Immigration Status No Longer Affects Personal Injury Verdict
Victims of a personal injury, whether undocumented immigrants or citizens, are entitled to recover for their injuries. In personal injury cases, like car accidents, the injured party may be entitled to recover their medical bills, costs for future medical care, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Until recently, the immigration status of a car accident victim was admissible evidence in court. The defendant would argue that the plaintiff’s immigration status was a key factor because it was necessary to calculate their lost earning capacity based on their “home” country. These undocumented immigrant victims would potentially receive far less compensation for their lost earning capacity because wages in California are higher than prevailing wages in Honduras, for example. This rule, from a 1986 case Rodriquez v. Kline, discouraged undocumented immigrants from filing a personal injury lawsuit because (1) they would be compensated less than they deserved and (2) their immigration status would become public record. Ultimately, personal injury attorneys would not pursue claims for lost earning capacity in order to protect their clients’ immigration status.
In August, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2159, which codified California Evidence Code 351.2. The new law, prevents the defendant from offering evidence of the plaintiff’s immigration status. Also, undocumented immigrants may now pursue lost earning capacity based on California wages. The new law came into effect on January 1, 2017 and is a big win for undocumented immigrant victims of car accidents.
Contact Sacramento’s Personal Injury Lawyers
A car accident can be a terrifying experience. It can result in devastating and long lasting effects, both emotionally and physically. Its important to understand and protect your rights as an accident victim. Taking the rights steps after a car accident will help protect your rights to seek compensation for your losses. We have helped countless undocumented immigrants obtain the compensation they deserve. Please feel free to contact Sacramento’s personal injury lawyers if you would like assistance.
By: Trevor Carson Google+
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact an attorney for legal advice. Carson & Kyung, A Law Corporation includes attorneys who are well-versed in personal injury litigation matters and are located in Sacramento. Personal Injury Attorneys discussing how immigration status no longer affects personal injury verdict.