses and damages.
CAN YOU RECOVER LOST WAGES?
Although some states will not compensate an undocumented immigrant for lost wages, the courts in Texas have consistently affirmed that an injury victim’s immigration status should not impair that person’s legal right to recover damages for lost wages or lost future earning capacity.
The United States Supreme Court has never specifically ruled on the right of an undocumented immigrant to bring a personal injury lawsuit, but the matter has effectively been settled in the courts of the fifty states.
If you are an undocumented immigrant in Texas, and if you have been injured by another person’s negligence, you may hesitate to act. You may fear that any involvement with the courts may expose you to the possibility of deportation. That fear is groundless.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU’RE INJURED AND YOU DO NOT ACT?
However, remaining silent after you’ve been injured by negligence may have considerably negative consequences, such as:
1. Without the compensation you are entitled to, you may not be able to pay for proper medical care.
2. If you can’t work because you are injured, you may not be able to pay your monthly bills or meet your other obligations.
3. If you wait too long to act, the two-year Texas statute of limitations for personal injury claims may expire, and after that time, no court will hear your case.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE?
If you are an undocumented immigrant and you are hurt in any kind of accident in the state of Texas because another person was being careless, here is what you need to do:
1. Your first and immediate priority after being injured is to obtain medical treatment for your personal injury or injuries. That will create the medical records that you will need to move forward with legal action.
2. As soon as you have been treated by a healthcare professional, arrange for a consultation with a San Antonio personal injury attorney. You’ll learn more about your rights and how the law applies to your own case. Your first meeting with a lawyer is free.
3. If an insurance company asks for a statement, say nothing except to refer the company to your lawyer. You’re not required to make a statement to an insurance company, and what you say could be twisted and used against you. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.
4. If an insurance company contacts you about a settlement offer, again, refer the company to your lawyer. A quick settlement offer is usually an offer for far less compensation than you’re going to need. Let your attorney negotiate for a better settlement on your behalf.
WILL YOU HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT?
An injured victim of negligence may not even have to appear in court. Most of the personal injury cases in this state are settled privately, in out-of-court negotiations, when an attorney from each side meet to work out an agreement that is acceptable to everyone involved.
You will only have to go to court if no agreement can be reached and your attorney recommends taking your case to trial. A personal injury trial is conducted in a Texas civil court, not a federal court or a criminal court.
In a personal injury trial, your injury and your compensation will be that court’s only concern, and if you have been injured because someone else was negligent, the law in Texas is on your side.
WHAT KINDS OF CASES REQUIRE AN INJURY ATTORNEY’S HELP?
What kinds of accidents and injuries are covered by the personal injury laws in Texas? If you are injured because of carelessness or negligence in any of the situations listed here, speak to an attorney about your rights:
1. automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents
2. dog bites, animal attacks, and other animal-related injuries
3. premises liability cases including slip- or trip-and-fall injuries
4. job-related injuries including construction injuries
5. wrongful deaths including drownings
6. any personal injury caused by another person’s negligence
If you are injured in any of the situations described here, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer who will fight for the compensation that you need and for the justice that you deserve. Nothing is more important than your health and your future.