Can an undocumented person who has a work accident file a workers’ compensation claim?
Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim can feel difficult enough without adding circumstances revolving around your immigration status. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to legal claims such as workers’ compensation and immigration, but in no shape or form is it a requirement for you to be a citizen of the United States to be able to file a workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim in your state.
The truth is, whether you are a citizen of the United States, or have undocumented status, you have the same rights under civil procedure law to file a claim against an employer or anyone that costs you any kind of accident.
For workers’ compensation cases, the only requirements are:
– You worked for a reputable business with workers’ compensation insurance
– You have a valid claim where you were injured during the scope of your job
– You filed your case prior to the statute of limitations for your claim. Workers’ compensation has a statute of one year while auto accidents have up to two years to file a claim.
Another major misconception for undocumented employees is the fear of deportation. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why so many undocumented employees do not file workers’ compensation claims. Many undocumented workers are fearful of having their names attached to a case for fear of deportation, but we want you to remember that these are two completely separate issues.
For one, deportation will not affect your workers’ compensation, personal injury, or auto accident case in any way. And two, immigration does not work that way! There isn’t a hotline where people can call to have you deported at any given moment. You will not be deported for filing a civil case with your state court against your employer or an insurance company. It is, however, a major reason why you should have an attorney.
Having an attorney not only means you have someone representing you, but you also have an extension of you. Therefore, if and when the client is deported, the client will have an attorney that can legally continue and settle the case on their behalf whether the client is in this country or not. The attorney can finalize settlements and make sure the client receives their due funds no matter what country they are in during the settlement of their case.
In short, knowing the law helps! Misconceptions like these are what keep most people from filing claims where they rightfully deserve compensation. We want you to know that it doesn’t matter what your status is in the United States. If you are undocumented in the U.S. or even worse, if you have been deported two or three times before, it doesn’t matter! You can have a claim against your employer or an insurance company, but don’t just take our word for it! The best thing you can do is to talk to an attorney. A workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney will not charge you a consultation fee.
Evidence: Here are a few things you will need for your consultation and for a successful workers’ compensation case. Now go and get your free advice and see if you have a case or not! For a workers’ compensation case the evidence you will need is proof that you were injured at work and during the capacity of doing your job. You will also have to supplement your claim with medical evidence that you were hurt within the scope of your employment.
Witnesses: On some occasions, you will need witnesses for an administrative hearing. For the most part, witnesses in personal injury cases can help your case. The only time it would not be good to have a witness is if they are going to impact your case negatively by saying that you were not hurt or that you are faking your injuries.
Documentation: It is best to document as much as possible. Pictures if you can. The most important thing to do is make sure you go to the hospital or to see your doctor if you are not feeling well. Also, if you are referred for treatment, make sure that you go to all of your appointments.