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Can An Undocumented Worker File a Personal Injury Claim?

Can An Undocumented Worker File a Personal Injury Claim?
There are many undocumented workers in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these people work in occupations which are inherently dangerous. That means, with great frequency, these individuals are subjected to the risk of serious personal injuries. Many of these injured individuals believe that they are not allowed to file a claim because of their immigration status. However, regardless of their immigration status, they may and have the right to file a claim for personal injuries.
Frequently, our office represents individuals who have been injured on the job that are undocumented cash employees. Regardless of how the work accident occurred, these individuals have no less rights to Workers’ Compensation benefits than those workers who are, in fact, documented workers.
If an individual is undocumented and receiving cash payments for his or her labor from the employer, that employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance to that individual. If the employer does not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, then the injured undocumented worker may file a claim with the trust fund located at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Therefore, for those that are injured on the job and who are not documented workers, their rights to workers’ compensation benefits are in place to protect them.
Similarly, for those that are undocumented and are involved in a car accident, they too are entitled to compensation. For example, if an individual comes to the United States and does not have a state-issued driver’s license, and that person is driving a motor vehicle and injured in a car accident, that individual may file a claim for his or her injuries.
Legally, the fact that the individual did not have a valid license has no legal bearing or legal relevance to that individual’s right to claim compensation. That is because the fact that the individual did not have a license did not in and of itself have anything to do with causing the car accident. I’m assuming in this situation that the undocumented individual who does not have a license was not considered negligent for causing the accident.
If the undocumented, unlicensed motor vehicle operator is considered to be at fault for causing the accident, then he or she will not have a viable claim for personal injury damages to pursue. It is only when the individual is not at fault for causing the motor vehicle accident that he or she may successfully file a claim for pain and suffering personal injury damages.
Similarly, in a slip and fall event or dog bite incident, if the individual injured is undocumented and does not have legal immigration status in the United States, that has no bearing on that individual‘s right to collect compensation stemming from the accident. Therefore, that individual is entitled to the same rights and benefits that one who does have citizenship in the United States to pain and suffering damages. Therefore, regardless of the type of accident, it doesn’t matter the immigration status of the injured individual.
In conclusion, in the context of workers’ compensation accidents, fault is not a consideration. Regardless of how the undocumented worker was injured at work, he or she is still entitled to the full range of workers’ compensation benefits that are available to anyone else in this similar situation. As well for any and all other additional personal injury claims, the immigration status of the injured individual does not come into play and has no relevance in such a situation, assuming, of course, that the individual was not responsible or at fault for causing the occurrence of the accident.
If you or anyone you know needs assistance with a Massachusetts personal injury case, please contact today the Law Office of Christopher Earley at 617-338-7400. We would be happy to provide a complimentary free consultation to discuss any and all rights that you may be entitled to.

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