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What Undocumented Immigrants Should Do If They’ve Been In A Car Accident

March 15, 2023 | Jany Martinez Ward
What Undocumented Immigrants Should Do If They’ve Been In A Car Accident

 Being involved in a car accident is a scary, awful experience for anyone, but it can be particularly daunting for undocumented immigrants.  

What should you do if you get into a car accident as an undocumented immigrant? Knowing what steps to take to protect yourself and your legal rights is important. There is no need to remain quiet if you've been hurt in a car accident. You're just as entitled to medical treatment and financial compensation for pain and suffering as anyone else.  

When it's time to file a claim, The Ward Law Group will support and defend you regardless of your legal situation.   

Steps to Take When a Car Accident Happens 

Car accidents involving undocumented immigrants can be complex. You may be worried about the legal and immigration implications involved. However, undocumented immigrants have rights.  

If you're in a car accident as an undocumented immigrant, here's what you should do: 

 Step #1. Seek Medical Attention (If Needed) 

Being undocumented does not mean that you are not entitled to receive medical treatment. If you or anyone else involved in the car accident is injured, call for emergency medical services immediately. 

Step #2. Exchange Information 

Never flee the scene of a car accident out of fear of deportation or any other reason. If you can, get the other driver's name, contact information, driver's license number, and insurance information. Never admit fault at the scene of an accident. It could be used against you. Instead, wait at the accident scene until the authorities come.  

Step #3. Call The Police  

Remember, you do NOT have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with the police. However, when the police arrive, give the officer accurate information about the accident so they can make a police report.  

Step #4. Contact a Car Accident Attorney  

Individuals without legal status in the United States are at a higher risk of being taken advantage of by corporations. Speak with a car accident lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options. 

Regardless of your immigration status, you have legal rights in the United States. Contact a car accident lawyer in South Florida today for more information.  

Understanding Your Rights as an Immigrant 

Undocumented immigrants often avoid reporting a car accident because they are worried it could put them at risk of being deported. However, non-citizens and visitors of the US have the legal right to file a lawsuit for financial compensation or property damage in a car accident. 

You can file a personal injury claim according to the laws surrounding immigration services. You can't be deported for reporting an accident, seeking medical attention, or filing a lawsuit. 

Making a Compensation Claim 

If you're in a car accident that's not your fault, you're entitled to fair compensation. Your immigration status has nothing to do with that. Undocumented immigrants can file a compensation claim for: 

  • Medical treatment costs 
  • Rehabilitation or other recovery treatments 
  • Sum to cover the costs of lost potential work opportunities  
  • Financial compensation for direct and indirect lost wages

A car accident attorney experienced in representing undocumented immigrants can help you navigate the legal system and file a compensation claim on your behalf. 

Exploiting an Immigrants Status 

Auto insurers and others involved in a car accident could attempt to exploit your immigration status. Unfortunately, this happens in Florida and throughout the country. Often, insurers or other drivers will try to pressure immigrants into taking an unfair settlement or persuade them not to seek any compensation. Insurance companies must honor the terms of their policies no matter what. It doesn't matter if you don't have a social security number (SSN), green card, or legal residency.  

At The Ward Law Group, we fully understand the rights of immigrants and visitors in the United States. So let us be your advocate to get you the compensation you deserve.  

When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer? 

Don't wait to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Florida. There are time limits for filing personal injury claims after a car accident. Waiting too long could jeopardize your right to seek payment. Working with a car accident attorney will help ensure you meet all deadlines.  

It's best to find a personal injury lawyer with experience handling cases concerning undocumented immigrants. If you or a loved one are undocumented and have been injured in a car accident due to someone's negligence, you should seek compensation. Explore your immigrant injury rights with a car accident lawyer to recover the financial compensation you deserve.   

What Happens if You Don't File a Claim? 

A successful legal claim will cover the expenses from your injury incurred from the car accident, including the medical bills and damage to your personal property.  

However, additional expenses may arise in the coming months after your accident, including: 

  • Future medical expenses for an injury that is more serious than it initially appeared. 
  • Your ability to work could be temporarily or permanently jeopardized. 
  • Once the statute of limitations in Florida runs out, you can't file a claim and will not receive compensation for damages. 

How Do You Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida? 

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney to represent you increases your chances of receiving appropriate payment if you've been injured in a car accident. The legal process is complex, and a knowledgeable lawyer will guide you throughout the entire process.  

The Ward Law Group has experience helping undocumented immigrants in Miami who have been wounded in car accidents. Let us help you get the maximum compensation.  

The Ward Law Group is Here to Help  

If you're involved in a car accident in Florida as a non-US citizen, we understand how overwhelming the aftermath of an accident can be. Attorneys Gregory Ward and Jany Martínez-Ward are ready to help you through this difficult time. 

Schedule your consultation with a leading Miami car accident attorney today. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Jany Martinez Ward Author Image
Jany Martinez Ward

Jany Martínez-Ward is a Founding and Managing Partner of The Ward Law Group, PL, a Florida law firm representing victims of car accidents. She focuses her practice on providing legal representation to Hispanic clients that have become injured in a car accident as a result of the negligence of others. In 2018, The National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Jany as one of the top attorneys in the state and among the top 40 under 40 attorneys.


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