Often in the aftermath of major accidents like the recent train crash at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a number of lawsuits are filed. Workers who might have been injured on the job can file a claim under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, and injured customers and bystanders may file premises liability or personal injury lawsuits.
Generally, under United States law, injured persons are allowed to be compensated for losses caused by responsible parties. Sometimes, as in the case of workers’ compensation, there are specific guidelines spelled out in a state statute; these steps must be followed before the injured can recover. Other instances of injury may require a civil action lawsuit where a plaintiff, or injured party, files an action in the local courthouse, showing that he or she suffered damages and that the defendant was responsible. If the judge or jury is convinced, then the court enters an order requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff some amount of money that might compensate him for the loss.
Can Immigrants Sue to Recover for Their Injuries?
Usually, yes. Generally, both legal immigrants and undocumented aliens may initiate an action in US courts. This makes sense because by being here and engaging in business in the United States – even tourism – you are availing yourself to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. In other words, when you are in the U.S. you can be sued in the U.S., so it is only fair to let you sue as well. Again, this is a general rule. There are a number of specific procedural rules in the courts that may apply differently to particular situations.
Reportedly, 33 people were injured in the crash at O’Hare. Chicago is an international city, and the airport is one of its most diverse places, so there is a good chance an immigrant may have been involved in the accident. Nationwide, the immigrant population is growing, and in 2011 an estimated 13%, or 40 million, of the people in the United States were immigrants. It is helpful for these participants in our society to understand the basics of tort law in the case of an accident.
The underlying principle governing the compensation after accident cases is negligence. There are three basic elements to recovering in a negligence action:
In the United States, individuals and organizations (a company or government) must act with reasonable care with regard to people or property that they might foreseeably injure. Car and train accidents are easy examples because there are so many foreseeable victims - other drivers on the road or passengers in the car. Thus, when a person driving a car, or a train, is careless, it is foreseeable that people will be injured. These innocent victims should be allowed to be compensated from the careless parties for the damages they have suffered.
If you have questions about whether you may utilize the court system to recover from an injury, or if you have been hailed into court and need a defense, contact an experienced Chicago Immigration attorney at Mevorah Law Offices LLC.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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