Civil Rights are the most basic rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. It includes freedom from discrimination and persecution based on a wide variety of protected attributes, including race, religion, sex, disability, and more.
Everyone in the United States has fundamental civil rights. These rights come from both federal law and laws specific to the State of Georgia.
Civil 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 type of action is illegal and may come with civil 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
The Fair Housing Act extends many of these same protections to those seeking housing throughout the United States.
Georgia also has its own state version of these various laws, and every federal law applies to equal force in Georgia as well. Georgia-specific laws include:
- Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act
- Age Discrimination Act
- Equal Employment for Persons with Disabilities Code
- Equal Pay Act
Other portions of laws may apply in Georgia. This is because Georgia, like many states, doesn’t have one comprehensive law that affects all areas of civil rights.
Why Are Civil Rights Important in Personal Injury Cases?
One of the most important civil rights and liberty that affects personal injury cases 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.
John Foy & Associates 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 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.