How to File a Disability Lawsuit [2024] Staff Profile Picture
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Disability discrimination lawsuits step in when folks with disabilities face unfair treatment or exclusion. These cases are often called “charges” when they kick off through agencies like the EEOC. In 2020, nearly 36% of all charges filed with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) were related to disabilities.

To file a charge, you put together a formal complaint, spelling out the discrimination and giving all the details. Then, the agency looks into it, trying to find a solution, maybe through mediation or settlement talks. If things don't get resolved, they’ll give you the green light to file a lawsuit in federal court.

These lawsuits are a big deal. They make sure everyone, no matter their ability, gets a fair shake. They’re all about holding organizations accountable for following laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. They’re a crucial part of keeping things fair and just for folks with disabilities.

Where Do I Start?

Talk to an attorney

If you’re considering a disability lawsuit, consulting with a disability attorney is a smart move. They can evaluate your case, provide expert advice, and help you figure out the best way forward.

Putting together your complaint

Writing your complaint

This is where you put your experience down on paper. You’ll write up a formal complaint detailing the discrimination you’ve faced and explain how your rights were violated.

Choosing the right court

Depending on the type of discrimination, your complaint will be filed in either a federal or state court. Federal courts handle cases that involve breaking federal disability laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Starting the discrimination charge

Filing with EEOC or a state agency

For workplace-related disability discrimination, you first need to file a charge with either the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency that handles these matters. This step is necessary before moving on to a lawsuit.

Investigations and discussions

The EEOC or a state agency will look into your charge, and they might suggest mediation or talk to both sides to try and find a resolution.

Timing and waiting

Don’t miss the deadline

It’s very important to file your discrimination charge within a specific time frame. Usually, you’ve got 180 days from when the discrimination happened. Some states give you up to 300 days.

EEOC’s timeline

On average, it takes the EEOC about 10 months to process a charge. But keep in mind this can vary based on how complicated your case is and how busy the agency is.

Getting the green light to sue

Receiving the Right to Sue Letter

Once the EEOC finishes their investigation, they’ll send you a Right to Sue Letter. This gives you the go-ahead to file a lawsuit in federal court if that’s what you decide.

Handling a disability lawsuit and launching a discrimination charge involves following legal steps and timelines. Speaking with an attorney and understanding the process is crucial for a successful outcome.

What information Do I Need To Include in My Complaint?

In your complaint, you must include essential details. This encompasses a clear description of the discrimination you’ve experienced, specifying dates, locations, and parties involved. Highlight any relevant laws or regulations that have been violated. Additionally, state how this discrimination has impacted you, both emotionally and materially. Provide any supporting evidence or documentation to substantiate your claims. To enhance your application, include comprehensive medical records detailing the extent of your disability, a detailed work history indicating job duties and limitations, and statements from healthcare providers or vocational experts affirming your condition. Clarity and thoroughness in presenting this information are key to a successful complaint or application.

Why Do I Need a Disability Attorney for My ADA Complaint?

Engaging a disability attorney is crucial for an ADA complaint as they bring expertise in navigating complex legal procedures. They comprehend the nuances of ADA regulations, ensuring your complaint is well-structured and backed by solid evidence. Attorneys can assess the strength of your case, guide you on the appropriate legal steps, and represent you effectively, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

A disability attorney is your dedicated advocate in the pursuit of disability benefits. They excel in compiling essential medical evidence, work history, and other pertinent information, constructing a compelling case. Attorneys act as a liaison with the Social Security Administration, managing all communications, addressing inquiries, and representing you in hearings or appeals. Their expertise significantly enhances the chances of a successful outcome, ensuring you receive the benefits you rightfully deserve.

Legal Resources

The National Disability Rights Network

This organization provides advocacy, legal resources, and support for individuals with disabilities. They have a network of protection and advocacy systems in each state, offering legal assistance and information to those facing disability-related challenges.

Disability Rights Legal Center

The DRLC is a non-profit organization that is committed to upholding the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. They have a track record of securing significant wins in court. These successes serve to safeguard and enhance the rights of individuals, ultimately working towards eliminating discrimination and other legal barriers. Disability Attorney Directory

If you’re ready to talk to a legal professional, we’ve got you covered. Find a reputable disability attorney through our online disability attorney directory today. 

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