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What happens if you’re in an accident and you’re not a U.S. citizen?

Jan 12, 2021

The next segment of our interviews with Small Business Briefing discusses traffic accidents, injury lawsuits, and immigration status.

Injury Attorney Traffic Accident

The transcript of our interview follows:

Interviewer:

Welcome to another Small Business Briefing Q and A. Today, we’re going to be talking with the attorneys over at Shapiro Delgado Get Me Justice.

We’re going to bring on Jim Delgado. Jim, really appreciate your time today.

Can you tell me what happens if you’re involved in an accident and you get injured, and you’re not a U.S. citizen or perhaps not even documented here in the United States?

What’s the impact on your ability to go to court?

Jim Delgado:

So you’re in an accident and you’re not a legal U.S. citizen. It’s not a problem. For some reason people seem to think if they’re not a legal citizen of the United States, they’re not entitled to the same rights as every citizen. That is not true. The only thing that really matters is at the time of the accident, were you in the state of Florida? And it’s going to be yes. Whether we have our Canadian friends, we have our European friends, friends from Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that really matters in the state of Florida is were you at fault or not at fault. And if you’re not at fault, you have the same rights and obligations as any citizen. So if you’re here illegally and you have an accident, that’s a good question and, actually, I get that question a lot. There is no difference. Whether they’re here legally or illegally, it really doesn’t matter. The issue still stands is you were the victim of somebody else’s negligence. The same way that a legal or illegal person could be arrested for a crime. That same person has the same rights. You’re here legally or illegally, it’s really not an issue. They’ll never ask you. It doesn’t really matter. The only question is, were you the victim of somebody else’s negligence? That’s the only question. And of course, you were in the state of Florida when it happened so we don’t even have to ask that. But you have the same rights and we’ll represent you the same.

Interviewer:

Well, Jim, with all the vacationers down here and all of the migrant workers, I’m sure that that was a really important answer. It’s good to know that you do not lose your rights based on your immigration status when you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit in Florida. Thanks so very much for your time.

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