One Little ADA Sticker That Can Cost You Thousands of Dollars and Most People Don't Have It!Posted on February 07, 2019 by Rafael Cantillo
There's no argument that there are only about a million little details that go into business ownership. As a business owner or manager, you take all of the necessary precautions to reduce liability and prevent lawsuits. Did you know there is one requirement, most property managers do not even realize they aren't meeting? Unfortunately, there's a huge epidemic of unsuspecting property managers being slammed with lawsuits due to not having one little ADA sticker. That's right, not having this one little sticker can cause you to rack up attorney fees, not to mention the hassle of going through a lawsuit.
ADA stands for "Americans With Disability Act". This law prevents discrimination against those with disabilities, whether it is mobility, sight, hearing, or any other disability. All public businesses are required to accommodate individuals with disabilities just as they do those without disabilities. This means owners must provide a safe way for individuals with disabilities to enter and exit the business. The business must also provide adequate restroom accommodations, water fountains, etc. for those with disabilities. The disability accommodations needed depends on the type of business you operate. For instance, if you are a clothing store, you will need to make sure you have dressing rooms which can accommodate the disabled.
ADA signage not only shows consumers and visitors that the business is accessible to those with disabilities but also indicates which restrooms, tables, lines, doors, ramps, and parking spaces are disability friendly. Business owners strive to make their stores just as easy for those with disabilities to navigate as those without.
Surely by now, you've at least heard the term "drive-by attorney". Do you really understand what they are and why they pose a threat to your business? "Drive-by" attorneys are targeting companies in violation of even the most minor ADA violations. Most of the time these companies aren't even aware they have done anything wrong. To make matters worse, the attorneys filing the lawsuit in many cases have never set foot into the business. There are instances in which a single "drive-by" attorney sues several different businesses at the same time in hopes to obtain thousands upon thousands of dollars in settlements.
According to New Mobility many of these predators either research and find out or assume that these businesses have a separate "pay-off" fund for these type of circumstances in order to justify their actions. This is an unfair assumption, and these type of lawsuits can have devastating consequences on businesses.
How Are Businesses Targeted?
Are you wondering what makes "drive-by" attorneys pick your parking lot? Here's a hint, they don't! Instead, they use Google maps street view to drive down boulevards and streets looking for this little sticker. This is typically referred to as predatory actions. The "drive-by" attorneys are hunting for their prey. In many cases, the predator sends a letter demanding a settlement. The cost could be anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000. The predator hopes that the business owner will just decide to settle and pay the amount in the letter as opposed to taking it to court and risk losing even more money should the "drive-by" attorney prevail.
"Drive-by" attorneys are looking for easy prey when it comes to choosing property owners to sue. They want to pick properties that are a sure thing. They know what they are looking for and typically will not waste their time on properties which are questionable. The first thing they look for is the wrong entry sign or the right sign without the required tow information stickers on it. The reason for this is simple, these signs without the required stickers are a guarantee that "drive-by" attorneys will have a case.
Once, they know they have a case, they may then look for other smaller issues such as a ramp being in the wrong place or not properly labeled. They may venture inside the store to look for ADA compliance violations. Another issue "drive-by" attorneys look for are disabled parking places which are of the appropriate size and properly labeled. The goal is to find and document as many violations as possible in order to increase the settlement.
Hiring the Right Contractors From the Beginning
Hiring paving contractors to fix the problems is a viable solution, but it may be how you got in trouble in the first place!
Many paving contractors are happy to show up and make sure your parking lot is ADA compliant, but what would you say if I told you that many of these lawsuits start as a result of lazy contractors? You heard me right. Sadly, most paving contractors just install the signs and ignore the sticker out of laziness. They do not pay attention to all of the minor details that go into making sure your parking lot is ADA compliant. The problem is, this single detail is exactly what the "drive-by" attorneys are looking for in the first place. That little sticker is a big deal!
That missing sticker alone can land you in a wasteful ADA lawsuit costing thousands of dollars. You will also be required to immediately begin costly ADA repairs that may not be in the budget. It is important to hire a reputable contractor that takes pride in making sure their customers are ADA compliant and completing the job to the highest of standards. This is where Empire Parking Lot Services comes in.
Empire Parking Lot Services
Proudly serving Southern California, Empire Parking Lot Services has years of experience. At Empire Parking Lot Services we never take short-cuts and are always actively looking out for our customers' best interest. Our team is well-versed in federal ADA regulations and can make sure your parking lot is ADA compliant. We can also check your parking lot to make sure you are ADA compliant if you are unsure. We pride ourselves in paying attention to even the smallest of details. Make sure you do not become an unnecessary victim of "drive-by" attorneys, contact Empire Parking Lot Services today!