Illegal immigrants injured in an accident in New York can get money for their injuries. You do not have to worry that the government will find out about your status and deport you.
Illegal Immigrants and Undocumented Workers Have the Same Right as Any U.S. Citizen to Sue for Personal Injury
Illegal aliens have the same right as any US citizen to sue for injuries and file a personal injury lawsuit in New York. Undocumented and illegal aliens are entitled to receive money for pain and suffering and money for medical treatment.
Pain and suffering and money for past and future medical treatment are the largest part of a personal injury case. We rarely claim lost income or wages because it often presents more problems for a case than it is worth unless you had catastrophic injuries.
New York does not cooperate with ICE and does not report undocumented aliens. There is no requirement in the law to report your legal status when you have a lawsuit in court for personal injuries. We will never report your status to anyone or any agency.
Illegal Immigrants and Undocumented Workers May Also Have the Right to Sue for Lost Wages
A Federal case prevented the right of an injured illegal immigrant to sue for lost wages if the illegal immigrant provided the employer with fraudulent work papers. The case is Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137, 122 S.Ct. 1275, 152 L.Ed.2d 271 .
The highest court of the state of New York said, “The Labor Law … applies to all workers in qualifying employment situations—regardless of immigration status…” (Balbuena v IDR Realty LLC, 6 NY3d 338 ). In that case, an illegal alien was an injured construction worker who did not provide fraudulent work papers, and the court said he is entitled to sue for lost wages.
If you provided fraudulent work papers to get your employment, you will not be entitled to file a lawsuit for lost wages. But you are still entitled to receive money for your pain and suffering and medical bills.
Your pain-and-suffering case can easily be worth $millions of dollars. Take a look at some of our settlements for pain and suffering. Many undocumented workers are injured in construction accidents which often cause injuries worth several $million of dollars.
We would like to represent you for any type of accident but see some of the other types of accidents we take.
Undocumented Workers Injured in a Construction Accident
If you are an undocumented construction worker who was injured in a construction accident, you probably have an injury that can be worth millions of dollars. Construction accidents have several companies with extremely large insurance policies, so when your injury is worth millions of dollars, you’ll actually be able to settle your case and get millions of dollars.
We have been very successful as construction accident lawyers for undocumented workers, and we will protect your status here. We have lawyers who speak Spanish and other languages.
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Do Undocumented Workers Have the Right to Workers’ Compensation for Injury?
Yes. Undocumented workers and illegal immigrants injured while working in New York have the same right to worker’s compensation as documented workers.
Additionally, an illegal immigrant injured on the job may also have a personal injury case. Illegal immigrants injured in a construction accident almost always have the right to both worker’s compensation and a personal injury case.
New York law specifically allows illegal immigrants to claim workers’ compensation benefits for injuries from accidents or illness while working. Section 17 of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law states, “Compensation under this chapter to aliens not residents or about to become nonresidents of the United States or Canada, shall be the same in amount as provided for residents…”
New York’s highest court ruled that both undocumented workers and their employers are covered by workers’ compensation even though the undocumented employee did not have the right to work. The case is New York Hospital Medical Center or Queens v. Microtech Contracting Corp. (2014 NY Slip Op 00897 [22 NY3d 501])
The Estate and Family of Illegal Aliens Can Sue for Wrongful Death
The estate or family members of illegal aliens/immigrants can have a lawsuit for wrongful death when the illegal alien is killed in an accident or because of negligence. The family members also do not have to be U.S. citizens or legal residents. The family members may also be illegal aliens.
What Does an Illegal Alien Need to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injury?
To file a personal injury claim or lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim:
- You do not need to be a US citizen
- You do not need a permanent Green Card
- You do not need a temporary Green Card
- You do not need a driver’s license
- You do not need a DMV identification card
Does an Undocumented Immigrant Have to Go to Court?
No. You can file a personal injury claim without filing any papers in court. A personal injury claim is where your personal injury lawyer sends a claim letter to the insurance company to set up a claim. Personal injury cases are started this way.
If your claim cannot be settled for the amount of money you want, your accident lawyer has three choices: 1) drop your claim, 2) accept a smaller settlement, or 3) file a lawsuit. You can simply agree to accept a smaller settlement to avoid filing papers in court.
Undocumented Immigrants Don’t Even Have to Report the Money to the IRS!
There is no income tax on the money you receive from a personal injury settlement for pain and suffering from an accident. Therefore, you do not need to report the money to the IRS or New York State.
Money paid for lost wages is taxable. If you do not want to report to the IRS, we will not claim lost wages (we usually don’t file a claim for lost wages unless there are catastrophic injuries).
It’s not just illegal immigrants, US citizens also do not pay income tax on personal injury settlements.
What We Offer Illegal Immigrants
If you do not want to file a lawsuit in court, we can try to settle your case without filing a lawsuit.
If you allow us to file a lawsuit, you will never have to go to court unless your case has to go to trial. Most cases are settled either before or after filing a lawsuit, and very few cases ever go to trial. If we can’t get a good settlement offer, you can accept a low offer, so a lawsuit doesn’t have to be filed in court.
The legal status of our clients is never asked of us, and we will never report or reveal your illegal or undocumented status to anyone, including the court, police, ICE, or any other government agency, insurance companies, or the people or companies responsible for causing your injuries. In fact, the attorney-client privilege prohibits all lawyers from disclosing confidential information obtained in the course of a professional relationship.
If we cannot settle your case and you are concerned about going to court for trial, we will agree to drop your case without any charge to you for legal fees or case expenses! We do not believe any other personal injury lawyer will do that.
We can pay an immigration lawyer to give you a consultation, and in many cases, we can pay additional fees to the immigration lawyer for additional representation. We do not believe any other personal injury lawyer will do that.
If you are injured in an accident and concerned about your legal status because you are an undocumented immigrant in the US illegally and you do not have a Green Card, or your Green Card is expired, please call us immediately for a strictly confidential and free consultation. You don’t even need to tell us your name. We will be happy to speak with you for free.
Phil Franckel is well-known in New York and has been a personal injury lawyer since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10 Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.
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