Regardless of your citizenship status, you can pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering in all states. Furthermore, pursuing an insurance settlement will not negatively impact your legal status. You do not need a Social Security number, a driver’s license, or permanent resident status to file an insurance claim against a negligent driver. The rights and protections guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution apply to all people within the United States, citizens, and non-citizens alike.
If you have been in an accident, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are liable to compensate you for any damages. Furthermore, insurance companies cannot refuse to settle a personal injury claim based on an individual’s legal status. State laws do not allow discrimination against non-citizens or undocumented individuals seeking compensation for their injuries.
Car Insurance Requirements
Auto insurance is required for all drivers, including both citizens and non-citizens. Coverage is required to ensure those involved in auto accidents get the help they need. There are no restrictions placed on the type of insurance those with international licenses can purchase.
If English is not your first language, most insurance companies will have an on-staff translator you can talk to.
Right to Compensation and Medical Attention
Publicly funded hospitals have to provide emergency medical care to all patients regardless of their immigration or financial status. If the other driver was at-fault, their insurance will be liable to cover your medical bills. Additionally, if you decide to make a claim, receiving medical treatment as soon as possible will help you receive a higher settlement, and will lend credibility to your claim.
Constitutional Protections Extended to All
The Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection of the law to every person residing therein, regardless of their legal status. As a result, the states place no limitations on those who can file a lawsuit. Therefore, a lawsuit may still proceed even if the injured party is a non-citizen. A personal injury lawsuit can provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Furthermore, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies cannot search court documents for information regarding a person’s legal status.
You Do Not Need A Social Security Number to File A Claim
The lack of a Social Security number does not impact your right to make a personal injury claim. You do not have to provide a Social Security number in order to file a claim, even if the insurance company requests it.
An insurance company might ask for your Social Security number under the guise of Medicare reporting. However, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is sufficient to report Medicare coverage.
Further, insurance companies may tell you they cannot offer a settlement to anyone without a social security number. This is a lie, used to get you to drop your personal injury claim.
Insurance Company Scare Tactics
Insurance adjusters will try and intimidate you, in an effort to settle as minimally as possible. These tricks include: treating you poorly, in an attempt to frustrate you; threatening to report you to immigration authorities; or they may mislead you in other ways. However, these threats often do not result in any action, as it would be unethical, and would reflect poorly on the insurance company. Therefore, they likely will not file a report.
Steps to Take After an Accident
The steps to take after an accident are the same for everyone, regardless of legal status. If you have been in a severe accident call 911 immediately. If your accident was minor and no life-threatening injuries occurred you should still consider involving the police. Each state has its own laws regarding police involvement in car accidents; some states require police involvement in every auto accident regardless of the severity.
Filing a police report will establish the origin of the damage you are claiming and can help expedite your claim. When interacting with the police, do not provide false information, as this will damage your case. Furthermore, officers can’t discern legal status from your name.
You should notify your insurance after an accident, as your policy may cover a portion of your medical expenses. You should also call the at-fault driver’s insurance company and open a claim with them. The at-fault’s insurance company should provide compensation for medical bills and property damage.