Do these things if you get hit by (or as) a non U.S. citizen

hit by (or as) a non U.S. citizen

Do these things if you get hit by (or as) a non U.S. citizen

Overview: If you’re in a car accident with someone who isn’t a U.S. citizen or you’re not the citizen, here’s what to do to successfully handle this unique car accident

hit by (or as) a non U.S. citizen

Getting into a car accident is never a fun experience, and it could be even more jarring when the involved party isn’t a U.S. citizen. The reason some non U.S. citizens are on the road is because some may be:

  1. long-term guests and workers who are simply waiting for the formal process of immigration to be completed

  2. individuals who visiting for the day or a short period of time such as tourists and other short-term visitors

Regardless of the reason, there’s a large number of people potentially driving on California roads who may not be citizens of the United States. Driving as an undocumented immigrant means that there is no license and no insurance. As such, car accidents with non-U.S. citizens often involve complicated immigration and criminal legal issues. The intersection of these two areas of law is called “Crimmigration.” So, where do we go from here?

If you have been in a car accident with an undocumented immigrant you should proceed in the same manner you would in any other car accident. And if the person does not have a driver’s license or insurance, get as much information as you can.

Don’t let anxiety, pressure, pain, and, above all, fear overtake you the moment an accident happens. So we’ll be addressing what to do in the two following situations:

  • What to do if you’re hit by a non U.S. citizen

  • What to do if you’re not a U.S. citizen and got in a car accident

The distinction between these two situations is that the person who got hit by a non U.S. citizen is usually worried about being able to receive the appropriate amount of compensation. On the opposite end, if a non U.S. citizen caused the accident, they would be most concerned about being able to seek medical attention, suing, or even being deported since the cops will get involved,

What to do if you’re hit by non U.S. citizen

As we mentioned earlier, when an undocumented immigrant is part of a car accident, you want to proceed in the manner you would any other accident.

  1. Write down the license plate of the car and get the other driver’s information once you have called the police.

  2. If you have a camera on your phone, take photos of the accident, damage, and a wide shot of where the accident happened.

  3. Call your own insurance company as soon as possible and explain the situation to them.

  4. You will need to file a claim so that your medical bills, property damage, and other expenses can be taken care of – provided they have insurance, or you have an uninsured motorist on your coverage.

Their undocumented status does not have any bearing on their punishment for the driving offenses. They can, however, be deported if they are in the country illegally. Still, this has nothing to do with the accident. The two situations are completely separate and unrelated.

Alternatives if the undocumented immigrant responsible for the accident that caused your injuries has no way of paying

  1. File An Uninsured Motorist Claim  . To file an uninsured motorist claim, you must have uninsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy. This type of insurance is there to protect in the event that you are involved in an accident with a motorist that doesn’t have proper insurance of their own.

    1. When you file an uninsured motorist claim, your own insurance company basically takes on the role that would be handled by the insurance company of the person at fault. In this case, you and your attorney will need to present them with the relevant facts and information and pursue a fair judgment or settlement just as if you were dealing with the insurance provider of the other motorist.

  2. File A Property Damage Claim.   If you drive a leased or financed car, you probably have property damage coverage. Most lenders will require you to have this type of coverage as part of the loan or lease agreement. Property damage insurance most likely won’t cover everything, but it will help with getting your car fixed, at least to some extent.

  3. File A Personal Injury Protection Claim. It will work in a manner similar to uninsured motorist coverage. Your attorney will present all of the relevant medical information regarding your injuries to your own insurance company and pursue compensation through them.

Related article(s): Accident With Undocumented Immigrant? Here’s What to Do; Car Accidents Involving an Undocumented Immigrant

What to Remember if you’re at fault

Even if the person hurt in the accident is an undocumented immigrant, the laws are still enforced, and these are in place to protect all U.S residents regardless of their immigration status.

Involved in a car accident but not a U.S. citizen

“By law, every legal or non-legal citizen in the country has the protection of the court to file legal actions for the claim of compensation.”

Regardless of immigration status, victims of car accidents may be able to obtain financial relief to cover the costs of medical expenses, wrongful death, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and rehabilitation.

  1. Get the insurance information for the other driver.

  2. Take photos, if you can, using a camera or cell phone.

  3. Wait for the police to arrive to investigate the accident. Leaving, even if you think you are able at the time, makes any future claim for damages very unlikely.

  4. If you have any passengers riding with you, they have the same rights to fair compensation for losses from an accident that you do – regardless of their citizenship status.

  5. Contact a good attorney.


What to remember if you’re a non U.S. citizen not at fault

  • The majority of undocumented immigrants have moved away from filing a lawsuit and asking for legal support because they fear deportation or a problem with immigration agents. But just because you’re undocumented doesn’t mean you don’t have rights.

If you’re a non-citizen who is involved in an accident and have rented a vehicle to drive, the good thing is that most car rentals require some amount of insurance on those vehicles that have been rented

That helps cover some of the losses which might be incurred if a non-citizen is in a wreck. But what about additional expenses beyond repairing a car or truck? What about injuries a non-citizen might sustain through no fault of their own from an accident while driving in the U.S.? Can they sue for damages the way a U.S. citizen could? In short: Yes, generally.

  1. non-citizens have the same legal right to fair compensation for damages (to the vehicle, other property or a person’s health) as citizens

That’s why it is just as important for non-citizens to contact an accident attorney after an accident as it is for citizens.

While it is usually unknown to the immigrants,

  1. it is often possible to sue the other party when injured in an accident even if the person is an undocumented foreign national.

For those that are living in or visiting the United States, the laws are still in place to provide for and protect the person suffering harm from an incident.

Unfortunately, many non-citizens are worried that they may not be able to get medical assistance or compensation for other losses from an accident even if it was not their fault. That’s not true, and it is important to follow some of the same general advice we might offer to citizens who are in a wreck.

  1. If the emergency workers suggest you should be evaluated by a doctor at a hospital after an accident, it is always a good idea to do so. Some people think they should just wait and seek help later if they start to feel worse, but that makes it more difficult to prove the injury was caused by the accident.

Keep in mind that if you do not have a license, proof of insurance, or registration, a police officer may detain you, even if you are the victim. If the police or ICE detain you, this does not prevent you from filing an injury claim.

Related article(s): If I get in a wreck in the United States, but I am not a US citizen, can I still sue?; What to Do in Case of an Accident as an Undocumented Immigrant

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