Can Non-Citizens Get a Fair Trial in a Personal Injury Case in Georgia?

Key Points:

  • A person’s status as an immigrant, or even an undocumented immigrant, is usually inadmissible evidence in a personal injury case. This means the jury usually cannot be told that you are not a citizen of the United States.
  • An injury trial outcome that is influenced in any unfair way based upon a plaintiff or defendant’s race, religion, country of residence or birth, or financial status is not a fair trial.
  • Having an experienced personal injury lawyer is critical for any non-citizen who has been injured.

If you have immigrated to the United States you may already know that you have the right to bring a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit. But are you worried that the Judge and Jury are going to treat you unfairly because you are a new immigrant? Or, maybe you are here illegally and are worried that a Jury may not want to make a fair award in your case?

With knowledge of the law in Georgia and the right lawyer, you can rest easier. Georgia’s courts have ruled over and over that a person’s status as an immigrant or even an undocumented immigrant is usually inadmissible evidence in a personal injury case. What this means is that in the trial of a personal injury case the Jury usually cannot be told you are an immigrant, even if you or a family member or loved one are newly in the USA or are here temporarily or illegally.

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Immigration Status Should Not Decide the Outcome of an Injury Case

If you or a loved one are injured from an accident and are not a citizen of the United States your immigration status is usually not relevant to whether you are entitled to receive compensation for your injury. For this reason, the Courts generally exclude this fact so that your status does not affect the outcome of the case. A motion can be filed before trial requesting that immigration status does not become part of the evidence in the case.

An Undocumented Immigrant Can Have a Fair Car Accident Injury Trial -Even Without a Drivers License

The most common accident is a car accident. Many undocumented immigrants will drive with no drivers license and car insurance. This can result in criminal penalties at the scene of an accident, but it can’t stop an immigrant from having a fair car accident trial. It is too often falsely assumed that because of the criminal penalties that they have no case, that is not true. If a person is injured because of the negligence of the other driver, they have a good chance of a case. A drivers license is not critical for a personal injury lawsuit.

Georgia’s Trial History of Excluding Immigration Status

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The Georgia Court system has a history of excluding the immigration status of a plaintiff. In 1994 the Supreme Court of Georgia held that the party’s immigration status was not inadmissible (not relevant) in Sandoval v. State, 264 Ga. 199 (2004).

And, more recently in the 2007 case of Junior v. State, 282 Ga. 689 (2007) the Georgia Supreme Courts again ruled that immigration status was not relevant and allowed a victim to refuse to answer questions about immigration status.

These are just a few examples of cases in which Georgia Courts have ruled that when immigration status is not relevant in a case, held against the victim.

Equality is Critical in the Georgia Court Room for a Fair Trial

For justice to truly be served in the Georgia court system all persons deserve a fair trial. A fair trial is dependent upon an outcome that is based solely upon admissible evidence. An injury trial outcome that is influenced in any unfair way based upon a plaintiff or defendant’s race, religion, country of residence or birth, or financial status is not a fair trial.

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Legal or Not a Legal Citizen: It’s Not Relevant in an Injury Lawsuit

Having a good personal injury lawyer by your side is critical when you’re an immigrant that has been injured. Even when immigration status has been ruled to not be relevant, opposing legal teams may try to find ways to educate the Jury about immigration status by asking questions like how long you have been in the USA or how long you have been driving or licensed in America. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer can prevent unfair questions like these from being asked of injury victims. At The Millar Law Firm, we fight for fair trials, and we fight to prevent unfair trial tactics, so that our clients cases are tried fairly and on the evidence.

Your immigration status should not get in the way of a fair settlement or trial in your injury case. compensation from an accident. Our experienced lawyers are ready to win your case today.  Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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