Personal Injury Claims and the Illegal Immigrant
by Dave G.
I hit an injured a man who is in this country illegally. Why is my insurance company letting him make a personal injury claim against my policy? Erin M., Austin
The possible criminal issue of whether or not the injured man is in this country legally is separate of the civil matter of his personal injury. In other words, his legal residency status has no bearing on his injury. It does not relieve you of the liability of causing his injury and the responsibility to make him "whole" again. He has the right to recover for his medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages related to his personal injury just as any citizen would. It would be unethical for your insurance company or defense attorney to suggest otherwise.
Sometimes an illegal immigrant may be hesitant to pursue a personal injury claim precisely because of their legal status. He may be afraid to bring attention to himself, especially in the form of a lawsuit, for fear of arrest or deportation. If he hires a competent attorney, however, his fears will mostly be assuaged.
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