A recent article in the New York Times highlights the importance in seeking compensation following an accident or injury sustained on the job, even if the injured worker fears deportation. In the past month, three illegal immigrants injured in construction accidents in New York were awarded settlements totaling $3.85 million, reports the Times.
One workers’ compensation lawyer who represented the workers pointed out that their immigration status is irrelevant to their injuries and does not mitigate their right to seek redress. The worker receiving the largest settlement of the three was a Mexican plumber who was scalded in an accident involving an exploding pipe in 2004. The worker settled hi damage claim for $2.5 million.
Another worker, a 52-year-old Mexican worker, received $750,000 after a steel beam fell on his foot in 2004. And a 36-year-old Ecuadorean worker settled for $600,000 after sustaining a fractured hip and other injuries when three 200-pound tresses collapsed on him. These cases should serve as a reminder to other undocumented workers that they do not need to suffer abusive employment practices in silence.