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South Texas

Can Undocumented Immigrants File Car Accident Lawsuits?

Houston has one of the most diverse populations in the country, with statistics showing that nearly one out of four people in Houston are foreign-born. But like anyone else, they can be hurt in a car accident. However, many immigrants–especially those that are undocumented–might hesitate to take full advantage of their legal rights because of their citizenship status. At The Gutierrez Law Firm, our experienced Houston car accident lawyers are here to help you. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation further.

Can You File a Lawsuit If You’re Undocumented?

It’s understandable that you might be a bit scared of any legal process if you’re an undocumented immigrant. Legally speaking, though, this doesn’t factor into your legal rights and protections at all when you’re in a car accident.

This means that you have the same rights as anyone else that gets hurt in a car accident, meaning you can file a lawsuit or insurance claim even if you’re an undocumented immigrant. That said, the actual legal process can be challenging in these situations, regardless of your citizenship. So, if you’re in a car accident and your injuries are more serious, you can turn to our team for help. With our approach, we can take care of the legal side of things by:

  • Talking to the other party’s insurance company.
  • Examining your accident and collecting proof.
  • Sorting your medical documents and bills.
  • Working with doctors.
  • Getting advice from medical specialists.
  • Negotiating with lien holders to lower your debts.
  • Talking with insurance or defense lawyers for a fair deal.
  • Backing your claim in legal proceedings.
  • Taking your claim to court, if needed.

We firmly believe that every person should have the best chance at recovering from injuries in a Houston car accident, regardless of their citizenship status. In order to make a recovery, though, you’re going to need to file an injury claim.

What Are the Steps to Filing an Injury Claim?

Just because you still have the right to file a claim after a car accident doesn’t mean the process is straightforward. Each accident is unique, so your path to financial support may differ from others’. It’s helpful to know what to expect and what you can get from the process.

There are two main legal options:

  • Insurance claim – You can file a claim with either your insurance company or the other party’s insurer. An adjuster will assess the claim’s value through an investigation and questioning. Settling out of court is faster and cheaper, but negotiating with insurers may lead to delays or low settlement offers.
  • Lawsuit – If the insurance settlement isn’t enough, you can sue and go to court. This process takes more time and effort but may result in higher damages. While you’ll be involved in legal proceedings, our team will handle most tasks.

The main goal of the legal process is to recover financial support, known as “damages,” for your injuries and losses. When you file your claim, you may be able to recover financial support for:

  • Medical bills and treatment costs
  • Repair/replacement costs for damage to your vehicle or property
  • Lost wages or potential future earnings if you have to miss work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses in case of a fatality

Success in court isn’t guaranteed, but it’s a crucial option for getting financial support under Texas law. Remember the two-year deadline for filing your claim. If you don’t, you lose the ability to recover damages. It’s also up to you to do the right things after the accident happens.


Strengthening Your Car Accident Claim

Even though you have legal rights to file an injury claim as an undocumented immigrant in Houston, it’s ultimately up to you to present a strong case. In order to do that, you need to respond in the right way right after the accident happens. This means doing a few things:

  • Get medical attention – Your health should always be the first priority. Check yourself for injuries and call 911 for assistance. Accept medical care from responders at the scene and get further treatment at a hospital or urgent care. Some injuries may show up right away due to adrenaline.
  • Document the scene – If it’s safe, take photos or videos of the scene, including any damage to your car and injuries you have. Make sure to get other relevant details like skid marks or road defects.
  • Cooperate with investigations – Be honest and stick to the facts when speaking with the police or insurance adjusters. Avoid exaggerating or lying about what happened.
  • Exchange information – After ensuring safety, share contact and insurance details with others involved and any witnesses. If uncomfortable, the police can assist.

Stay calm and clear-headed during the aftermath of the accident. It’s crucial for your claim’s strength, but this is sometimes easier said than done when you’re hurt. Remember, you can turn to our team for help.

Trust The Gutierrez Law Firm After a Houston Car Accident

As an immigrant, you strive to improve life for yourself and your family. Regardless of whether you’re undocumented or a full citizen, Texas law protects your rights if you’re injured in a car accident. You can trust the Gutierrez Law Firm’s team of committed Houston car accident lawyers to give you the support you need to make a recovery. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to learn more about your options.