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How Immigration Status Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

The Haslam Firm Oct. 27, 2023

Automobile crashes/collisions occur everyday. Fortunately, many do not result in injuries or permanent injuries or fatalities. Our highways are not the only source of injuries, of course. You can be shopping in a retail store and slip and fall on a wet floor, or perhaps you are bitten by an aggressive dog. Workplace and construction accidents are common now. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you understand that you have the right to pursue a claim or a personal injury lawsuit—but foreign nationals residing here, especially those without a Green Card or LPR (lawful permanent resident) status, are often led to believe that they have no legal rights. They can potentially feel helpless when someone else causes them harm. 

It’s natural to feel worried, but you must remember: you have options. One of these options is filing a lawsuit. When your client is upset that they cannot bring up the defendant's immigration status, it is simply the law or the reverse.

The Right to Sue for Non-Citizens

One of the Constitutional changes brought about because of the Civil War was the 14th Amendment. Section 1 addresses the rights of persons on U.S. soil, stating: “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 

“Equal protection of the laws” means that non-citizens as well as citizens have the same right to pursue justice through the court and law enforcement systems. In other words, non-citizens can file claims and lawsuits equally with citizens. Thus, if you suffer injuries or harm due to someone else’s negligence as a non-citizen, you have every right to pursue a claim or lawsuit. Consult with our team of attorneys and let’s start moving forward. You deserve to seek justice. 

Workers’ Compensation and Non-Citizen Employees

We do not handle workers compensation cases. Please consult a qualified workers compensation attorney.

Will I Be Deported for Filing a Claim?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are not allowed to deport a non-citizen who is involved in civil matter such as a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, we have seen bailiff arrest parties and take them to jail during a trial.

It would be viewed as an obstruction of justice and a violation of rights under the 14th Amendment. In fact, not one non-citizen to date has been deported while involved in such a civil action. 

You should seek immigration counsel immediately and get your paperwork, citizenship, visa or whatever basis you are in the states legal immediately.