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New California Law Allows Undocumented Immigrants to Receive Damages Based on U.S. Earning Potential

Posted on in Personal Injury

Now in California, if you are an undocumented immigrant who was injured in an accident, judges and juries can no longer base your damage award of future income loss and future medical loss on your immigrant status. Instead, an injured undocumented immigrant will be compensated based on the wages that could have been earned in the country where he or she lives, not based on citizenship. This is an important step forward in helping injured victims following an accident.

Details of the New Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 2159 into law, which effectively overruled a 30-year-old case, Rodriguez v. Kline. This case required that a damage award for an undocumented plaintiff's future earnings be limited to those the person could anticipate receiving in his or her country of lawful citizenship. Typically, the future loss of income award would be smaller when based on potential earnings made in another country rather than in California.

The bill was sponsored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who stated: "This legislation simply ensures that when you injure people here, you'll be held accountable for the damage done in California."

What Is "Future Income Loss"?

Future income loss is a typical part of a damage award determined by a judge or jury after a finding of liability has been made. Other parts of a damage award in California may include:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Damages are awarded to compensate for injuries sustained in an accident where the injured person is not at fault Specifically, future loss of income seeks to compensate an accident victim for income lost because he or she cannot work due to the injury.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

While calculating lost wages may seem like a straightforward task, many times expert opinions are needed in order for the victim to receive all damages to which they may be entitled. It is important to talk to a lawyer before accepting any settlement offers that may not take into consideration damages such as loss of future income.

The San Jose personal injury attorneys at Jachimowicz Law Group, Attorneys at Law, Inc. are experienced legal professionals and have helped many receive full compensation for their injuries. Contact us if you have been injured and believe you are owed damages such as loss of future income. We can evaluate your case and determine what your next steps might be. Call 408-246-5500 today for a free consultation.

Source:

http://asmdc.org/members/a80/news-room/press-releases/assembly-approves-gonzalez-bill-to-provide-fair-civil-awards-to-people-regardless-of-immigration-status

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