Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but when you’re involved in a car accident with an undocumented immigrant it’s a whole different story. It’s a simple fact that in El Paso and the rest of Texas since we’re so close to the southern border of the United States, there is a higher concentration of undocumented immigrants than in many other parts of the country.
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident involving someone who’s in the country illegally, and especially if you’ve been injured, you probably have a lot of questions about what you can do to get your car repaired and make sure your medical bills are taken care of. The process of filing a personal injury claim after an accident with an undocumented immigrant can be complicated and tricky. To make sure you don’t get stuck holding the bill for everything, you should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
What Can I Do After An Accident With An Undocumented Immigrant?
You can file a personal injury claim against an illegal alien after a car accident just as you would with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. What makes a case against an illegal immigrant different is that in the state of Texas they can’t get a driver’s license, which means they can’t get auto insurance.
The troublesome part of the situation is not filing a claim against the person responsible for the accident in this case. What can be problematic is actually collecting any compensation you may be awarded and entitled to.
Determining If An Injury Claim Against An Illegal Immigrant Is Worth It
The first thing your personal injury attorney will do is conduct a short investigation into the accident and the undocumented immigrant that you believe is responsible. Since it is highly unlikely that this person has auto insurance that will cover your damages and medical bills, determining whether or not the case is worth pursuing will depend on other factors.
Aside from auto insurance, there are two other routes that can be taken to collect compensation for your injuries. If the illegal alien at fault has assets worth enough to cover everything, that could be one way. If the other person involved in the accident was working at the time, you may be able to secure compensation through their employer as well.
Alternatives If The Undocumented Immigrant Can’t Pay For An Injury Claim
If the undocumented immigrant responsible for the accident that caused your injuries has no way of paying for any judgment against them, you still have some alternatives that may help your situation.
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.
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.
Again, this option will only be available if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage with your policy. Texas law requires insurance companies to offer this type of coverage unless you specifically decline it. So, if you didn’t ask for it to be removed from your policy, you should have this coverage.
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.
File A Personal Injury Protection Claim
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is offered, by law, with all car insurance policies in Texas. Unless you specifically declined the coverage when you purchased your insurance, you will have it. This insurance is meant to pay for medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in a car accident.
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.
Speak With An Experienced El Paso Auto Accident Attorney
Navigating the legalities of a car accident with an undocumented immigrant can—and usually does—become very complicated. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash with an illegal immigrant, it’s not something you should try to handle on your own. You should speak with a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer familiar with these specific cases.
With nearly 50 years of experience litigating personal injury claims, we have the knowledge and expertise necessary to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you’re entitled. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an undocumented immigrant, call us today at (915) 533-5441 or contact us online. We’ll be happy to go over the details of your case and discuss what we can do to help you. Your consultation is free and confidential.