ADA Access Lawyers
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What Is ADA Access?
The term "ADA access" usually refers to a business establishment’s ability to accommodate persons with disabilities. The ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which requires businesses and public places to be accessible for disabled persons. Under the law, "public accomodations" need to be made in order to ensure that all persons can freely access and use business establishments. These include:
- Installing wheelchair ramps and other similar entrances
- Providing handicap parking spaces in parking lots
- Ensuring that restroom facilities are accessible and can accommodate those with disabilities
- Installing handrails and widening pathways in some areas
- Any other arrangements which might be necessary to cover disability issues
The ADA also contains other provisions related to the accommodation of persons with disabilities in the workplace. That is, employers have additional duties to comply with ADA requirements for workers, in addition to the patrons who visit their business.
Where Is ADA Access Required?
ADA access and accommodation requirements generally apply to public areas, or areas that are frequently visited by people. These include restaurants, stores, malls, office spaces, movie houses, public restrooms, sidewalks, and public parks. Also, individual accommodations may be required under special circumstances, depending on the nature of the venue and the needs of the community. For instance, special accommodation may be needed for disability issues regarding public transportation.
What Are Some Consequences of ADA Violations?
An ADA access violation can result in several unwanted and negative consequences for businesses. These can include a citation, fines, or an injunction requiring the business owner to fix the inadequate condition. Also, if a patron of the business was injured due to a violation, the business owner may face a private civil lawsuit filed by the injured party. This can result in a personal injury damages award if the plaintiff can prove that their injuries or financial losses were directly caused by the ADA violation.
Also, an ADA lawsuit can often have negative effects on the reputation of a business organization. Even if the business prevails and wins the lawsuit, patrons may be discouraged from returning to a business that was accused of violating Disability Act provisions. As such, it is better for business owners to do regular inspections of their business premises in order to ensure that they are fully following the requirements of disability laws. A certified specialist can be hired to conduct such an inspection.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with ADA Access Provisions?
Complying with ADA access provisions should be looked as a normal business expense. In the long run, it is less costly to double check to see if you are in compliance with the law, than it is to face a possible lawsuit due to a violation. You may wish to hire an attorney for help with legal tasks such as inspections, ADA documents, and state/local requirements. Also, your attorney can represent you in court if you are facing any legal issues
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Last Modified: 01-05-2017 04:03 PM PST
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