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Can an Undocumented Immigrant File a Personal Injury Claim?

By Christopher Kinnison

Approximately, ten and a half million undocumented aliens live and work in the United States of America. Many of these immigrants live in fear of deportation and are hesitant to file any document into the public record concerned that they might be discovered by ICE and deported.

Sadly, this fear causes many undocumented aliens to forego filing personal injury claims within one year from the date of the accident, which is the deadline under Louisiana law to file claims for personal injury. As a result, thousands of dollars in potential recovery are lost and the undocumented immigrants lose the chance to be made whole by the individuals responsible for the accident.

In addition to fearing deportation, many illegal aliens do not believe they have any rights under the laws of the United States, and the defendants against whom they have a claim will attempt to use their legal status (or lack thereof) as a defense in the case. In Artiga v. M.A. Patout, an illegal alien filed suit for the collection of worker’s compensation benefits deprived to him by his employer. As a defense, his employer made the argument that the employee wasn’t entitled to worker’s compensation benefits due to his illegal status, but the appellate court held that legal status was not a prerequisite to obtaining worker’s compensation benefits under the laws of the state of Louisiana. The same result would also hold true in a personal injury case.

Contact Us for free Consultation Our Alexandria, LA Personal Injury Lawyers At Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC.

If you are an undocumented immigrant and have been injured in an accident, call Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC today for a free consultation.

Christopher Kinnison has a full-service immigration practice in Central Louisiana. You can learn more about his practice at

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