Tragedy struck an Immigrant family in the Bronx By Michael Joseph on August 31, 2020

Our New York truck accident lawyers, who handle wrongful death cases, know the impact that a truck accident can have on a family. On August 6, 2020, two vehicles carrying a single family were struck by a truck upstate New York, Sunday night.  A mother and two her children are dead. Four other members are injured. The tight-knit family has roots in Trinidad and Guyana.

On August 6, 2020, the victims were killed when the car they were riding in was rear ended by a fast-moving tractor trailer near the Kingston exit on the New York State Thruway. Relatives in a second vehicle were injured. They were returning from a weekend upstate with family.

The family wants answers from state police investigators for the wrongful death of their family members in a truck accident, who may press criminal charges against the truck driver are a possibility. For now, they are planning a triple funeral and finding the strength in each other. Immigrants, properly or improperly documented, have the same rights as any other person in the United States to make a claim or sue to recover money damages for injuries sustained by reason of an accident caused by the negligence of another. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

Immigrants’ Rights are Confirmed by the Courts

In a case by the name of Balbuena v. IDR Realty, decided by New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, the plaintiff successfully argued for the overturning of the Appellate Division’s decision barring undocumented workers from recovering for certain categories of damages based upon their undocumented status. Our New York truck fatality lawyers have decades of experience in representing the immigrant community. The Court of Appeals’ decision, which confirmed the rights of undocumented workers to fully recover for their personal injuries, has been recognized by courts around the country, in many periodicals, and numerous scholastic and legal journals. If you are someone you know is an undocumented worker who has been injured, our NYC truck accident attorneys fight to preserve the rights of all undocumented workers and would like to have the opportunity to do so for you personally.


Immigration Status, Accidents or Injuries, and Your Rights

Let’s look at a typical situation, in which a person whose immigration status is questionable is involved in an accident and is injured in New York. This person may be working or not working, and is without adequate documentation. The immigrant worker could be crippled, disabled and confined to a hospital.

Furthermore, he or she is probably without income, being harassed by bill collectors, unable to speak English, and tragically unaware that he has the right to retain a lawyer who can secure all of the same benefits that a US citizen is entitled to under the same circumstances. Immigrant workers in this situation are often gripped by a powerful fear that making a claim will result in immediate deportation. However, the fact of the matter is, that as explained above, such a fear is far from the truth.


The Supreme Court of the United States, the highest Court in this land and charged with interpreting the Constitution, has ruled that all persons, including immigrants ( legal or illegal), have the right to sue and recover money damages in all United States Courts.

Court Examples of Aliens who Have Received Money Damages for Injuries due to Accidents or Negligence

In a reported case, an illegal alien was injured as the result of a fall on a defective stairway in an apartment building, sustaining very severe injuries. The owner of the building argued in the State Court that since the tenant was in the country illegally, he was not entitled to sue and recover a money award. The Court ruled favorably on behalf of the injured alien. This Court was required to follow the holding of the Supreme Court that illegal aliens were protected by the law and could not be discriminated against.

This protection applies to lawsuits to recover an award for personal injuries and wrongful death, on behalf of the Estate of an alien whose death is caused by reason of the negligence of another. A lawsuit may be successfully brought in the United States to recover for the wrongful death of an undocumented alien, even though none of his family or relatives reside here. Usually, the lawyer who is retained can arrange for the appointment of a proper person to represent the interests of the immediate family, without any monetary loss to the heirs.

It has been our experience that the fear of deportation resulting from the bringing a lawsuit to recover money damages is unwarranted. Furthermore, it is our judgment that it has never been established that there is any link between bringing a claim and subsequent action taken by immigration authorities against an undocumented alien.

If you or a member of your family are undocumented and have been injured by reason of a accident, your right to make a claim is protected by Law. Call our New York Truck accident lawyers experienced in handling truck accident cases as soon as possible.


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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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