Can I hire a personal injury lawyer if I am an undocumented immigrant in Colorado?

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Unfortunately, accidents happen frequently and are often life changing. From reckless drivers to defective products, there is no shortage of risk and injury. The legal system ensures that the victims of these hazards can seek fair compensation. However, because of their legal status, undocumented immigrants in the United States often fear the legal system. They understandably wonder, “Can I safely hire an attorney to help me seek compensation for my injuries?” The answer is, “Yes.” If you were in an accident and are an immigrant in the United States, call Colorado immigrant injury lawyers now.

Our personal injury lawyers are here to help, regardless of your immigration status. Zinda Law Group attorneys can evaluate your case, explain your rights, and strategize a path toward maximum compensation. If you are an undocumented immigrant and have been injured in Colorado, do not be afraid to call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

what is an undocumented immigrant?

Undocumented immigrants are foreign citizens who do not have legal authorization to be in the United States. Either they entered the United States without satisfying federal immigration procedures or they entered with a temporary visa and remained beyond the visa’s expiration date.  Despite their legal status—whether documented or undocumented—immigrants in the United States should know that they have rights, including the right to file a case seeking compensation for their injuries, and they can hire an attorney to help them exercise those rights.

According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), the population of Colorado alone included 549,181 immigrants (10%) in 2018, and another 609,402 people (11%) of the state’s population were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent. The AIC further reported that 34% of the state’s immigrant population and 3% of its total population were comprised of 190,000 undocumented immigrants in 2016. If you are an undocumented immigrant, you are not alone.

Read more: Pew Research Center, Key Findings About U.S. Immigrants (2018); Pew Research Center, Undocumented Immigrant Demographic Findings (2016)

Colorado Immigrant Injury Lawyers | Zinda Law Group

Your Constitutional rights: due process and equal protection

Because of their undocumented status and fear of deportation proceedings, undocumented immigrants often fail to exercise their rights. Indeed, many wonder whether they have rights in the United States. If you are an undocumented immigrant, know that all people within the United States, regardless of their legal status, are guaranteed access to the legal system.

In particular, the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States explains, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In Phyler v. Doe (1982), a case prohibiting discrimination against undocumented immigrants in the realm of public education, the Supreme Court explained that “[t]he Fourteenth Amendment . . . is not confined to the protection of citizens.” Rather, the phrase “any person” includes non-citizens—regardless of their legal status.

Fortunately, this means that undocumented immigrants can hire an attorney and sue in court. It also means that if you are sued as an undocumented immigrant, you are similarly entitled to receive notice and to defend yourself in court.

kinds of personal injury cases

If you have suffered an injury due to another’s carelessness, you may have a viable personal injury case. Do not let your immigration status stop you from exercising your rights and pursuing compensation. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group have handled hundreds of cases across the country, and we are prepared to evaluate and handle yours.

Our nationwide attorneys have worked in cases involving:

Understanding the Legal Route to compensation

Whether you are an immigrant or a citizen, the legal system of the United States is complicated. It’s helpful to have an experienced attorney answer your questions and guide you while you navigate the process. In the meantime, below are some brief answers to common questions.

How Do I Bring a Case?

In personal injury cases, negligence is by far the most common cause of action. Successfully bringing a negligence claim requires proving four elements:

1. Duty. Defendant owed a legal duty to plaintiff.

2. Breach. The defendant breached the duty.

3. Harm. The plaintiff suffered an injury.

4. Causation. The plaintiff’s injury or injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach.

Duty is considered the threshold element—where there is not duty, there can be no breach, harm, causation, or compensation. The duty is generally characterized as a duty to use “reasonable care.” Every individual has a duty to use reasonable care in order to avoid causing harm to others.

A driver must use reasonable care when operating a vehicle. Doctors must use reasonable care (often called the medical “standard of care”) when treating patients. Employers must use reasonable care to avoid causing harm to their employees.

However, defining the duty of care and an associated breach of duty requires a close look at the facts of your case and the governing case law. Each personal injury scenario is unique and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help.

What Can I Recover?

There are generally three kinds of damages you can recover in a personal injury case. They are:

Economic damages

This refers to compensation for your losses that can be reduced to a monetary value. Among other things, economic damages may include compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of use of property, costs of repair or replacement, and loss of employment or business opportunities.

Non-economic damages

Next, non-economic damages refer to compensation for losses that cannot be reduced to a monetary value. Among other things, non-economic damages may include compensation for your  pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.

Punitive damages

Finally, unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages (also known as “exemplary damages”) are meant not to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, each type of damage may be governed by specific restrictions and exceptions. Our attorneys can help you evaluate your case and explain what types of damages you are likely to recover.

How Long Can I Wait Before Filing My Case?

When filing your case, you must comply with the “statute of limitations,” which sets a time limit to file a case. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is generally two years. However, certain kinds of cases are governed by a different time limit.

If you have been injured and think you have a viable personal injury case, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A two year statute of limitations may seem like a long time. Still, do not wait to have your case evaluated by an attorney. The longer you wait, the more time there is for evidence to be forgotten, disappear, or be destroyed. In general, the longer your attorney has to investigate your case, the better.

Don’t let your immigration status stop you from exercising your rights

If you are an undocumented immigrant in Colorado and have been injured due to another’s negligence, you may have a viable personal injury case. You also have a right to consult with an attorney and to seek fair compensation.

At Zinda Law Group, we believe that no victim of personal injury—regardless of their immigration status—should lack excellent legal representation. We pride ourselves in providing that representation and, as attorneys, are here to help you exercise your rights. You pay nothing unless we win your case; that is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

If you have suffered a personal injury, do not hesitate to have your case evaluated by a personal injury lawyer near you today. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.

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