Can a Non-U.S. Citizen File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Ohio? | KNR
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
December 12, 2022

Non-citizens may wonder if they can file a lawsuit after an injury accident. Yes, non-citizens can file personal injury lawsuits in Ohio. In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s citizenship is unlikely to affect the lawsuit’s outcome.

Many personal injury claims do not even make it to court: they are resolved through the insurance claims process or through direct settlements between the parties. You should still work with a personal injury lawyer even if you don’t think your case is going to court.

Anytime you want to make a formal demand for compensation for an injury – be it a demand letter, a claim with an insurance company, or a lawsuit – a skilled Ohio personal injury lawyer can vastly improve your chances for success. Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick today at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation if you’ve been injured and need compensation.

What Damages Are Available to Undocumented Immigrants in Ohio?

Undocumented immigrants can file a personal injury claim and recover damages just like U.S. citizens. Their status as non-citizens cannot be used to deny a personal injury claim, especially when someone’s negligence leads to their damages.

Undocumented immigrants — like any injury victim — can seek damages and compensation for the following:

Injuries Caused by Accidents in Ohio

Personal injury is a broad practice area. The term covers several situations: car accidents, work-related injuries, or injuries on someone else’s property. These injuries can be traced back to someone’s negligent actions.

Several of these accidents can result in similar injuries, like:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Leg injuries
  • Burns
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Sprains
  • Paralysis

Options for Undocumented Immigrants after an Injury in Ohio

Undocumented immigrants often work jobs that put them at a high risk of injuries. Industries like construction, manufacturing, and agriculture can have severe or life-threatening injuries. An attorney can help someone who suffered work-related injuries with their claim.

Aside from work-related injuries, undocumented immigrants have the right to file a claim against any party who causes harm due to negligence. This applies to common personal injury claims against negligent parties involved in car accidents, product liability, premises liability, and more.

What to Do After an Accident as a Non-US Citizen

Dealing with an injury accident can be stressful for victims. Not only are you worried about your work and how to get better, but you may be concerned about your citizenship status. Rest assured that working with a lawyer can help you protect your chances at recovering damages, and also protect your residency status.

Here are critical steps to follow after an injury accident.

  • Seek medical attention: your first concern should be your health. Getting proper care can help you recover quickly, and you can secure evidence for an insurance claim.
  • Report the incident: whether you’re hurt at work or somewhere else, you should report your accident. Notify authorities, the property owner, or your supervisor.
  • Collect evidence: you should take pictures of your injuries and the area where they happened. If you were hurt in a car crash, pictures of the scene can be useful. Find witnesses if you can and collect their contact information.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Attorney: finding a personal injury attorney can be one of the most crucial steps in your recovery. You want to find someone who understands your circumstances and can help you pursue a claim without threatening your residency status.

Key Points to Remember About Citizenship and Personal Injury Claims

You might feel like a personal injury claim will threaten your residency in Ohio but remember: your immigration status should not affect your right to a personal injury claim. You won’t be deported if you file a personal injury claim.

However, there could be immigration issues that may affect your claim that you should remember, like:

The Defendant May Remove Your Case to Federal Court

You and your lawyer may look at all the facts and decide it’s better for you to file in state court. You would file the suit in Ohio if your injury occurred within the state or if that is where the business or individual who wronged you resides.

In response to your claim, the defendant may seek to remove the case to federal court to sway the odds in their favor.

The Defendant Might Argue that You Are Filing Your Claim in the Wrong Court

The once-obscure common law doctrine of forum non conveniens (meaning inconvenient or inappropriate forum) has gained popularity as a way for US-based defendants to avoid facing lawsuits filed by foreign plaintiffs or involving injuries that occurred outside of the United States. This tactic is popular in product liability and other tort claims against corporate defendants.

If you are a foreign national injured in your home country by an American-designed product, the defendant corporation may successfully have your case dismissed under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. You may still file a lawsuit in your home country, but it may be harder for you to get compensation there.

Don’t Lie to the Authorities

You might be worried about the repercussions of reporting your accident. In all your interactions with police, emergency responders, and insurance companies, remember that you need to be honest. Do not use fake names, fake documents, or lie to them.

These are all potential sources for your claim and for defense against deportation. You cannot give the person who caused your injury leverage to deny you compensation. Your attorney can help you protect yourself and your family.

FREE Consultations for Undocumented Immigrant Personal Injuries

Anyone hurt due to someone else’s negligence deserves to be made whole. If you’re a foreign national who has been injured in the United States, you should seek immediate professional assistance when hiring a personal injury lawyer — even if you are undocumented, you still have legal rights. Your immigration status does not bar you from filing suit. For more information, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us online.