Immigration Status FAQ

Will My Legal Status Affect my Personal Injury Lawsuit?

No. No questions may be asked about your legal status in a California personal injury law matter.

Can Undocumented Aliens Sue For Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death?

YES. At least in a California state court. A great fear among many undocumented aliens living in the L.A. Hispanic communities, in particular, is whether or not they can sue for death or personal injuries. Here we will discuss why you should have no fear of hiring a lawyer to represent your personal injury matter.

What Do The Courts and Legislature Say About Your Immigration Status in a Personal Injury Case?

Evidence Code §351.3. states: (a) In a civil action not governed by Section 351.2, evidence of a person’s immigration status shall not be disclosed in open court by a party or his or her attorney unless the judge presiding over the matter first determines that the evidence is admissible in an in-camera hearing requested by the party seeking disclosure of the person’s immigration status.

But AB 2159 went on to amend Section 351.2 of the California Evidence Code. The new provision spells out:

“In a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, evidence of a person’s immigration status shall not be admitted into evidence, nor shall discovery into a person’s immigration status be permitted.”

Fear of Deportation

No. As discussed above, California state court personal injury and wrongful death cases don't allow questions about your status even come up. Depositions and other information from sources publicly available are what the insurance company uses to value things like a motorcycle accident with a brain injury, for example.

Litigation will usually not happen since an insurance settlement can normally be reached before a lawsuit is filed.

In any event, your immigration status is not part of the personal injury settlement process. So whether you're on TPS, applying for asylum, etc., it doesn't matter.

Sanctuary State

Right now, the news and political environment surrounding illegal, or "undocumented" aliens can be alarming to you if you snuck across the border for a better life. For example, there is a debate over giving illegal immigrants driver's licenses and their compliance with insurance regulations.

But the fact of the matter is, whether or not California remains a sanctuary state is irrelevant. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) may not entangle themselves in civil case party status. Am I making sense so far?

What About Your Right to a Fair Trial?

This is exactly it. A jury may not consider your legal status. No matter what, it remains unduly prejudicial. In other words, it could be unfair to you and make someone judge you for the wrong reasons. The case is about whether or not someone was negligent, and if that caused you palpable harm. That's it!

Contact Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys

Above we learned from personal injury attorney, Michael Ehline, that immigration status has no place in a careless or wanton death or injury lawsuit. But now that you know this does not sleep on your rights!

Certain cases have different statutory deadlines. So for example, if a city truck ran you over and broke your leg, you may have only six months or less to seek money. The same goes for cruise ship accidents.

The only way you can know more about preserving your rights to personal injury compensation is to contact attorney Ehline at Ehline Law firm right now! Call (213) 596-9642.