Figuring out personal injury law can be difficult regardless of your immigration status.
If you are a non-citizen in the U.S., it may be even more confusing. At GreeningLaw, we are here to help you through the process of pursuing compensation for your personal injury.
Here are some quick answers to questions about being a non-citizen and personal injury law to help you start the process of receiving the help you deserve.
Am I a non-citizen?
First of all, let’s determine whether or not you are a citizen of the United States. A citizen is someone who was born in the United States and holds a United States passport, is someone whose parent is a United States citizen, or someone who is a former alien who has become naturalized. You are also a United States citizen if you were born in Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If you are not any of those things, you are considered a non-citizen or alien. If you are an alien that has been granted the right to work without restrictions and have been given the right to permanently live in the United States by the USCIS, then you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, according to the IRS. This means that you must eventually be issued a green card. If you are an undocumented immigrant, you are also considered a non-citizen that is living in the U.S. illegally.
What are my rights as a non-citizen?
As a non-citizen, it can be difficult to understand what rights you have in the U.S. According to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, persons are guaranteed due process and equal protection in the U.S. And, a “person” is defined in the Amendment as U.S. citizens, lawfully admitted residents, and undocumented immigrants.
Further still, the Civil Rights Act states that all people within the borders of the United States are ensured the right to pursue lawsuits against those that have caused them injury. This is true regardless of if you are in the country legally or not. Your immigration status does not preclude your right to a lawsuit in the U.S. – or in the state of Texas. You are allowed to pursue recovery of damages for personal injuries.
Specifically, in Texas, the courts have ruled that you do not have to be a citizen in order to recover damages from a personal injury. A recent case was in 2012, called Grocers Supply, Inc. v. Cabello. It featured three undocumented immigrants that were in an accident with a grocery supply truck. They sued both Grocers Supply Inc. and one of the drivers for the injuries sustained in the accident and won. It was found by the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas that the ICRA doesn’t restrict non-citizen workers from recovering damages, including lost wages.
What types of personal injuries can be compensated for under the law?
Getting injured is never a fun thing. In the terms of the law, a victim of personal injury means any kind of injury caused by someone else’s negligence. This could be in a car wreck, a medical mishap, a construction accident, an animal attack, and even a fall after slipping on a wet floor.
What damages are available to me as a non-citizen?
If you are injured or hurt in the U.S. and you are a non-citizen, you have the legal right to pursue and receive compensation for those injuries and any losses you incur. These losses may be physical, monetary, or psychological damages. They may include medical costs, lost income, or support for your family. The courts treat victims of personal injury due to negligence equally.
GreeningLaw is Here to Help
Now that you know the basics of personal injury law as a non-citizen, we are here to help you walk through the complicated process. Take the first step and schedule a free consultation with us a GreeningLaw today. We handle a variety of areas of practice including workplace litigation, sexual abuse litigation, premises liability accidents, healthcare litigation, auto and trucking accidents, and dangerous and defective products.
At GreeningLaw, we know the ins and outs of the laws in Texas and we are here to advocate for you—as a citizen or non-citizen. We fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.