In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. This legislation affords numerous legal protections to Americans with disabilities, although its broadest protections concern anti-discrimination in employment and accessibility requirements for public accommodations. Since the ADA was passed, many states have expanded the formal, legal rights of persons with disabilities. In the event that someone’s rights under federal and state law have been infringed upon, state law generally serves as the governing authority as long as that state’s laws are more expansive than federal protections.
When people with disabilities are discriminated against, they also – all too often – suffer physical harm as a result of their mistreatment. In the event that someone’s rights are violated and they are injured as a result, they may be in a position to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold responsible parties accountable for their harm. In the event that they do not suffer physical injuries, they may be in a position to file a complaint with a federal agency – such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – or to file a discrimination-based lawsuit that isn’t governed by personal injury standards.
Regardless of the specific opportunities for recourse made available under someone’s unique circumstances, it is important to understand that persons with disabilities are legally protected and can generally seek justice in the event that their rights have been violated.
Duty of Care Owed to Persons with Disabilities
As an experienced Oregon civil rights injury lawyer – including those who practice at Andersen Morse & Linthorst – can confirm, many “ordinary” kinds of personal injury scenarios can be complicated by the reality of someone’s disability. For example, property owners are ordinarily bound to have reasonable knowledge of any dangerous or defects on their property and to take steps to remedy the risk of harm associated with those challenges. Yet, when property managers take such steps, they don’t always have persons with disabilities in mind. Therefore, they may remain vulnerable to legal liability by only taking reasonable steps to mitigate risk for able-bodied persons but not persons with disabilities.
Essentially, persons with disabilities may be in unique positions to seek justice and compensation in situations that wouldn’t “hold up in court” for able-bodied people. Additionally, people with disabilities may be able to sue those who target them for harm specifically as a result of their disabilities. Depending on where a victim lives and what their state laws are, they may even be able to pursue special remedies related to being the victim of a hate crime.
Connect with a Reputable Civil Rights Injury Attorney To Learn More
If you or a loved one has been discriminated against as a result of disability or has been harmed by others due to a disability, it’s important to connect with an attorney to explore your legal rights and opportunities for recourse. Depending on the nature of your unique circumstances, you could be owed considerable compensation at this time.