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How to approach your personal injury case as an immigrant

Figuring out how to navigate your immigration status can be difficult given the intricacies of the immigration laws in the United States. But if you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident, then you have a lot of other issues to worry about, too. You’ll have to figure out how to pay for your medical care and cover your lost wages, and you might be concerned about whether being unable to work will affect your immigration status.

The good news is that you have legal avenues to protect your interests here. The best path forward is probably for you to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, which might help you offset you medical expenses, lost wages, and the non-economic impact your accident has had on your life.

Is settlement right for you?

A lot of personal injury cases result in settlement. This gives you quick resolution to your claim and provides you with the immediate access to money that you may need. It might also alleviate your fears about how being out of work will impact your immigration status since you’ll be able to more aggressively pursue your recovery once you have the resources to pay for it. It might also alleviate concerns that you’re undocumented.

But settling your case may not be your best option. Here’s why:

  • You may not get as much compensation: Settlement offers are often made for less than what an accident victim’s claim is worth. After all, the point of negotiations is to give each side something they want. The defendant wants to pay less, and the victim might want quick access to cash. Therefore, you might be leaving some money on the table by foregoing trial.
  • You may not feel like accountability was obtained: While the focus of your personal injury case is on recovering the compensation that you need, it’s also about finding accountability. If you settle, though, you might end up feeling like the defendant got off easy. In fact, in many settlement agreements, the defendant denies fault for the accident altogether.
  • You won’t get your chance to tell your side of the story: A lawsuit gives you a voice, allowing you tell your side of the story and how your accident has negatively impacted your life. If you settle your claim, though, then you won’t have that opportunity.

What about your immigration status?

Some people worry that they’ll face removal proceedings if they pursue a personal injury claim, especially if they’re undocumented. But this isn’t the case. In fact, federal law typically prohibits the government from initiating the deportation process simply because an undocumented individual has taken legal action in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.

That said, if you are undocumented, then the defense may try to discover that fact to argue that your lost wages damages should be significantly reduced given that there’s a possibility that you may be deported in the future.

Do you need a legal team in your corner?

Therefore, before deciding how to approach your case, you might want to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable in both immigration and personal injury cases. By doing so, you may find the course of action that best protects you on all fronts.

Hopefully then you can obtain the outcome that’s right for you, leaving you in a position where you can enjoy financial stability while you focus on your recovery. If you think that you could benefit from some guidance in that regard, then now might be the right time for you to reach out to a legal professional that you think will give you the advocacy that you need and deserve.

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