A native of Honduras, our client migrated to the United States to provide her children and family with a better life. She was a mother of two who worked six days every week cleaning houses and Airbnb’s in Ulster County. She worked long days to help her working husband pay for a two-bedroom apartment in midtown Kingston. While our client was considered an undocumented immigrant, she did acquire from the Internal Revenue Service a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for the purpose of paying taxes on her wages.
The life of an undocumented immigrant is not an easy one. Many undocumented immigrants migrate to the United States to escape poverty, violence, or oppression in their native countries. The life they find here in the United States is perhaps safer, but their lives are not easy. “One cannot truly appreciate the isolation of an undocumented immigrant,” said attorney John A. DeGasperis. “These people live off the grid—and not because they prefer it—but there is no other way. They can’t get official identification. They can’t open bank accounts. They can’t get insurance. They don’t exist.”
The difficulties undocumented immigrants experience was recently illustrated in one of Attorney John A. DeGasperis’ personal injury cases. Our client was riding passenger in a SUV driven by her employer. They had worked a long day cleaning houses and Airbnb’s. They were on their way home when someone crossed over double yellow lines and crashed into their SUV head-on. John’s client, the undocumented immigrant, broke her leg in the accident and needed emergency surgery. This is when the nightmare began.
The injured woman spoke Spanish, not English. She did not know whether a local law firm would be able to help her due to the language barrier. Basch & Keegan was prepared to answer the call because the firm recently hired a woman who is fluent in Spanish. Together, John and his co-worker, Carolina, went to the injured woman’s home to educate her about her legal rights and to help guide her through the difficulties that lie ahead.
John’s client did not have a social security number. Consequently, her employer would not cooperate with the loss of wage claim. This meant John’s client had no income coming into the household while she recovered from surgery. Her situation looked grim because she had no income and was unable to provide for her family.
John knew he had to act fast. He quickly investigated the accident and acquired all the client’s medical records. He turned everything over to the negligent party’s car insurance company and lobbied for an efficient resolution to the case. His efforts proved successful because the insurance company tendered its full policy limits of $100,000 within weeks of the accident.
When the settlement money arrived, John’s client could not open a bank account to deposit her net proceeds because she did not have a social security number or proper identification. John worked with the woman and the firm’s bank to ensure that she would be able to cash the check and deposit the funds into her father’s bank account for safe keeping.
Once you retain Basch & Keegan for your personal injury lawsuit, you become family. Our attorneys are always here to help and will find you justice.