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What if I am Injured and Undocumented: What are My Rights?

The Migrant Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that there are more than 1.7 million undocumented immigrants in Texas. Of course, serious accidents can happen at any time and to any person. This raises an important question: Can an undocumented immigrant still file a personal injury claim? In Texas, the answer is “yes”—a claim can be pursued regardless of immigration status. In this article, our Irving personal injury lawyer provides an in-depth guide to your rights and your options if you are an undocumented immigrant who was hurt in an accident in Texas.

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Starting Point: Undocumented Immigrant Can File Personal Injury Claim in Texas

First and foremost, it is important to emphasize that undocumented immigrants have a right to bring a civil claim in a Texas court. You can bring a claim for a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall, or any other type of injury. In this context, your rights are fundamentally similar to the rights of a U.S. citizen. Indeed, your rights in the personal injury claims process are not based on your immigration status. Here are three specific things to know:

  • You Have the Right to File a Personal Injury Claim: If you are an undocumented immigrant in Texas and get hurt, remember this important fact: You have the right to file a personal injury claim. If someone else’s actions cause you harm, they can be held liable for your injuries through the civil legal system.
  • You Have the Right to Be Represented by a Lawyer: Whether you are a citizen, documented immigrant, or undocumented, personal injury claims can be challenging. You have the right to get a Texas personal injury lawyer to stand up for you. An attorney knows the law and can speak for you in court.
  • You Have a Right to Seek Compensation for Your Damages: When you are injured because of someone else, you can seek compensation for your economic and intangible damages. This means the person or company that hurt you might need to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and even your pain and suffering.

Immigration Status Largely Not Admissible Evidence in Texas Personal Injury Case

Here is a common (and understandable) concern for undocumented immigrants: Will I get in trouble for bringing a personal injury claim? Many people are worried that their immigration status will be used against them in civil court. There is good news. Texas case law provides some very important legal protections to undocumented immigrants. In the 2010 case of TXI Transp. Co. v. Hughes, the Supreme Court of Texas effectively found that immigration status is not admissible evidence in a personal injury claim. In that case, the court found that “evidence of immigration status” that was not related to the actual merits of the case was “not admissible.”

Note: Few personal injury claims go to court at all. Most cases are settled by insurance companies outside of litigation.

You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Following a serious accident in Texas, injured victims need the maximum level of financial support. Do not let an insurance company push you into settling your case for less than full and fair value. A top Irving, TX, personal injury lawyer can help you seek the maximum compensation. Including both economic losses and non-economic damages. You may recover for:

  • Property damage, such as automobile repairs;
  • Hospital bills and other medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and loss of earning power;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Disability or disfigurement; and
  • Wrongful death of a family member.

A Lawyer Can Help Undocumented Immigrants Navigate the Claims Process

While undocumented immigrants have the right to bring a personal injury claim in Texas, it is true that the process can feel more daunting for them. You should work with a Texas personal injury lawyer who has prior experience representing undocumented immigrants. Your lawyer can review the specific circumstances of your case and develop a strategy designed to protect your rights and your interests each and every step of the way.

Get Help from a Top-Tier Personal Injury Attorney in Irving, Texas

At David Sanchez Law Group, PLLC, our Texas personal injury attorney is committed to putting the rights and interests of victims and families first. No person should be denied access to justice after a serious accident. We hold defendants and insurers accountable. Contact our personal injury law firm today for your free case review. From our Irving law office, we represent people in personal injury claims—regardless of immigration status—throughout North Texas.


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