In the United States, it is illegal to deny the rights of anyone on the basis of age, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, disability, or country of origin. Civil rights are the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to provide equal opportunities for all American citizens.
However, it is still possible for your rights to be violated through discrimination. If you have been a victim of a civil rights violation, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about the different types of civil rights violations and how working with a personal injury lawyer can help you defend your civil rights.
Types of Civil Rights Lawsuits
Most segments of personal injury law deal with physical harm caused by another. In addition to physical injury, personal injury law also covers monetary loss, as well as emotional and psychological suffering.
Civil rights violations cause several types of damages that vary depending on the type. Here are some of the most common civil rights violations that still occur today.
Due to Civil Rights Legislation, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee or potential employee on the basis of sex, gender, race, religion, etc.
These kinds of violations usually involve lost wages, denial of benefits, denial of employment, or termination. Read more about the legal protections for employment from Cornell Law.
The police are not allowed to prevent anyone from exercising their civil rights. In a way, it is part of the police’s job to protect the civil rights of others. However, if you are subjected to excessive force, false arrest, or malicious prosecution, your rights are being violated.
Damages that may occur include bodily harm, damage to reputation, lost wages, general pain and suffering, emotional stress, and long court cases. Getting the right lawyer on your side will help you win your case and get repaid for the damages against you.
As of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, it is now illegal to deny anyone housing on the basis of discrimination.
Violations of this civil right may look like a denial of rental agreements or rejection of housing offers. If you suspect you have been denied housing because of discrimination, visit with a civil rights lawyer to determine your next course of action.
This type of discrimination may look like a government employee or government agency denying service on the basis of race, sex, or religion. It could include immigration charges or general poor treatment because of discrimination.
In the United States legal system, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It was our founder’s passion to defend individuals wrongfully accused or prosecuted. If you or a loved one have been wrongfully convicted on the basis of discrimination, you deserve compensation.
What you need to know when filing a civil rights case
If your rights have been violated and you are ready to file a claim, come prepared to prove the fault of the other party. Gather all of the evidence you have that shows you were subjected to discrimination.
Acceptable forms of evidence include:
- Housing applications
- Rejection letters
- Employer agreements
- Pay stubs
- Witness accounts
- Doctor’s notes
- Police reports
Essentially, any document that may show evidence of discrimination with an associated time and place might be used for evidence. We strongly encourage you to meet with a personal injury attorney who can help you identify and evaluate your evidence.
Beginning Your Civil Rights Claim
Depending on the type of discrimination you experienced, you should file a complaint with an appropriate civil rights agency. In fact, certain types of cases require you to fill out a complaint with a government agency.
If your case becomes a lawsuit, it will be handled in federal court. This process can be long and complicated. The court will examine the evidence and there will be opportunities for the defendant to respond. Your case may be settled outside of court, and if not, the trial process will proceed.
If a settlement is reached in court, there may be an opportunity for you or the defendant to appeal the decision. So, even if you win an award for damages, the appeals may cause your case to continue for months or even years.
Why you should work with a civil rights attorney
At The Cochran Firm Cleveland, our attorneys have years of experience that will benefit your case. When you work with us we will give you valuable legal advice and fight by your side to get you the compensation you deserve.
We know that civil rights cases are complicated, but we will help you understand exactly what you need to do.
Our founder, Johnnie L Cochran Jr, dedicated his life to defending injured people against corporations, government agencies, and discrimination. We honor his legacy by dedicating ourselves to aggressively defending our clients through their legal battles.
Contact The Cochran Firm Cleveland Lawyers Today
If your civil rights have been violated, now is the time to start your case. We offer FREE consultations to help you evaluate your situation. Visit us at our Cleveland Ohio office, give us a call, or fill out a consultation form today.