Disability Litigation

If you have recently become disabled due to an injury or illness, or have experienced discrimination due to a disability, you might feel powerless and distraught. However, there are laws in place to protect you. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and requires places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with the accessibility standards established by [the ADA].” This means that employers, businesses, and government services must be accessible to people with both physical and mental disabilities. Furthermore, the ADA prohibits employers from harassing and discriminating against disabled individuals who can perform the responsibilities of their job descriptions. 

What qualifies as a disability?

The ADA defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual.” A physical impairment is any medical disorder, condition or disfigurement affecting one of the body’s systems. A mental impairment, on the other hand, can be anything from an intellectual disability to organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or specific learning disabilities.

Examples of conditions that are impairments:

  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism
  • Asthma
  • Blindness and visual impairments
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hearing or speech impairments
  • Heart disease
  • Migraine headaches
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Complications from pregnancy
  • Thyroid gland disorders

Examples of conditions not considered to be impairments:

  • The flu
  • Minor and non-chronic gastrointestinal disorders
  • A broken bone that is expected to heal completely
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Pregnancy
  • Old age
  • Lack of education
  • Sexual orientation

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What counts as discrimination? 

Discrimination comes in many forms. The ADA ensures that individuals are not only treated fairly in the workplace but also that they have access to both commercial facilities and government services. For example, the act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations that allow a disabled person who is otherwise qualified for a position to complete his or her job. Furthermore, an employer may not ask job applicants about medical information or require a physical examination prior to offering employment. The ADA also mandates that all places generally open to the public, such as restaurants, movie theaters and schools, comply with ADA standards, i.e. have a wheelchair accessible design and accommodations for those with visual impairments. These ADA requirements also extend to government buildings and services.

How do I file a discrimination complaint?

If you believe that you or another individual have been discriminated against by an entity covered by the ADA, you may file a complaint with the Disability Rights Section (DRS) in the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, these claims are difficult to prove because there is rarely concrete evidence. An experienced attorney, however, can help you assess your situation and gather documentation. I have personally helped many individuals prove that they received unequal treatment due to their disabilities. No one should be harassed or discriminated against due to an impairment that is out of their control, and I am happy to seek justice for those who have been wronged because of a disability in any way.

Disability Litigation Lawyer in Colorado Springs

David Koppa helps individuals with disabilities seek justice in Colorado Springs. If you have suffered from discrimination due to a physical or mental impairment, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side so that you can obtain the accommodations you deserve.