What To Do If You're An Illegal Worker And Get Injured On The Job?
Illegal workers in New York often face a unique predicament when they suffer injuries on the job. On the one hand, they need medical attention and lost wages compensation just like any other worker. On the other hand, they may fear retaliation or even deportation if they pursue legal action. This fear is not unfounded, as undocumented workers have historically been subject to abuse and mistreatment in the workplace.
In fact, one study found that immigrant workers are twice as likely to be involved in workplace accidents compared to US-born workers due to the abusive conditions they are subject to. What should you do if you're an undocumented worker and get injured on the job? Thankfully, in the Empire State, the courts have spoken: Your immigration status does not bar you from seeking justice if you're injured while working. You deserve legal support and fair compensation, regardless of your documentation status.
Legal Options for Undocumented Immigrants Injured on a Job Site in NY
Undocumented workers in New York have two options for demanding compensation benefits for their injuries – Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Even if you are an undocumented worker or working illegally in New York, you have the same rights as any other worker to file for Workers' Compensation benefits. Despite some employers hiring undocumented immigrants to take advantage of their vulnerable status and avoid paying workers' compensation insurance, the courts in New York have ruled that this is illegal.
This means that unauthorized workers who have been injured on the job are entitled to the same benefits as any other employee, including medical expenses, financial benefits, back pay, and lost wages. It’s critical to seek medical attention and report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Waiting too long to report the injury may result in a denial of workers' compensation benefits.
As an undocumented worker, you may be hesitant to file a Workers' Compensation Claim for fear of retaliation or deportation. New York State law prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees for filing a Workers' Comp Claim.
Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Workplace Accident
Construction sites in New York often hire third-party contractors for their projects. Sometimes these contractors or property owners are negligent or careless, which can lead to injuries for workers on the site. If you are an undocumented worker in NY and you suffered an injury on the job due to the negligence of a third-party contractor, your immigration status should not prevent you from seeking compensation. In this case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recover damages.
There are limitations to your right to sue. Firstly, the injury must have been caused by someone other than your employer or co-worker. Secondly, the documents you submitted to obtain work authorization must not contain any knowingly false statements made by you. But if these limitations do not apply to your case, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injury. If for some reason, you are not eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits, this option may prove valuable.
Don't Let Your Immigration Status Stop You from Seeking Compensation for Your Workplace Injuries
At The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, we believe that every worker, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has the right to fair compensation for their workplace injuries. If you have been hurt on the job as an undocumented worker in New York, don't let your employer take advantage of you.
Before you accept any cash offer or settlement, contact us for a free case evaluation. Our experienced legal team, led by top-rated personal injury attorney Michael Lamonsoff “The Bull,” will help you determine the true value of your case and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. We understand that navigating the legal system can be intimidating, especially for unregistered immigrants. We offer you a completely confidential and risk-free consultation. Make the right move and protect your rights. Call us today for a free case evaluation at 212-962-1020 or get in touch with us online.