Getting into a car accident can be a harrowing experience, but when the other driver is an undocumented immigrant with no license and no insurance, it can take your breath away. What do you do when you are in a car accident with an undocumented immigrant? Read on to find out.
An Undocumented Immigrant Hit Your Car, Now What?
If you have been in a car accident with an undocumented immigrant you should proceed in the same manner you would in any other car accident. Write down the license plate of the car and get the other driver’s information once you have called the police. If you have a camera on your phone, take photos of the accident, damage, and a wide shot of where the accident happened. If the person does not have a driver’s license or insurance, get as much information as you can.
Call your own insurance company as soon as possible and explain the situation to them. You will need to file a claim so that your medical bills, property damage, and other expenses can be taken care of – provided they have insurance, or you have uninsured motorist on your coverage. However, it is in your best interest to get a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible because cases like this can be very complex and difficult.
Indiana Law as it Pertains to Undocumented Immigrants Who Drive
In short, an undocumented immigrant in Indiana cannot obtain a driver’s license and because of this, cannot get car insurance. Under Indiana law, a person must show proof of their name, date of birth, and provide their social security number in order to get a driver’s license. Furthermore, they must provide proof of lawful status in the U.S. and that they are Indiana residents.
An undocumented immigrant is not in the United States legally, so they cannot provide proof of lawful status in the U.S. If they can’t provide that proof, they are not eligible for a driver’s license. What’s more, if they do not have a valid driver’s license they cannot obtain car insurance. Most car insurance policies require the person to have a driver’s license.
Can You Sue an Undocumented Immigrant?
Immigration status has no bearing on a person’s ability to be sued – or to sue. Even undocumented immigrants have access to the judicial system and because of this can be sued. Collection of any awards may be a completely different issue.
A person who is hit by an undocumented immigrant should get an attorney as soon as possible. These types of cases can be very confusing and a personal injury attorney can help tremendously. The person may also file under their uninsured motorist coverage provision if they have it.
What Happens to the Undocumented Immigrant Who Hit You?
When an undocumented immigrant does something illegal, they are subject to the same laws and judicial system as a person who is a legal citizen or who is in the country legally. This means that they can be cited or even arrested for any laws that they break, including driving without a license and not having insurance. Their undocumented status does not have any bearing on their punishment for the driving offenses.
They can, however, be deported if they are in the country illegally. Still, this has nothing to do with the accident. The two situations are completely separate and unrelated.
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
It is always wise to prepare as much as possible for potential issues, especially if they can have a significant financial impact. Getting in an accident with an undocumented immigrant who has no driver’s license and no car insurance is one such issue. In Indiana, uninsured motorist bodily injury and uninsured motorist property damage are required but can be rejected in writing.
A person who is hit by an undocumented immigrant can file under their uninsured motorist coverage if they have it. In other words, it is a very good idea to have uninsured motorist for both bodily injury and property damage.
If you have been injured in an accident with an undocumented immigrant, you probably have a lot of questions. Not knowing is scary and if you are uncertain about how your medical bills and other expenses will get paid, it can lead to extreme anxiety. That kind of stress can actually slow your healing process and even exacerbate your pain, but we can help.
At Doehrman Buba we understand the anxiety, pressure, and pain that you may be feeling after an accident. Our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys will go to work for you to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today for a free case review. Don’t wait another day. Get the peace of mind you deserve. We’ll take it from here.