An undocumented immigrant was involved in a car accident. The other person caused the accident, and his insurance has accepted liability. Now the insurance company is asking for the injured person's social security number for medicare purposes. Can the immigrant still recover damages for their medical care from the other insurance company even if they don't have a social security number?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
The short answer is yes. The legal status of the plaintiff does not affect that person's right to be compensated for personal injuries. He/she is entitled to non-economic damages and economic damages which would include past and future medical expenses.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
The answer to your question is yes. In fact, there is a form that the insurance company can provide to the claimant which has a box on the first page that the claimant can check-off indicating that he/she is not and has not received Medicare benefits. Then, on the second page of this form, there is a place for the claimant to sign stating that he/she declines to give their social security number. With all of that said, though, this individual should really consider consulting with a local attorney before dealing any further with the insurance carrier.
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This is not an immigration question. It is very state specific.
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Not an immigration law question.
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
Yes they can. Immigration status will not affect recovery of special and general damages, but may affect recovery of future loss of earnings if there is such claim. In that case loss of future earnings cannot be calculated/projected based on US earnings. In other words, if injured party cannot demonstrate that he or she is legally allowed to work for compensation in the United States, he or she will not be entitled to future earnings based on U.S. wages.
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
In most cases, status is not relevant to whether they suffered injuries or damage as a result of the negligence of another automobile driver. Most insurance companies require social security numbers to do checks on claimants and to verify with medicare. Unless the injury claimant provides this, there may be an issue with settlement of the injury claim. Call a local accident attorney for legal help.
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Almost every court will exclude from evidence the fact a person is undocumented. You should hire an attorney to represent you and work through these issues. It should be handled the same way as if you were a tourist from Canada who also does not have an United States SS#.
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Yes, they can still collect money for general damages (such as pain and suffering), however some types may be limited or unavailable to them as a result of legal status. Have this person speak with an attorney right away to guide them through the process.
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Yes, you can!
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Car accident injury damages are separate into two groups - Economic Damages and Non-economic Damages. Your question specifically asks about "medical damages" which most attorneys associate with medical bills. The cost of reasonable treatment necessitated by injuries from a car accident is an Economic Damage. Almost always, Economic Damages are recoverable even in Prop 213 claims (such as where the victim was without auto liability insurance). So, if you meant 'Can the undocumented victim recover the cost of medical treatment, then the answer is yes. If you meant, can this victim also recovery Non-economic Damages for 'pain & suffering' then the answer is still yes but the analysis is different. The victim is only asking for the same treatment provided to the community's citizens as allowed by that community's court. If a US tourist went to France and was hit by a motorcar while crossing the street there, the US tourist could not bring the action back to the US. However, shouldn't that tourist at least get the same fair treatment in France that the French provide in their community? Of course. As a result, the undocumented immigrant has the same rights afforded to citizens in the community where the accident happened. For this reason, citizenship is irrelevant to the issue of recovery and why this issue is commonly suppressed by the court at the time of trial. Yet, since federal law mandates that MediCare obtains a reimbursement from car accident claims for any treatment costs paid by MediCare, compliance with this law makes the social security number and citizenship relevant to how a claim's settlement is processed.
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