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How Does Immigration Status Affect My Claim?

Dec 5, 2014

When seeking damages via court action, plaintiffs often have access to several forms of damages. Some of these damages are easily quantifiable. For example, medical bills are invoiced, finite, and thus easily substantiated. Others are more difficult to pin down; emotional damages and loss of potential income damages are in many ways abstract and open to debate. Additionally, outside factors can control the way in which damages are applied. For example, your immigration status can affect the potential award in a claim. Here’s how:

Future Income Damages

If the plaintiff is currently in the United States illegally, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages based on future earnings relative to U.S. wages. An argument can be made for damages relative to future earnings in the plaintiff’s home country, though this is at the discretion of the personal injury attorney (in Los Angeles this issue comes up frequently). If damages do end up limited to the potential earnings based on a person’s country of origin or are completely cut from the process, the final settlement amount could be dramatically different for an illegal immigrant than for a legal U.S. citizen.

However, almost all other forms of damages are still applicable in a personal injury case, regardless of the plaintiff’s immigration status. This is why it’s absolutely critical to work closely with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to determine exactly which damages are available to your case and which are not. Undocumented residents should not be afraid to pursue a case because of their immigrant status. An experienced attorney working on your side can help you receive the damages you’re owed.

For more information about how immigration status affects your potential damages claim, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers at (888) 341-9802 or visit Our team is built from leading personal injury attorneys ready and willing to assist you.

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