Every year, a lot of people get involved in traffic accidents. Of those accidents, most get injuries serious enough to require some type of hospital treatment.
Your immigration status has no impact on your ability to stay safe on the roads. But what happens when you’re one of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and involved in a car accident? Despite your immigration status, you have the same rights and protection you would if you had a green card or were a U.S. citizen.
Follow these steps to handle a car accident when as an undocumented immigrant.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer
If you are one of the undocumented immigrants involved in a car accident, you should contact immigration lawyers right away. An immigration attorney can provide valuable advice and counsel on how to handle the accident, how to protect yourself and your rights, how to communicate with law enforcement, determining liability in car accident, and what to do in the aftermath of the incident.
Depending on your circumstances and the specifics of the crash, they may also help to protect you from any possible ICE action or deportation. Your attorney will also help you to understand the legal consequences of being involved in an accident as an undocumented immigrant. They may also be able to help you access support services such as healthcare, legal counsel, and financial aid. In the end, consulting an immigration lawyer can truly help you to confidently and safely handle a car accident.
Do Not Discuss Any Immigration Status
Contacting the police is usually the best course of action in any situation. If the police arrive, you can provide general information such as your name, address, and contact information. You can also provide a driver’s license or insurance papers. Avoid providing any information regarding your immigration status or answering any related questions.
Document the Scene of the Accident
It is important to document the scene of an accident, such as taking pictures of the cars and positioning, as well as any property damage. If you have the ability, have the police or another trusted person take photographs of any physical injuries you have sustained.
Ensure the Safety of You and Your Family
Your priority should be notifying a family member and making sure everyone is okay. Do not accept responsibility for the accident or sign any papers until you have spoken to a lawyer for guidance. Protecting your family is key, so make sure that everyone in the car is safe and seek medical attention if necessary.
Car Accidents for Undocumented Immigrant
In conclusion, car accidents for undocumented immigrants can be stressful and may bring up many worries. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, undocumented immigrants can successfully navigate through any car accident emergency. Contact a local organization, like a community-based or immigration law center, for assistance and more tips on how to handle a car accident as an undocumented immigrant.