Undocumented immigrants and personal injury claims
New Jersey laws concerning personal injury are quite encompassing. This means that the right to sue for personal injury is not just limited to American citizens. According to recent news articles, many undocumented immigrants have lived in this country for many years. The fear of deportation causes a great number to stay underground. Notwithstanding, they still have the right to file a claim for injuries for work-related accidents and other claims.
Restaurants, factories and construction companies are among the largest employers of those without legal status. Often, they pay cash wages to circumvent the system. If a worker in these circumstances is laid off, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits. First, they have not paid into the system. Secondly, they are prohibited by law from taking a new job. This means they are not available as required by the unemployment payment guidelines. Why is it different if an illegal alien is injured at work?
This issue was discussed in the New Jersey case Mendoza v. Monmouth Recycling Corp., 288 N.J.Super. 240. The court found the fact that Luis Castro Mendoza was not a citizen had nothing to do with whether he was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. His immigration status was also irrelevant. The court decided that if the employer was not required to pay compensation to the injured worker, the employer would be “provide(d) disincentive to assuring workplace safety.”
A lawyer who handles injury cases knows the law as it applies to work related accidents and other claims. In workers’ compensation accidents, they file the necessary paperwork to secure medical treatment, reimbursement for lost wages and determine if there is a degree of permanent injury. The negligent party’s attorney is advised that the client does not have legal status. However, there is no valid reason for taking action against someone for immigration concerns. The general objective is to treat the injured worker with fairness.
Illegal aliens who have been involved in car accidents or other types of accidents should also speak with an attorney. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has almost three decades of experience handling personal injury cases. The attorney/client privilege is honored with respect to all facets of representation. Please contact us to discuss an action on your behalf.