Illegal immigrants / Illegal Aliens – Can I bring a Lawsuit?

illegal immigrants

The city and state of New York is home to over a million illegal immigrant (s) from all over the world. According to NYC government “Immigrants comprise 37.2 percent of the city’s population but 44.2 percent of the labor force.” 44.2% of the workforce – that’s close to half the working population in New York City. Every day we see workers, documented and undocumented, working in construction, in our stores, restaurants and offices. Many of them are the commuters on our trains and subways, drivers or bicyclists on the roads and pedestrians on the sidewalks.

When personal injury strikes, it doesn’t discriminate based on status, illegal or undocumented vs documented. Because of their status, many undocumented people are only able to work certain jobs and in many situations, forced to do jobs that others would not because of the pay and/or danger that the job entails. According to the nyc.gov site referenced above, “Despite higher labor force participation and increases in educational attainment, median annual earnings for undocumented immigrants ($25,300) is significantly lower than earnings for U.S.-born citizens ($45,500).”

If you are an illegal immigrant and you’ve been injured in an accident, your status does not prevent you from bringing a claim for personal injury.

What do the Courts say?

The Courts in New York, State and Federal have ruled that if you’ve been injured on the job, your status should not prevent you from seeking legal help and potentially compensation for your injuries.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (ICRA) has held that it’s unlawful for undocumented individuals to submit or use false/forged identity documents to obtain employment and it’s also unlawful for an employer to hire an illegal alien, knowing that he/she is illegal. As long as you have not knowingly or intentionally violated the law in obtaining employment in New York, you should not be prevented from seeking compensation for your loss of earnings, if you were injured on the job.

Let’s take an example, you’re an undocumented construction worker working on a New York construction site and you get injured. First and foremost, in New York you are entitled to apply for workers compensation benefits that provide coverage for your medical treatment and also coverage for loss of earnings for your time out of work. Irrespective of your status, you may also be able to bring a third-party lawsuit against the owner, construction manager and/or general contractor for your injuries. This is where an experienced personal injury

attorney comes in as you need to contact one as soon as possible after a construction accident so that the attorney can advise you of your rights, advise you as to what you’re entitled to and give you the direction you need to make sure that you take care of yourself and your rights. An experienced personal injury attorney will discuss all the facts of your case, how your accident happened and what injuries you sustained. The experienced personal injury attorney will also inquire as to your work history, pay history, how you obtained employment and what personal information was provided in order to obtain employment and can then advise you accordingly.

Construction workers injured on the job is just one example, these accidents can happen to anyone in any walk of life whether it’s in car or truck, on a sidewalk or in a restuarant. There are a number of areas that need to be explored in order to protect your rights and it is crucial that you speak to a personal injury attorney who is familiar with dealing with undocumented individuals who have been injured as a result of negligence in the state of New York.

Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Darren T Moore PC for a free consultation at 917-809-7014 to discuss the merits of your case and the issues regarding your status.

What is an IME?

“IME” stands for (Independent Medical Examination). Our office, however, does not call these exams IME’s for a simple reason, an IME indicates that it’s independent, however, in most cases, the doctor who is examining you at the IME is far from independent. They have either been hired by an insurance company or a law firm to defend against or mitigate the action you have brought for your injuries.

In our office, we refer to them as DME’s (Defendant Medical Examinations). Whether it’s a car accident, an injury on the job, a workers compensation accident, a construction accident or any type of personal injury, you may be required to attend medical examinations with either the insurance companies doctors and/or the defence attorneys doctors. It’s important to note that these examination(s) and the doctor’s testimony and report may be used AGAINST YOU at a later date, at trial and/or settlement.

It’s crucial that you have an experienced personal injury attorney that is experienced in dealing with these types of medical examinations so that they can give you the advice, direction and guidance you need and educate you as to:

  • What the process involves?
  • What you need to do?
  • What you don’t need to do?
  • What to expect?

We tell all our clients to be prompt for the appointment, being late may result in the office refusing to see you and marking that appointment as a “no-show” which can affect your benefits. Even though some insurance doctors are over-booked and you may have to wait a considerable time before seeing the doctor, be on time and be patient.

Why is it important to attend these exams?

 If you were injured in a car accident or truck accident, hit as a pedestrian or bicyclist, for example, you will be entitled to no-fault insurance coverage, which includes up to and including $50,000 worth of coverage for medical treatment, out of pocket expenses and time out of work. In order for the insurance company to continue to pay that coverage, they may require that you attend an exam with their doctors. If you fail to appear for that medical exam on two consecutive occasions, the insurance company will terminate your benefits and may refuse to pay for all of your medical treatment, leaving those bills for you to deal with. It’s important to note that generally, the insurance companies will reschedule these exams if it’s requested on time and for a valid reason and this is not counted as a no-show. It’s these nuances and pieces of information that makes it crucial for you to seek out an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

If it’s a workers compensation case, where for example, you were injured at work in a construction accident or in a factory or store and you are receiving workers compensation benefits for your medical treatment and time out of work, in order to continue receiving those Worker’s Compensation benefits, you will be required to attend these medical exams with the Worker’s Compensation insurance companies doctor.

Finally, if a personal injury lawsuit is started and filed in the Court for your injuries, part of that process requires that you attend a medical exam or exams with doctors hired by the Defendant(s) involved. Those doctors will examine you and then provide a report related to the examination. As mentioned above, these examination(s) and the doctor’s testimony and report may be used AGAINST YOU at a later date, at trial and/or settlement.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to guide you along the right path. Contact the Law Offices of Darren T Moore for a free consultation to discuss if you have a case – call us free at 917-809-7014.

What is Workers Compensation?

Workers Compensation, in essence, is insurance that is provided to employees to protect them if they get injured or become ill on the job, irrespective of whether they are at fault for the accident or injury. In addition, workers compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits for medical care and for time lost from work for workers who are injured or become ill on the job.

The only caveat to this is, if on the job injury was caused solely by intoxication from drugs or alcohol or where the person intentionally injures him or herself at work, Workers Compensation will not protect.

The purpose of the coverage is to protect employees who are injured on the job and help them return to gainful employment as soon as possible after an injury or illness.

Who needs to know this?

 Let’s say, for example, you are a construction worker working on a construction project and you are injured on the job or site, you are entitled to workers compensation to cover all your medical treatment related to the injury(ies), and also to pay for your lost wages for the length of time that you are out of work.

Let’s say you are working in an office and you slip and fall because of a spill or a slippery condition at work and suffer injury, you are also entitled to workers compensation.

When you file your worker’s compensation claim, you are entitled to receive coverage for your medical treatment and two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum amount of $1,063.05 per week.

The employers pay for the worker’s compensation insurance and they don’t require that the employee contributes to the cost of the insurance. 

What do you need to know?

It’s important to know that you generally have two years from the date of your on the job accident or knowledge of your injury/sickness to file your claim with the Workers Compensation Board.

You must, however, within 30 days of your on the job accident/injury/sickness, notify your employer of your injury or sickness and doing so in writing is the safest way, whether that be via text or email.

Three things you should immediately do after suffering an on the job injury.

  1. Notify your employer (ideally in writing so you have proof at a later date)
  2. Request that your employer notify the Workers Compensation Carrier
  3. Seek medical attention
  4. Contact a Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, on a construction site, in an office or have contracted an illness as a result of the work that you’ve been doing, you need to consult a workers compensation attorney. Call the Law Offices of Darren T Moore P.C for a free consultation.

Do you need a personal injury lawyer? Do not wait! Contact us at (917) 809-7014 or info@injurylawatty.com

For more information on this please visit the Workers Compensation website www.wcb.ny.gov