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 is 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 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.
If you are an undocumented immigrant and have been injured in an accident, call Alexandria, LA personal injury attorney Chris Roy, Jr. today for a free consultation.
Christopher Kinnison has a full service immigration practice in Central Louisiana. You can learn more about his practice at http://www.libertylawgroupla.com