Can I hire a personal injury lawyer if I am an undocumented immigrant in Arizona?
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH EXPERIENCED arizona IMMIGRANT INJURY LAWYERS TODAY
Arizona is home to thousands of undocumented immigrants from all around the world. Unfortunately, undocumented immigrants in the US are often told that they don’t have legal rights, such as the right to sue when they are injured. That is actually not the case. Undocumented immigrants—just like citizens and legal permanent residents—can safely use the court system to obtain compensation for their injuries. That’s why it’s important for Arizona immigrants to contact Arizona immigrant injury lawyers.
If you or a loved one are an undocumented immigrant living in Arizona and think you might have a personal injury claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you assess your case, and we will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. You have rights, and we want to help you use them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you are an undocumented immigrant, you may have a lot of questions and concerns about the idea of filing a case in court with your name on it. At Zinda Law Group we understand those fears. Our office wants to make sure you are fully informed before you make any decision. Below are some questions you may have, but our experienced personal injury lawyers are more than capable to answer them.
What is an Undocumented Immigrant?
An undocumented immigrant is a foreign national who currently resides in the United States but does not have legal immigration status. This includes people who entered the country without permission from the government as well as people who entered the country with a legal visa, but that visa has since expired. Examples of undocumented immigrants include seasonal workers who came here to work in a better paying job or students who came to the United States to earn a college degree and did not leave when their visa expired.
If I Am an Undocumented Immigrant, Can I Still File a Personal Injury Suit?
Yes! If you are an undocumented immigrant and you were injured in an accident in Arizona or if someone here harmed you, you have the same right as U.S. citizens to sue the negligent party. Most importantly, filing a personal injury suit should not impact your immigration status. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees everyone’s right to protection of the law, including yours.
Can You Get Deported Solely for Suing While Undocumented?
No, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), cannot deport immigrants solely because they filed a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, your immigration status should be kept out of the lawsuit altogether. It is not the negligent party’s business or the court’s business what your immigration status is.
Of course, you should always be honest with your personal injury lawyer. If filing this suit may bring up something that you did out of fear that was illegal, such as using a false identity, that could be an issue later on. However, so long as you are honest at your consultation, your personal injury lawyer can prepare you for these kinds of issues.
While you may be afraid of engaging in the court system, you don’t have to be. It is our mission at Zinda Law Group to help you use your right to seek compensation without fear of deportation.
If My Family Member is an Undocumented Immigrant, Will I Be Putting Them at Risk?
No. Over a quarter-million Arizona residents live with at least one family member who is undocumented. Living with someone who is undocumented does not need to be a barrier to you recovering the compensation you are entitled to. Your family member’s immigration status is of no relevance to your personal injury suit, and filing a case will not put them in any risk whatsoever.
What Damages are Available to Undocumented Immigrants?
Personal injury plaintiffs, whether they are U.S. citizens or not, are generally entitled to two types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like your medical bills and lost wages from being unable to work while you recovered. Non-economic damages are a bit more complicated, and these cover things like damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
In some cases, a court may award punitive damages which are essentially intended to punish the defendant for their conduct. In Arizona, punitive damages are only allowed if the defendant intentionally caused harm to the victim or if the defendant knew what they were doing was dangerous and would likely cause harm.
Arizona is unlike many states because it does not “cap” the amount of damages that plaintiffs can recover in personal injury cases. However, the United States Supreme Court has held that if punitive damages are awarded, then the ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages cannot exceed 9:1.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
Every type of case has a “statute of limitations.” This is the time period in which a lawsuit can be brought; after that time period expires, the party can no longer file the suit. For personal injury cases in Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years; this means that from the moment the accident happens, you have two years to file your claim.
Two years may seem like a long period of time, but it’s best to act sooner rather than later. You may be asking yourself, “Do I really need to call a personal injury lawyer near me?” While you do not technically need a lawyer to file a suit in court, retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer can make a huge difference in your case, starting with the fact that they can make sure that you get your claim filed in time.
A GUIDE TO THE LAWSUIT PROCESS
Deciding whether or not to file a suit is a complicated decision, and it is one that is completely up to you. We understand possible hesitations, which is why we want to provide you with a step-by-step process of what happens in a personal injury lawsuit.
Of course, you should keep in mind that every lawsuit is different, and this is just an overview of the general process. If you have any specific questions about the stages of a personal injury suit, call one of our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation.
1. Meet with a Personal Injury Lawyer.
First, although it is possible to file a lawsuit on your own, having an experienced lawyer by your side is always the better option, especially if you have immigration status concerns. At your first, free consultation you will discuss the details of your case and any first thoughts that you or the attorney have.
2. Your Attorney will Develop the Necessary Evidence and Discuss Settlement Offers.
Second, your attorney will be compiling the evidence necessary to prove your claim, such as police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and medical bills. Once your attorney has completed their initial investigation, they may suggest that you submit a settlement offer to the opposing party. At this stage, your attorney and the opposing party may continue to negotiate about a possible settlement; if negotiations are unsuccessful, it is then that you file the lawsuit.
3. Filing the lawsuit.
Third, an experienced attorney knows how to file a summons and complaint with the appropriate court and how to serve it on the defendant. After the initial filing, a pre-trial process called “discovery” will take place where the parties obtain non-privileged evidence from each other. Sometimes during this stage your attorney or the defendant’s attorney will conduct what are called depositions or submit interrogatories which are essentially written questions that need to be answered under oath. There may also be some pre-trial motions and hearings that need to take place in court, but your attorney will walk you through every step of that process.
4. You May Go to Trial.
Fourth, you may go to trial. Sometimes cases will settle through negotiations leading up to trial, but if yours doesn’t then your attorney will litigate the case in front of a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then determine fault and enter a judgment. Once the judgment is entered, your lawyer can help you collect the compensation from the defendant.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
We understand that as an injured, undocumented immigrant the judicial system may feel intimidating. That is why we want to stand by your side. Your immigration status should not keep you from recovering the compensation you legally deserve, and our Arizona personal injury attorneys are ready to help you with every step of the process.
At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys never want anyone to feel like they can’t afford excellent representation, which is why we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we win your case and secure compensation for your injuries, you owe us nothing. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Call our office today at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation and to find out more about your options.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.