Can I Be Deported for Reporting a Work Injury in New York City?
Undocumented workers throughout NYC are often afraid to come forward and put their trust in hospitals, Workers’ Compensation systems, and the courts for fear that their undocumented status will either hurt their case or get them deported. If you were injured in an accident, you deserve help.
Your attorney can help represent you and protect your right to compensation, even if you are undocumented. Legally speaking, the courts are open to everyone injured in New York City, whether you live here, work here, or are even just passing through when you are injured. As long as your work injury happened in NYC, you are entitled to use Workers’ Compensation and the courts to seek damages.
For help, contact The Carrion Law Firm’s New York City personal injury lawyers at (718) 841-0083.
Do Undocumented Workers Get Workers’ Compensation in NYC?
Every worker in New York is entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits with very few exceptions. Undocumented status is not one of these exceptions, and injured workers throughout the city should be allowed to file Workers’ Compensation claims, even if they are undocumented.
However, whether you are a citizen or not, Workers’ Compensation often falls short of providing full coverage for your injuries. Additionally, many undocumented workers who should be given coverage under Workers’ Compensation laws are illegally excluded from coverage. What this means is that you might be better off turning to a lawsuit to get the compensation you need after an accident.
Can Undocumented Workers File a Lawsuit for Work Injuries in NYC?
Your access to the courts should not be restricted in any way, shape, or form because you are undocumented. If you are injured in New York City, then you are typically entitled to file an injury lawsuit, and residency or immigration status is not a factor.
Looking more broadly at other injuries for a moment, it is important to understand that injury claims are filed in the place where the injury happened. Every day, there are slip and falls, car accidents, and other injuries that could lead to a lawsuit, and it does not matter if the victim lives and works in the city or if they are from out of state or from another country; the courts are still open to them.
In the specific context of a work injury, you should not be blocked from having access to the courts based on your immigration status. In fact, discrimination based on nation of origin is illegal in New York City, and the courts should not block your case or prevent you from filing based on your immigration status. With an experienced Harlem workplace injury lawyer at your side who has experience working in the courts, you can rest assured that we will fight to see your rights will be protected to the full extent of the law.
However, this does not always mean that a lawsuit is allowed for work injury cases. Under Workers’ Compensation laws in New York, many injured workers – regardless of their immigration status – are actually barred from filing lawsuits.
Limitations on Lawsuits for Injured Workers in New York
Generally speaking, Workers’ Compensation laws in New York often limit injured workers from filing lawsuits. Under this insurance system, it is expected that workers will file a claim for compensation with their employer and get paid for medical bills and lost wages without going to court. However, these insurance systems leave off huge areas of damages for pain and suffering and do not reimburse you fully for your lost wages. The alternative of going to court and filing a lawsuit for your work injury is limited only to certain scenarios.
Under New York law, victims of workplace injuries cannot sue their employer for work injuries in most situations. There are certain exceptions for specific types of injuries that occur because of safety violations, such as injuries that violate New York’s Scaffold Law or other certain sections of New York labor law. Additionally, intentional injuries – e.g., assault by your boss – can usually lead to a lawsuit.
If you are not covered by Workers’ Compensation when your employer is legally required to cover you, then you might also be entitled to a lawsuit. This often happens for undocumented workers generally since employers often think they can get away with paying undocumented workers lower wages and cutting benefits that they are legally required to provide. Additionally, this often happens with independent contractors who are misclassified for purposes of insurance coverage. Generally, all workers in New York are treated as “employees” for insurance purposes, and failing to provide coverage for an independent contractor is usually illegal. So in many cases, your case could come down to misclassification based on your employment status rather than your immigration status.
Getting Help with a Workplace Accident Lawsuit as an Undocumented Worker in New York City
Undocumented workers often feel incredibly unsafe getting the help they need and getting justice through the courts. Our injury attorneys often work with immigrants in New York City, and we will do everything in our power to protect our clients’ rights and help them get justice for the injuries they face. While ICE and other law enforcement agencies often attempt to harass undocumented workers or scare them away from the courts and other official government services, immigrants and undocumented workers are still entitled to file lawsuits and seek justice through the courts. Our Queens workplace injury lawyers can help you do this.
Most of our staff and all of our lawyers are bilingual, and many of us come from Hispanic and Latino families. We understand the struggles that many undocumented workers and communities face in NYC, and we are prepared to help you with your case. In most cases, we can work on a contingency fee, so your legal help will cost you nothing upfront, and you only pay if you win.
Call Our NYC Work Injury Attorneys Today
If you were injured at work, call our Brooklyn workplace injury attorneys today at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.