Personal Injury, Immigration Status, And You: How To Handle This Delicate Legal Matter

As someone who is applying legally for immigration status, you are probably very afraid of doing anything that could get you deported. It is unfortunate that you have to constantly live with this worry until you are a legal U.S. citizen, since there are many situations where you need help and are afraid to get it. For example, if you suffer a personal injury via a car accident or a work-related incident, you may be very worried about your immigration status. Here is how to delicately handle this situation.

Talk to an Immigration Lawyer

Since your main concern is that you may be deported if you report an accident and/or attempt to claim benefits for your injuries, you need to talk to an immigration attorney first. The lawyer can help protect your immigration status while assisting you with any legal claims you need to make. That means that no matter what the situation, you will not be deported while you have other legal issues pending.

Talk to Other Attorneys

You should talk to a worker's compensation attorney if your injuries are job-related. If your injuries occurred some other way, such as a car accident (where you were the driver, passenger, or someone on foot or bicycle on the road), you will need to talk to a personal injury lawyer. You should talk to the personal injury lawyer who most closely relates to the incident that caused your accident.

Request Immigration Services for Hiring an Injury Lawyer

Because you are an immigrant and you are not a legal citizen as of yet, go back to your immigration lawyer's office and ask to speak to immigration services. Immigration services can help you with the costs of hiring your injury lawyer for the lawsuit you want to levy against the party that injured you. Immigration services may also be able to point you in the direction of a lawyer that takes cases like yours on contingency. That means that he or she does not get paid until you win your injury case. Then you pay him/her out of your compensation winnings.

Call Your Lawyer If Someone Sends the Police to Arrest You

This is where a lot of immigrants get into trouble. They say too much, and they do not call their lawyers when the police arrest them. It is often for a minor infraction, or a made-up one by the person or persons who will insist that you are here illegally. If you remain silent, your immigration lawyer can protect and defend your right to stay here. If you say too much, you could be deported despite your ongoing case for personal injuries. Ask for your lawyer immediately after the police arrest you.

If You Are Not Arrested, Keep a Low Profile

It helps your case if you stay off the police's radar until your hearing for your personal injury case. You cannot attend a hearing regarding your injuries and expected compensation if you are in jail. If you fail to keep in touch with your immigration lawyer and your injury lawyer when there are new developments in your position or cases, then you may "accidentally" be deported and unable to return for the personal injury hearings. You cannot argue your case for compensation for your injuries if you are not present.

Arrive at the Courthouse on Time, Clean, and Well-Dressed

Finally, your court date for your personal injury case has arrived. Make sure you arrive on time, preferably ten minutes or more before your hearing. Be clean and well-dressed (or as well-dressed as you can manage). Meet with your immigration and personal injury lawyers, both of whom should be present to protect your rights and defend your case. Follow court etiquette as instructed by your lawyers, and wait for the judge's ruling.