Foreign non-EU immigrants living and working in Greece, whether legally or even without the necessary entrance and residence documentation, have civil rights, which they often do not know, but also serious and imminent problems and difficulties, the handling of which requires special knowledge and experience.
Being in close contact and collaboration with foreign countries’ Embassies in Greece, the nationals of which represent the majority of the labor immigrants in our country (Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Pakistan, Afghanistan, African states and others), our firm is particularly sensitive towards the problems of these persons and to the hardships they have to go through and we have thus dedicated a great part of our practice to the protection and defense of their rights.
It is essential for third-country citizens living and working in Greece to realize that, according to our Constitution and Laws, they have the same rights to compensation in almost any case of personal injury as Greek citizens. In cases of work-related accidents, road traffic accidents, injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice or by way of consuming a defective product or otherwise, the law does not examine whether the third-country citizen possesses a valid work and/or residence permit. The same applies to the majority of labor related rights.
Fatal Road Traffic Accident of illegal immigrant immediately after his entry into the Greek Territory
A foreign illegal immigrant entered the northern borders of Greece escaping the border control, since he did not possess the required legal documents of identification and permits. He was offered a lift to the next town by a private car which he hitch-hiked after he had entered the Greek territory, but a few minutes later the car crashed into another vehicle and the foreign immigrant was killed. An action for compensation of the family of the victim was filed in Greek Courts against both cars’ insurance companies, based on the fault/negligence of both drivers and the illegal immigrant’s family, consisting of parents and a number of brothers and sisters, living in a village of a foreign country. All the aforementioned relatives of the deceased illegal immigrant were awarded substantial amounts as recovery for their mental pain and sorrow for the loss of their beloved relative. The Court never examined whether the victim was legally staying in Greece.
Work-Related Accident Suffered by a Third-Country Construction Worker Lacking Legal Entrance and Residence Documents
A third-country citizen was working in the construction of a building, without possessing a residence/work permit and as a result not enjoying social security that would provide him with pension in case of disability resulting from an accident. The construction worker was severely injured when he fell from the third floor while carrying heavy loads and despite surgeries and medical treatment he became totally and permanently disabled for work. He and his family (wife and minor children back in his country) were left with no means of living whatsoever. A claim was raised against the employer for failing to observe and maintain standards of safety in the enterprise and the foreign worker was awarded a significant compensation.