Can Undocumented Persons File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
When a U.S citizen is injured in a motorcycle accident, they are usually pretty confident that they can consult with an attorney to ensure that they are fairly compensated by the negligent party and their insurance company for an accident that was not their fault.
However, when undocumented immigrants are accident victims, they may not be as confident that they can seek justice in taking legal action. There is a very real fear of reprisal or fear of being discovered, even seeking medical attention or speaking with the officer on the scene of the accident can be daunting and stressful. In these situations, it is best to have a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney by your side who can help with expert legal advice.
The laws surrounding undocumented immigrants can often be unclear and confusing. Many undocumented immigrants may not reach out for legal help to take action because there is always the fear that a lawsuit could lead to problems, and possibly deportation.
What to Do If You Experience a Motorcycle Accident
The first thing you will want to do is get to a place of safety. Ask and seek immediate medical assistance. Provide your view of the facts surrounding the accident and get contact information from any witnesses, if possible. From a place of safety, take pictures of the scene, the roadway, other vehicles involved, and your motorcycle.
Do not take on any fault for the accident and do not provide any statements to any insurance representatives before speaking with an attorney.
Make no assumptions when speaking with the officer on the scene and speak with your attorney as soon as possible.
Undocumented Immigrants and Motorcycle Accident Claims
In 2016, the state of California ruled that courts are not allowed to ask about a plaintiff’s immigration status, and it further states that defendants are not allowed to find out the immigration status of an accident victim. If you are in a situation where the defendant and their legal team are trying to harass you in any way due to your immigration status, immediately report them to your accident lawyer.
Another positive aspect of the 2016 California law is that lost wages for undocumented immigrants are calculated based on the amount of money earned in the United States if you had not been injured.
What Will Happen If You Do Not File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
If you are nervous about your immigration status, you may decide not to make waves at all and avoid filing a claim. While it is a personal decision to file a motorcycle accident claim, ultimately, you have the power to decide which course of action to take.
The only problem with deciding not to file a motorcycle accident claim is that you may end up with bigger problems by not taking action. You could incur problems with having to get costly medical care, medical expenses that pile up, you may be unable to work and need financial help.
Finally, the statute of limitations in the state of California for motorcycle injury claims is two years, and only six months to sue a public entity like the insurance company, and there may be other limitations or time frames. So, it is best to speak with an attorney to ensure you don’t fall victim to any of the laws technical aspects.
What to Consider Before Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Your compensation from your motorcycle accident claim could depend on many different factors. One factor will be the severity of your injuries, and if you received only minor injuries in your accident, you might not need to file a claim at all.
Another possible issue to consider is that it might not be worth filing a claim if you feel as if you were partially at fault for the accident. It’s important to consult your lawyer to determine if you have a strong case against the negligent driver.
Getting Legal Advice and the Legal Process for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Undocumented immigrants absolutely have the right to file a motorcycle accident claim if injured in an accident.
After filing a lawsuit in most counties in California, courts set trial dates from one year to a year and six months out into the future. In many cases, there is a possibility that your case can be settled before it goes to trial.
Cases go through phases ranging from the discovery phase to deposition, expert witness and analysis, negotiating settlements, and preparation for trial. Your best ally is an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
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