Can an Employer Fire an Undocumented Worker After They Are Injured in NYC?
Some undocumented workers in New York City might not be aware that they have the right to be compensated if they are injured by another party. However, many fear that filing a lawsuit for personal injury will have grave consequences for their employment and immigration status.
Fortunately, an undocumented worker’s right to pursue compensation through the courts is a matter of law in the United States. Injured undocumented workers have the right to get justice for their injuries without fear of retaliation from their employers or the government. In fact, New York City takes great strides to ensure that undocumented workers can file their cases without being exposed to federal immigration agencies.
Contact The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to receive a free case review from our New York City personal injury lawyers.
Can Your Employer Fire You If You Are an Undocumented Worker Injured in New York City?
New York City has one of the most diverse populations in the country and is home to thousands of undocumented workers. As accidents are common in a city as densely packed as New York, injured undocumented workers understandably might worry that they will be fired or, worse, deported if they seek compensation for a personal injury. The good news is that undocumented workers have the same rights as U.S. citizens when it comes to filing personal injury lawsuits against a negligent party and should not be fired for exercising their rights.
Unless you miss work because of your injuries or the accident that occurred in the workplace, your employer might not even be aware that you are filing a lawsuit. However, if they do know you are seeking legal remedies for your losses and use that against you to fire you, you can use the court system without fear to recover damages in a potential wrongful termination lawsuit. Our Long Island personal injury attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you were fired after getting injured. Again, you have just as much right as other New York City residents to use the courts to recover compensation for losses caused by another party, regardless of your immigration status.
Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit as an Undocumented Worker in New York City?
Of course, a primary concern for most injured undocumented workers in NYC is whether filing a personal injury lawsuit could lead to their deportation. Fortunately, you cannot be deported simply for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is the law per 8 U.S.C. § 1227. Still, you might worry that immigration enforcement agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) might discover you through your lawsuit and expose you to deportation proceedings.
While this might be the case in other parts of the country, this is not the way things are done in NYC. New York City considers itself a “sanctuary” city, which seeks to protect its undocumented residents from federal law enforcement like ICE. In fact, city law enforcement agencies like the NYPD have a general policy to limit their interactions with federal immigration agencies.
Further, the courts also do not typically cooperate with immigration services in exposing undocumented workers through their lawsuits. In most cases, your undocumented status will have no bearing on your right to pursue compensation from a negligent party that injured you. Generally, federal immigration services are mostly concerned with crimes committed by undocumented individuals, as certain crimes are automatic grounds for deportation. Thus, if you are seeking remedies for your losses, you do not need to fear that using the court system will expose you and your family to further suffering.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits You Could File to Recover Compensation in New York City
Personal injury lawsuits are an umbrella for numerous types of personal injuries undocumented workers could suffer in NYC. This means that you can file a lawsuit for virtually any kind of personal harm you suffered at the hands of another person. Common personal injury cases undocumented workers seek compensation for include car accident cases, workplace accident cases, and medical malpractice.
Car Accident Lawsuits
One of the most common ways undocumented individuals are injured in NYC is in car accidents. Like filing a lawsuit, undocumented workers are also allowed to obtain a New York driver’s license. As such, they are permitted to recover compensation from a negligent driver that injured them. However, you will usually need to go through your insurance to get compensation unless you suffered a serious injury or your car accident resulted in damages over $50,000. In these circumstances, you can file a lawsuit instead of using your own insurance.
Workplace and Construction Accident Lawsuits
Another common type of lawsuit undocumented workers can file is for accidents that occur in the workplace. Many undocumented workers in NYC work in the construction industry. In most cases, an employer will carry insurance to cover injuries that workers sustain on the job. If your employer does offer insurance, you have the right to file a claim with their insurance to cover compensation for your medical expenses and time missed from work. However, you can file a lawsuit in the event your employer does not carry insurance.
You might also be able to file a lawsuit if a third party caused your injuries at work. This could be through the negligence of a coworker or a manufacturer of a defective product. Regardless, you have rights as a worker in NYC no matter your immigration status. Contact our experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyers.
Other Types of Lawsuits
As mentioned, personal injuries come in many forms. For instance, you might be injured on another person’s property because they failed to make the premises safe. In that case, you can file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner or party responsible for the property. Additionally, you can sue a medical professional in a medical malpractice lawsuit if they failed to provide you with the level of care required under the circumstances. In the tragic event that a loved one is lost because of another’s actions, undocumented individuals can seek compensation for numerous damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your employer took action against you after being injured, like firing you, you can usually file suit to protect your employment rights. While a lawsuit does not typically have the power to restore you to your previous employment, you can recover any damages you suffered as a result of being wrongfully terminated or discriminated against.
The most important thing to remember is that you have Constitutional rights regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen. While you might feel fear of using the legal system, there are systems in place to help ensure that you can exercise your rights without consequences on your immigration status.
Our New York City Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
For a free case assessment with our Staten Island personal injury attorneys, call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.