A Recent Victory for Undocumented Injured Victims: AB 2159 was approved and signed by Governor Jerry Brown on August 17, 2016. It essentially overturns about 30 years of case law that allowed defendants to escape paying full compensation to an injured victim who happened to be an illegal immigrant.
The bill states, “[I]n civil actions for personal injury or wrongful death, evidence of a person’s immigration status is not admissible and discovery of a person’s immigration status is not permitted [subject to other] standards of relevance, admissibility, or discovery under other specified provisions of law.”
Essentially what this means is that an illegal immigrant who is injured by the negligence of others can seek full compensation for his or her future wage loss based on what he would have made in the United States. This is very important because about 30 years ago, illegal immigrants in personal injury cases were dealt a severe blow in getting full compensation for their injuries. In Rodriguez v. Kline (1986) 186 Cal. App 3d 1145, the court held that an illegal immigrant in personal injury cases is only allowed to seek future wage loss based on what he would have made in his home country. This could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost because of the inequality of pay between his or her home country and the United States. Contact The Law Firm of R. Sam to learn more about undocumented injured victims.