Over 11 million undocumented persons live in the United States. As of 2016, 775,000 of these illegal immigrants called Florida home, representing 7% of the U.S.’s undocumented immigrant population at that time.
Unauthorized immigrants face unique legal concerns if they’re injured in an accident, and they may wonder whether illegal immigrants can sue for personal injury. Let’s explore U.S. immigration law to confirm an unauthorized immigrant’s right to file an injury lawsuit in Miami or elsewhere in the United States and how personal injury lawyers can help undocumented immigrants get the justice they deserve.
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Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Contact Bernstein & Maryanoff for a free legal consultation regarding your accident injury.
The U.S. Supreme Court and the Due Process Clause
U.S. law stems from the Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court rulings uphold the Constitution when ruling on current cases.
The Bill of Rights amends and clarifies tenets of the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment is known as the Due Process Clause. This clause extends specific rights to all persons, with no exceptions based on immigration status.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) typically prioritize deporting those engaged in criminal activity or jeopardizing public safety. ICE can initiate deportation proceedings for violating visa terms or entering the country illegally. However, potential deportees go through a court process to determine if they should be deported. An illegal immigrant engaged in an active lawsuit can have their lawyer appeal to the courts to allow them to resolve their claim before ruling on deportation.
How can an undocumented immigrant pursue a personal injury claim?
Individuals can prepare legal paperwork and file that paperwork with the court to initiate a lawsuit. However, every injury victim should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Do you need a lawyer?
You may wonder if you need a personal injury lawyer to resolve your injury claim. Injury lawyers know how to complete legal paperwork and handle injury investigations. Your lawyer can help with negotiations with the at-fault party and help you calculate the damages you deserve. While resolving your lawsuit, your lawyer will also fight to protect your legal rights.
Statute of limitations
You must initiate legal action before the filing deadline. Florida typically gives injury victims 48 months to file a claim, but you may have longer to file under certain circumstances. Suppose you were in a coma for three months after your accident. The courts may give you 51 months from the accident date due to the time you were incapacitated.
Courts may also extend the statute if the at-fault party leaves the state or conceals their identity to prevent you from having them served. You may also have more time to file if you’re a minor when injured.
Filing a claim with the courts and serving the defendant are early steps to initiate an injury claim. Your personal injury lawyer will complete these tasks and investigate your accident. They’ll gather evidence during the investigation to support your claims.
Your legal team must provide this evidence to the defendant during discovery. Your lawyer uses discovery to learn about evidence the defense has to refute your claims. The discovery process can take months, and it ensures both sides have an opportunity to prepare for a trial thoroughly.
Negotiating a settlement
Injury claims often conclude with a settlement agreement. During this state, your lawyer meets with the defendant’s legal team in an attempt to resolve the claim. The at-fault party’s insurance company may make a compensation offer. Your lawyer will explain all offers and offer recommendations. They may recommend taking a substantial offer if they feel a court ruling wouldn’t result in enough compensation to justify prolonging the legal process. Your lawyer may advise you to turn down a low offer that doesn’t provide adequate compensation.
What can cause personal injuries that may justify a lawsuit?
Almost any accident can result in personal injuries. When a person’s negligence caused your injuries, you have grounds to consider legal action to recover compensation. Sources of personal injuries include the following:
- Car accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Work injuries
Although Florida is a no-fault state, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is mandatory. Although state law requires drivers to have this insurance to cover medical expenses, you can sue the at-fault driver to recover expenses and seek compensation for the accident’s impact on your life.
What damages can be recovered?
Injury victims can seek monetary and non-monetary damages. In some cases, injury victims can also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when someone’s gross negligence causes another person harm. Juries award punitive damages at trial to punish defendants for severe misconduct.
Monetary or economic damages are the simplest damages to calculate. Most monetary damages come with receipts for expenses incurred because of your accident. Some include calculating expected costs. For example, suppose you’re unable to work for some time. In that case, your lawyer may multiply your typical salary by the period your doctor says you can’t work to determine how much income you’ll lose.
Monetary damages include compensation for the following:
- Childcare costs
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Repair bills
- Transportation costs
Non-monetary or non-economic damages are subjective. The reasons for claiming non-monetary damages vary from victim to victim. One person may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car accident. At the same time, others may struggle with physical pain from their injuries. Grounds for non-monetary damages include the following:
- Loss of intimacy
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Contact Bernstein & Maryanoff for a free consultation
No matter where you are in your immigration journey, Bernstein & Maryanoff can help you seek justice after a personal injury. We’ll investigate and gather evidence, prepare your claim, and use our legal knowledge to negotiate the best possible settlement. When you hire Bernstein & Maryanoff, you get expert legal guidance from professionals who advocate for you until you get the compensation you deserve.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Contact Bernstein & Maryanoff today to find out how we can help you with your personal injury case.
Amdt 14.S1.3. Due Process Generally. (2023).
Florida Insurance Requirements. (2023).
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.