Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims

Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims | California Assembly Bill 2159 provides that, in 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 | #KnowYourInjuryRights | Call  (619) 550-3617 to schedule your free consultation with a premier San Diego personal injury attorney.

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Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims

Immigration Status | Evidence Code

Enacted in August 2016, Section 351.2 of the California Evidence Code reads:

(a)  In a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, evidence of a person’s immigration status shall not be admitted into evidence, nor shall discovery into a person’s immigration status be permitted.

Effective 2016, the defense, in any personal injury can no longer divulge a claimant’s immigration status to a jury.

Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims

Practically speaking, defense counsel may now only inquire into a person’s immigration status if their inquiry is relevant to the issue at hand.  Relevant evidence includes any evidence relevant to the credibility of a witness that has any tendency to prove or disprove any disputed fact.  Cal. Evidence Code section 210

Example Scenario 1:  Luis is an undocumented person who was severely injured in a trucking accident. He is now in a wheelchair which makes traveling back home to Mexico, let alone anywhere, very hard. As part of his damages he claims a lost of enjoyment for being unable to see his wife back home (his wife is a Mexican national with no ability to come to the United States). Here, the court may allow defense counsel to inquire into Luis’ immigration status if only to discredit this loss of enjoyment claim (before the eyes of the court only).

Practice Point: In the above scenario it would of course be foolish to make such a loss of enjoyment claim when Luis had no ability to freely cross the border because of his immigration status.

Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims | Historically

Prior to Evidence C. sect. 351.2, a person’s immigration status could be divulged to a jury only if a judge determined, in private and away from the jury, that the injury claimant was indeed subject to deportation i.e. had not done anything to cure his immigration status since the date of their subject injuries.  If a person’s immigration status was allowed to be divulged to a jury, the person’s immigration status played heavily in determining future lost wages as well as future medical bills – as well as any other effects a victim’s status had on a juror’s preconceived biases.

Rodriguez v. Kline (1986) 186 Cal. App. 3d 1145:  If the court’s decision following a hearing is in the plaintiff’s favor, then all evidence relating to the injury victim shall be excluded and their projected earning capacity may be computed upon the basis of their past and projected future income in the United States.  Should the defendant prevail, then evidence of the plaintiff’s future earnings must be limited to those they could anticipate receiving in their country of lawful citizenship.

Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims | Future Economic Damages

Because of the new law then, there is no potential limiting factor in awarding future medical damages or future lost wages to an undocumented person.

Example Scenario 1 (cont’d.):  At the time of his trucking accident, Luis was 36 years old working as a dry-waller at $25.00 p/hr. He worked 40 hours a week. Since he is now in a wheelchair, he will no longer be able to work and has a future lost wage claim that will be determined by calculating his yearly wage (x) the number of year in his work life expectancy (-) discounted by present day value, which amounts to well over a million dollars – instead of hundreds/thousands and the backlash of a juror’s biases.

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Ordaz Law, APC | Immigration Status in Personal Injury Claims

Have you or a love one been an injury victim?  Do you feel like you are entitled to injury compensation for the pain and suffering you have suffered?  If your answer to both questions is yes, then it is time that you seek legal representation from a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer Based in central San Diego County, Juan J. Ordaz Jr. and his law office, Ordaz Law, APC, is always ready to help any individual and their families suffering from an injury producing incident that should never have happened in the first place. Read More

Free Consultations | No Recovery, No Fee

We believe that it is a necessity to represent people who have sustained traumatic and debilitating injuries, and suffered ultimate lossesCall (619) 550-3617 today so that we may schedule your free and discreet consultation with a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer.

We are for Justice no Matter Who it’s for or Against.

Learn More:

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Action?

What Should You Expect from Your Personal Injury Attorney?

What Should You Expect from Your Injury Lawsuit?

Will My Personal Injury Case Go To Trial or Be Settled?

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Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits

Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits | Have you been the victim of a cyberbully?  Or worse, is your child a victim of a cyberbully? #KnowYourInjuryRights.  Call  (619) 550-3617 to schedule your free consultation with a premier San Diego personal injury attorney.

  • Continue to read and learn more about Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits.

About Ordaz Law, APC – A San Diego Personal Injury Attorney, and his Distinguished Case Results.

We have recovered millions on behalf of accident injury victims.

Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits

Cyberbullying | Defined

Cyberbullying is the use of computers, cell phones and any other electronic device to intimidate or harass through text, instant messaging, email, etc. It is a willful and usually repeated act designed to inflict some type of harm on its victims.  According to bullyingstatistics.org, over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online. As of 2016, most every state had enacted anti-bullying laws however there is a variance in what is included, what is mandated and whether criminal and / or civil penalties apply.

School Cyberbullying | Fourth Amendment

Two federal circuit courts of appeal have held that cyberbully is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.  The Fourth Amendment protects a person’s freedom to express their views, even those repugnant to others.

Kowalski v. Berkeley County Schools (4th Cir. 2011) 652 F.3d 565: Court held that a school could regulate off-campus speech by determining that speech originating outside of the schoolhouse gate but directed at persons in school and received by and acted on by them at school, as in fact in-school speech. In that case, because it was in-school speech, its regulation would be permissible (as well as be considered vulgar and lewd). See also Wilson v. Lee’s Summit Sch. Dist (8th Cir. 2012) 696 F.3d 771.

Restatement of (Second) of Torts Section 316

“A parent is under a duty to exercise reasonable care so to control his minor child as to prevent it from intentionally harming others or from so conducting itself as to create an unreasonable risk of bodily harm to them, if the parent (a) knows or has reason to know that he has the ability to control his child, and (b) knows of or should know of the necessity and opportunity of exercising such control.”  The Restatement (Second) of Torts section 316.

  • Note: Restatements are not law. They are merely suggestions on the law.

Non-Statutory Parental Liability | California Law

California law mirrors the Second Restatement and holds that parents are responsible for the harm caused by their child when it has been shown that the parents previously became aware of habits or tendencies of the child which made it likely that that child would misbehave.  Reida v. Lund (1971) 18 Cal. App. 3d. 698.

Cyberbullying | Parent Responsibilities

At least one court has found that parents have an affirmative responsibility to supervise their minor children’s activities online.  In Boston, et al v. Athearn (Ga. Ct. App. 2014) 326 Ga. App. 890, the court concluded that parents could be held liable for negligence for failing to take reasonable action to prevent their child’s actions (creating a fake Facebook profile) from harming another.

Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits

Ordaz Law, APC

Cyberbullying, Teenagers and Civil Suits

Have you or a love one been a victim of a cyberbully?  Do you feel like you are entitled to injury compensation for the pain and suffering you have suffered?  If your answer to both questions is yes, then it is time that you seek legal representation from a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer Based in central San Diego County, Juan J. Ordaz Jr. and his law office, Ordaz Law, APC, is always ready to help any individual and their families suffering from an injury producing incident that should never have happened in the first place. Read More

Free Consultations | No Recovery, No Fee

We believe that it is a necessity to represent people who have sustained traumatic and debilitating injuries, and suffered ultimate lossesCall (619) 550-3617 today so that we may schedule your free and discreet consultation with a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer.

We are for Justice no Matter Who it’s for or Against.

Learn More:

Blog: Personal Injury

Blog: San Diego Personal Injury

Sources and Useful Links:
Social Media, Public Schools, and the Law

CACI 410. Parental Liability (Nonstatutory)

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