Construction Site Injuries to Undocumented Workers
New York City is home to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. Many of these individuals work in the construction industry. Undocumented workers are just as much at risk of being involved in harmful accidents as other construction workers. What complicates matters, however, is that undocumented workers often do not understand their legal rights.
Being an undocumented construction worker in New York City does not exclude you from basic rights and protections. You may still be eligible for financial compensation through the workers’ compensation program and/or a personal injury lawsuit. For more information about your rights after an injury suffered at a construction site as an undocumented worker, contact Torgan Cooper + Aaron for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Employment Rights of Undocumented Construction Workers
You are protected by the same laws that protect documented workers as an undocumented immigrant working in New York. Although your employer may lie and tell you otherwise, you have basic protections, including the ability to seek financial compensation for a construction site injury. All employers must protect undocumented workers in the same way in which they protect other employees.
The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that state labor laws apply to both documented and undocumented workers. This means you have the same worker rights as U.S. citizens who works in the construction industry. The Court of Appeals held that an employer’s willingness to hire an undocumented immigrant makes that employer liable for providing workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an occupational injury or illness.
Do Undocumented Immigrants Get Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, undocumented immigrants in New York are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The law may entitle you to reimbursement for your medical bills, missed wages, permanent or temporary disability costs, and other losses through New York’s workers’ compensation program. This is an insurance program that all employers in the State of New York are required to have.
To obtain workers’ compensation insurance benefits, you do not have to prove fault or negligence. Negligence is any careless or reckless act that injures others, such as a construction company failing to provide proper protective gear to workers. It is not a requirement to prove negligence to be eligible for workers’ comp as an undocumented worker. Instead, you or your lawyer will only need to establish that you suffered an injury or illness while on the job.
Can You Be Deported for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim or Lawsuit?
No, you cannot be deported for filing a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit as an undocumented construction worker. The law protects you and your family from deportation and other negative ramifications for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this does not stop many employers from telling undocumented workers that they are prohibited from applying for workers’ comp or threatening to report them to immigration services if they file claims. These are illegal actions that you should not tolerate. Work with an experienced attorney in New York City for assistance with your case.
Why You Need a Construction Accident Attorney in New York City
If you were injured in a fall, scaffold accident, machinery incident or any other type of construction accident in New York City as an undocumented worker, hire an attorney to protect your rights. You may be dealing with complications such as an employer that is breaking the law or a language barrier. An attorney can help you with every stage of your workers’ compensation claim or construction accident lawsuit for the best possible outcome. An attorney won’t allow anyone to take advantage of you or infringe upon your rights, including your employer or insurance companies.
Some verdicts and settlements we’ve obtained for our clients:
- $11.9 million settlement for an undocumented construction worker after falling from a ladder, causing spinal injury
- $2.8 million settlement for an undocumented construction worker who was not given proper safety harness while working on a hanging scaffold
- $2.8 million for a construction site supervisor that fell from an extension ladder
- $2.7 million settlement for a 17-year-old immigrant who fell off a defective scaffold and struck his head on the ground cement below
Injured as an Undocumented Construction Worker in NYC? Our Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the job as an undocumented construction worker in New York City, please don’t hesitate to contact Torgan Cooper + Aaron for a free case review. We have been representing individuals and families, including undocumented immigrants, since our law firm was founded in 1987. We understand the unique laws that apply to you and how best to protect your rights during a construction accident claim in NYC.
Find out how we can help you and your family today. Request your free consultation by messaging us online or calling (212) 232-2500 to speak directly to one of our attorneys.