Civil Rights are the most basic rights that each person in the United States has. These rights include freedom from discrimination and persecution based on a wide variety of protected attributes (i.e. race, religion, sex, disability, and more). Everyone in the United States has fundamental civil rights.
These rights should not be confused with civil liberties, which are broader and even more basic than civil rights. The most common examples of civil liberties are the right to vote, access to the court system, the right to government services, the right to use public facilities, and the right to public education. While the concept is separate, these ideas overlap quite a bit in reality. For example, if you try to exercise your right to the court system, but someone tries to stop you because of a specific attribute, that would violate your civil rights and may come with fines, penalties, and other consequences.
Where Do Civil Rights Originate?
Unlike civil liberties, civil rights are not developed exclusively from the constitution or basic tenants of citizenship. Instead, they’re created by federal and state law. Federal laws that address civil rights include:
- Age: Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Disability: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Disability in education: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Voting: Voting Rights Act of 1973
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also addresses a wide variety of protected attributes, including:
- National origin
Washington also has its own state version of these various laws, and every federal law applies in equal force in Washington as well. Other portions of laws may also apply in Washington. This is because like many states, Washington does not have one comprehensive law that affects all areas.
Why Are Civil Rights Important in Personal Injury Cases?
One of the most important civil rights and liberties that can affect your personal injury case is your ability to take a case to a jury of your peers if you request it. A panel made up of people who live in your community will allow you to present your case to like-minded people to determine whether someone else is at fault and how much they should have to pay in damages if so. You should receive that legal right regardless of your sex, race, religion, etc. Although insurance companies may try to downplay this statutory right, you absolutely have the ability to take a case to trial if there is merit to your claim.
Premier Law Group can help you assert this legal right after an accident. Don’t let an insurance company try to cut off your rights. Get an experienced legal team on your side. Fill out the form to your right, or call us at 206-285-1743 to get your FREE consultation today.