Immigration Status – And A Personal Injury Claim – “Can I Make an Injury Claim If I am an Illegal Citizen?”

The scenario is:

  • You or someone you know is visiting but are not currently a legal resident or citizen of the United States OR
  • You are living in the United States without citizenship, ie: illegal immigrant or illegal “alien”
  • While in California, you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. (Personal injury, auto accient, etc)

Do I have a right to make a claim against the negligent party’s insurance?

Do I have a right to sue the negligent party?

Will my “status” be affected by making a claim or filing a lawsuit?

These are all common questions. However, California courts have held that the immigration status of a Plaintiff is “irrelevant” and therefore considered, inadmissible evidence. The only time the citizenship status would be admissible is if the Plaintiff was trying to submit a “loss of earnings” claim and the Defendant tries to show that there were never any payments made, as the Plaintiff wasn’t even legally allowed to be paid in the United States.

A recent California case has held:

Any potential prejudice that might result from the introduction of the plaintiff’s status as an illegal immigrant can be overcome by a curative instruction by the Court.  Certainly, a plaintiff would be entitled to a limiting instruction that his status as an illegal immigrant is not relevant on the issue of liability.

There are many intricate details and considerations that go into filing a personal injury claim and/or personal injury lawsuit. Make sure you speak to a lawyer at the Friedman Law Offices as soon after the injury as possible. Call us at 323-596-1234 so we can preserve your rights.

Ari Friedman
Personal Injury Lawyer
Los Angeles