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New California Law Protects Right of Undocumented Immigrant Personal Injury Rights

Friday, July 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

You remember it clearly—a beautiful spring day. You were headed to the park for lunch in the sunshine, a weekend pastime you were so happy to be enjoying again. As you biked down the street, you could see the green grass in the distance, and your happiness grew. Then it happened, so quickly and unexpectedly, hit by a car that had sped up to make a signal at the next intersection. You were thrown 50 feet from your bike and lost consciousness. When you awoke, the pain was unbearable, radiating from your leg, up through your back and hip.

That was back in 2016, but you still feel it to this day, with a limp and pain that have never gone away. Then, on top of everything, the driver of the car questioned the validity of your marriage in court. Treated you like the wife in the movie “Greencard,” implying that your husband of five years was a marriage of convenience to keep you in the United States, not knowing the story of deep love that brought you two together. It was so embarrassing and insulting. Your attorney pushed back, and luckily for you, the state of California stepped up during your case to make it illegal to question your residency status in a personal injury case as a defense to the determination of lost earnings.

Had a case like the one described above moved faster or finished sooner, the plaintiff would have had to not only present her case for personal injury but would also have had to defend her right to be in the United States recover for the horrific damages suffered due to an at-fault driver. Prior law had stated that the measure of an immigrant plaintiff's money damages was limited to what he or she would have earned in his or her home country had no injury occurred (instead of what he or she would have earned here in the U.S.), if the defendant could show illegal presence in the U.S. This left plaintiffs having to prove their case, and then prove and correct deficiencies in their residency status, a task that was daunting at the least and nearly impossible in many cases due to the complexity and contradictory nature of immigration law.

The California Legislature remedied this in 2016 with a law that went into effect in February of 2017 making the immigration status of plaintiffs inadmissible in personal injury cases. This means that calculations for lost earnings by plaintiffs will be based on the potential earnings here in the U.S.

Suffering a personal injury is a difficult time. Being afraid that you will have to defend against a challenge to your immigration status to obtain recovery is an unnecessary burden. If you have been injured and are in need of assistance in obtaining the relief you deserve, the help of a good attorney who can help you understand the complicated legal system can get the restitution you deserve.

If you’ve been the victim of bad accident, the attorneys at Alexander Law Group LLP, will help you find closure. Contact us today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco, and we believe that those who harm others should be held responsible for their acts. All calls are free and confidential.

While the results that we have obtained in other cases and our clients' testimonials do not guarantee, promise or predict the outcome of your case, we do promise to do our very best for you in your case.

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