The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, passed in 1990. In 2012, parking lot compliance with Title III of the ADA became mandatory. This is a federal regulation and non-compliance can cause real problems for businesses and landlords. California’s business community should be well aware of this aspect of the ADA.
Title III of the ADA affects both public accommodations, like hotels and retail stores, and commercial spaces like office buildings and warehouses. When it comes to parking areas, Title III stipulates that lots must include handicapped parking spaces that can accommodate vans. Facilities must also have at least 50% accessible entrances.
Violations of the accessibility requirements specified under Title III of the ADA can have serious consequences for businesses. Fines for being in violation of this act can be steep. That’s especially true in California. California’s state laws provide for treble damages to plaintiffs for violations of this act. In these cases, defendants are also liable for attorney’s fees.
Title III of the ADA is a complex piece of legislation. There are exemptions, priorities and other nuances of the law that can make it challenging to interpret. For business owners, the best way to ensure ADA compliance with regard to Title III is to consult with an experienced attorney.
There are law firms that specialize in defending businesses against ADA lawsuits. Their experienced legal teams are a great resource when remodeling and updating. That’s particularly true when it comes to redesigning parking lots. Since they deal with these issues every day, ADA compliance lawyers can look over plans and help ensure they’re up to code. Lawsuits regarding accessibility can be expensive. It’s a great idea to prevent them, rather than settling them.