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Should I Hire a Civil Rights Lawyer?

Sarah Edwards | November 22, 2022

Summary: You should seek legal assistance whenever you feel someone has egregiously violated your civil rights. Since civil rights law is complex, a civil rights lawyer can evaluate your case to determine whether the party in question broke civil rights laws and help you weigh your options for pursuing damages.

The United States has a long history of defending the rights of its citizens, especially those facing discrimination due to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, or religion. But despite the many protections available through civil rights laws, many people regularly face discrimination, especially regarding employment, housing, and police conduct.

If someone has actively discriminated against you because of a factor you can’t control, like your race or gender, you may have grounds for a potential civil rights lawsuit. And if you’ve suffered a loss due to discrimination, like the opportunity for a job or a new place to live, you may be eligible to recover damages. To do so, you’ll need to file a lawsuit.

What is a civil rights lawsuit?

People file civil rights lawsuits when they believe they’re the subject of discrimination or when someone takes away their right to protect or defend themselves.

A civil rights lawsuit may consider protections established in the Bill of Rights or Constitution or look at more recent legislation, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Who can file a civil rights lawsuit?

Anyone can file a civil rights lawsuit if they believe someone has unfairly violated their rights. They can file a legal claim on their own or with the assistance of a civil rights lawyer. In most cases, it’s best to seek qualified representation, especially if the violator has their own legal team.

What are examples of disability civil rights violations?

People with disabilities often face discrimination in employment and housing, particularly if they have a visible, identifiable disability.

Under federal law, employers must accommodate employees with disabilities. For instance, most workplaces must include bathrooms suitable for employees using wheelchairs or walkers.

Employers also can’t discriminate against job applicants with disabilities — they must reasonably consider all applicants who can perform the job, regardless of their medical condition.

If an employee has a disability, employers can’t make derogatory comments about their condition to others. By doing so, they violate civil rights laws and give the employee justification for filing a legal claim against them.

What are examples of gender civil rights discrimination?

Gender civil rights are an ongoing topic, especially in the workplace and education.

There are specific laws in place preventing employers from paying female workers less than their male counterparts when they perform the same duties. Additionally, employers must be open to qualified applicants for all roles, regardless of their gender.

In recent years, discrimination against people who identify as transgender has become more common. Like all other American citizens, transgender people have certain protections designed to safeguard them from discrimination.

What are examples of racial civil rights discrimination?

Discrimination concerning race has a long, fraught history in the United States. African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics are just a few of the groups who have fought hard battles to gain rights equal to those who identify as white.

Despite all the laws that guarantee equal rights regardless of race, problems continue to exist.

Of particular concern is police brutality. In recent years, several high-profile instances of violent police overreach have highlighted concerns about the excessive use of force by police officers.

Police brutality is a particularly flagrant and reprehensible example of a civil rights violation. Such violations often lead to protests, which can in turn result in riots.

When should I hire a civil rights lawyer?

You should seek legal assistance whenever you feel someone has egregiously violated your civil rights. A civil rights lawyer can evaluate your case to determine whether the party in question broke civil rights laws and help you weigh your options for pursuing damages.

Civil rights law is complex, involving various federal laws and regulations in addition to applicable state or local statutes. If you’ve suffered severe damage due to having your rights violated, you’ll want to work with someone who’s familiar with the law and can fairly represent you.

The restitution available in a civil rights case will vary depending on your losses. In work-related cases, a judge may order your employer to reinstate your position or increase your pay to match that of your colleagues.

You can request special payments known as damages for non-economic damages, like emotional pain and suffering, reputational damage, or loss of quality of life. A court may also award punitive damages to the plaintiff, in particular egregious examples of civil rights violations.

Schedule a consultation with a civil rights lawyer if you believe you’ve suffered losses as a result of a civil rights violation. Most lawyers offer free consultations, which can help determine whether you should pursue a legal claim.

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