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Since 1990, the federal Americans with Disabilities Laws has established strict guidelines on the rights of those with either short-term or permanent disabilities. A New Jersey disability lawyer can help you if you are not receiving the benefits you are entitled to, are being discriminated against by employers or when applying for housing, and in other matters where your legal rights are not being expected. Not everyone with a disability will need legal assistance. Here are some things to keep in mind before deciding to speak with any New Jersey disability lawyers.
People experiencing disabilities have only recently had their rights defined relatively recently. NJ disability lawyers and their clients must take into account both federal and state laws. Both physical and mental problems can qualify as disabilities, including but not limited to:
• Damage done to any part of the body
• Mental illness
• Learning disabilities
These categories of disability also meet a larger standard. New Jersey disability lawyers must be able to prove that a “major life ability” has been harmed. Some of these include:
• Routine bodily functions
• Manual tasks
• Control of your sight, sound and other senses
• Performing specific work tasks
Conditions that do not qualify as disabilities include kleptomania, pregnancy, or having a prison record that makes it difficult to find employment. New Jersey disability lawyers can be helpful in determining the extent of your handicap and what you are entitled to.
Disabled people’s rights
Because federal guidelines are designed to prevent discrimination, most people will hopefully not need the help of a New Jersey disability lawyer. The law states clearly what you are entitled to.
If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to workman’s compensation without help from NJ disability lawyers. Some afflictions are not work-related. In this case you may be entitled to help from various public programs. NJ Jersey disability lawyers are not necessary to start the process of finding out what you compensation or benefits you can receive.
Temporary injuries are not the same as a long-term disability. However, your rights in both cases are the same. Some categories relating specifically to legislation for the disabled:
• Employers are not allowed to discriminate against the disabled and must make “reasonable accommodations.” If you believe you have been prevented from taking a job because of your disability, NJ disability lawyers can help you prove that you were discriminated against specifically because of your condition and that you are qualified to perform the required tasks.
• Whether you are buying or renting, no landlord or broker can discriminate against you or refuse to do with business with you. More recently-constructed buildings or structures are required to have ramps and other accommodations.
• No airline or other travel service can refuse to accommodate you.
• The federal Rehabilitation Act protects you from discriminated against from participating in any government-run program.
• The Disabilities Education Act guarantees all disabled children a public education.
Most businesses would rather accommodate you than risk litigation. There are many public agencies available to assist you if you cannot afford the help of a New Jersey disability lawyer. Examine all of your options before deciding to engage legal counsel.
When to consider hiring a New Jersey disability lawyer
There are many circumstances in which you may unfortunately feel the need to hire private legal counsel. NJ disability lawyers can help you if you feel you are not receiving the compensation you deserve from your employer or have been discriminated against because of your disability. You do not need to hire an attorney just because you are disabled or as soon as you have been injured. An NJ disability lawyer cannot help the change the law, but he or she can make sure it is enforced properly.
Preparing to deal with the legal system
If you decide you need a New Jersey disability lawyer, it is important to understand what you are hoping to achieve first. Finding out which federal and state statutes apply to you will help you and your NJ disability lawyer figure out what rights you are entitled to. Before filing any claims, you must be sure you are using the correct laws to make your case.
Some New Jersey disability lawyers specialize in helping those people who are having trouble receiving payment for medical expenses or other forms of compensation from their insurance company. Others deal with discrimination. In both cases, it is important to assemble as much documentation ahead of time as possible to show your NJ disability lawyer. Keeping records of your medical expenses or loss of wages will help to establish the validity of your grievance.
Finding a New Jersey disability lawyer
Once you have a clear understanding of what kind of legal recourse is available to you, you may decide to retain private legal counsel. Finding a NJ disability lawyer requires you to be equally thorough. Consider whether you need the services of an attorney. In some cases, you may be able to find NJ disability lawyers willing to work for free on a pro bono basis.
If you decide to find an attorney to represent you, ask friends, family or co-workers you trust for any recommendations. Many local bar associations can also provide a referral. Prior to meeting any New Jersey disability lawyer, look up their disciplinary record online to make sure you are working with an honest and trustworthy attorney qualified to practice law.
Arrive to your first meeting with a clear statement of the facts and any relevant documentation. An honest NJ disability lawyer will be frank about their level of experience in your kind of case and what you can expect from the process. You should be skeptical if they make promises that seem impossible to fulfill. All New Jersey disability lawyers should be ready to give you a clear outline of what kind of outcome you can expect and how much entering the legal process will cost you.