Someone who has been injured due to the negligence of another has many things to worry about: How bad are my injuries? Where will I receive medical treatment? How long will I take to heal? How will I pay for my medical expenses? What happens if I am unable to work?
Fortunately, in California, one thing an injured person does not have to worry about is if his or her immigration statusin the United States will affect the value of their personal injury claim. In 2016, California enacted a law barring any questions about or evidence concerning a person’s immigration status in personal injury and wrongful death cases. This law guarantees equal treatment for injured persons in California personal injury lawsuits regardless of a person’s immigration status. Hopefully, this law will put an end to the fear that many non-citizens may have experienced after being injured because of the negligent actions of others. En Español.
One of the first things that a person should do following an accident is to seek medical attention if an injury has occurred. Not only can this help ensure that your injuries are treated, and you are on the right path to recovery, but it helps you begin to accumulate evidence against the negligent party. Hospital emergency rooms are required to care for patients regardless of their immigration status or if they have insurance or not.
After receiving the necessary medical care, a person should contact a personal injury attorney to begin their claim. Even if you believe it’s a minor claim, it’s usually a good idea to talk with an attorney to understand your situation.
If you chose to work with an attorney, they will help you investigate your accident and review your medical records. As most personal injury attorneyshave experience in a wide range of accidents, they will know what documentation is needed, what forms are required, and how to best represent you when your case progresses.
Later down the line, your lawyer and medical team will determine that you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement, essentially saying that this is the best recovery you will have. They would then start making demands and negotiating with the negligent party that harmed you. If the case cannot be settled in this phase, then it will go to court. While this can seem to be a lengthy process, it is usually done to ensure that the decisions that are made won’t change with new information, like a new symptom or new specialist opinion.
Personal injury cases happen to many people, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. A person may feel like there are many obstacles in their way of seeking rightful compensation after an accident, whether it be a car accident, slip and fall, or aproduct liability case, because of their immigration status. Under the law in California, a person is owed complete compensation regardless of his or her citizenship or immigration status.
When a person suffers an injury, they should feel rest assured that they will be able to bring forth a personal injury claim without fear. No matter their immigration status, victims should do what they can to hold the at-fault party accountable for their pain and damages. If you would like to learn more be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney at Karlin & Karlin.
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