Personal Injury Cases Brought by Undocumented Immigrants

Legal status can sometimes deter many people from starting a possible personal injury claim. Undocumented immigrants often avoid any type of confrontation with the law because of the fear of deportation. Many undocumented immigrants are unaware that they are able to bring their personal injury cases in Wisconsin with less fear of fear possible repercussions.  Although the fear of deportation is reasonable, there are many steps and precautions that can be taken in order to avoid this.

Currently, if an undocumented immigrant were to submit a civil suit, there is no governmental procedure that notifies U.S Immigration Customs (ICE). Also, there doesn’t appear to be a case in which ICE has sought an undocumented individual due to their involvement in a civil suit. If an undocumented immigrant wished to submit a personal injury claim, that should not be a motive to trigger deportation concerns.

ICE is not likely to respond to a report of an undocumented immigrant unless the individual has a criminal record, has been previously deported, or has previously had a visa violation. Although it is true that any individual reported as undocumented is subject to removal, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mandates the removal of undocumented immigrants who are either a threat to national security, border security, and public safety first. ICE tries to prioritize and ensure the removal of those individuals who are suspected terrorists, were apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally, or those individuals who were convicted of gang-related or felony crimes, before any other undocumented immigrants.

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has stated that an individual’s legal status has an “obvious and substantial prejudicial effect”, and has prohibited the verification of legal status at trial. If the immigration status of an individual is proved to be relevant, steps can still be taken to protect them, an individual can still prevent the disclosure of his/her immigration status such as a protective order.

In many cases, courts have denied defense requests to uncover information such as addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passports and also tax returns. If an individual is undocumented, it is recommended that the judge is alerted of potential prejudice as soon as possible. Open communication and careful preparation can go a long way in order to offer undocumented immigrants the opportunity to pursue their claims.


If you think you have been injured as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. at 877-375-7001 with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of someone else’s negligent actions. Our initial consultations are always free.  Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.  The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.