Maritime employers hire a wide range of workers who come from all over the world and who have different immigration statuses. Employees may be citizens, permanent residents or here on a temporary worker visa. Some workers may not have legal status, at all, having crossed the border without a visa or possessing an expired visa.
If you were injured while working at sea, you may not be denied the right to seek recovery, regardless of your immigration status. The matter may not even come up during proceedings.
If you are a maritime worker who has been injured on the job, an experienced maritime lawyer at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski can represent you, regardless of your immigration status. While we do not practice immigration law, we are well-versed in representing all types of people in their recovery efforts for injuries that occurred on ships, in harbors and while otherwise performing job duties. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation.
We represent clients throughout the Pacific Northwest, including federal courts in Washington, California, Alaska and Oregon.
Legal permanent residents have most of the same rights and privileges as U.S. citizens. This includes the right to file a lawsuit if injured at the workplace. A person who is a lawful permanent resident is a person who possesses a “green card.” You may be a permanent resident if you possess any of these visas:
A person with a temporary worker visa, or nonimmigrant visa, has a permit to work in the United States for a certain period of time. These include:
If you are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa based on employment, you may be concerned that if you file suit you will lose your job and therefore your legal status. However, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a lawsuit for an injury incurred on the job. If you are in the United States on a temporary worker visa, you have a right to file suit should you suffer injury on the job.
If you entered the country without legal permission, you had a visa but it has expired, or you had a visa for something other than work, then you do not have legal status to work in the United States. However, that does not mean you do not have rights.
If you are in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, you still have the right to file a lawsuit and recover if you were injured on the job due to the negligence or wrongful acts of your employer or the vessel owner.
You may be concerned that filing suit will trigger removal actions. There is no guarantee that you will not be deported after filing a lawsuit. However, a University of Illinois study over a 10-year period found that few courts acted on immigration matters when the plaintiff did not have legal status. If you have questions, your best strategy is to discuss these matters with an experienced attorney.
At Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, we are here to serve maritime workers injured on the job, regardless of their immigration status. If you have any questions about your right to file a lawsuit or the consequences a lawsuit might have, talk to a skilled maritime injury lawyer before you make any decisions. Contact us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation.
This article was last updated on Monday, July 9, 2018.
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