If you are an undocumented immigrant living and working in New York City, you are not alone. HispanicResearch.com reports that per the 2010 Census, 2,336,076 Latinos lived in New York City at that time. Many of them, especially men, worked in the construction industry.

But what happens if you become injured at work? Can you file a Workers’ Compensation claim and/or a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the financial losses your injury caused you? Or does your undocumented status preclude this?

Civil Law Actions

Despite what your employer, coworkers, friends and family may have told you, you can indeed get Workers’ Compensation and/or compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. These constitute civil actions and have nothing to do with your immigration status, which may ultimately become a criminal matter.

In a personal injury lawsuit, you ask the jury to award you money damages so as to pay you for your injury-related expenses such as the following:

  • Doctor bills
  • Surgical bills
  • Medications
  • Medical tests such as X-rays, CT scans, etc.
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Home health care expenses
  • Pain and suffering

You can also ask for damages to make up for your lost wages and to pay your ongoing medical expenses caused by your on-the-job injury.

Attorney assistance

Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney represents your best course of action after you get hurt at your job. (S)he can assess your situation, answer your questions, advise you of your options, and file suit on your behalf.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.